Hacks to Get Your Baby to Sleep Longer

Hacks to Get Your Baby to Sleep LongerMuch has changed about your life now that you’re a mom and operating on less sleep is probably one that’s not as dreamy as your baby’s gummy grin. Establishing sleep habits that get your baby to sleep longer can be a very challenging part of early parenthood but it can be life-changing for both you and your baby.

 

Check out these hacks to get your baby to sleep longer so everyone can catch a few more zzz’s in your house:

Develop a Bedtime Routine

Sure, your baby can’t tell time yet but he can recognize cues that bedtime is drawing near by repetition of activities. A bedtime routine helps your little one know what to expect and prepare himself for slumber. Baths, stories, lullabies and breastfeeding are all terrific parts of a calming bedtime routine.

Create Associations

Part of how to get your baby to sleep longer is his ability to go back to sleep if he wakes in the night. If he generally falls asleep being breastfed or rocked in your arms, he may feel he needs that to get back to sleep every time he wakes. Experts say to put your baby in bed drowsy but not yet asleep so they can learn the skills necessary to fall asleep alone.

Swaddle

Recreating a womb-like experience for your baby by using a swaddle can be helpful in the first few months. This not only keeps your little love bundled and warm, it helps reduce involuntary reflexes your baby cannot yet control that may wake him. Some swaddles have light weights for added pressure.

Breastfeed Strategically

It’s typical to breastfeed your baby before bedtime and many moms find their babies sleep better if they cluster feed later in the day. This may mean you’re breastfeeding every two hours starting around 2 p.m. The theory is your baby will be fuller and therefore sleep longer. Another strategy is to wake your baby before you go to bed for a dream feed. Sometimes this is helpful to do about 20 minutes before the time your baby usually wakes in the night. If he stays asleep during this feeding, he may continue to sleep afterwards.

Skip Unnecessary Diaper Changes

During the day you probably change your baby’s diaper after breastfeeding. This is not necessary at nighttime unless your baby has pooped. Diaper changes tend to wake babies due to the movement, cold sensations and light required for the job.

Soothe with Sound

A white noise machine or other devices that play peaceful music or replicate a mother’s heartbeat can help your baby fall asleep and stay asleep.

Darken the Room

Newborns often have trouble distinguishing between daytime and nighttime. A dark room at night, free of nightlights and equip with blackout curtains, can aid in setting your baby’s internal clock. Also, try to keep naptime brighter and offer your baby plenty of sun exposure during the day to solidify this lesson.

Prioritize Sleep

Your little baby is so portable it’s tempting to carry him with you wherever you go, day or night. But in the long run, developing a sleep schedule with a regular bedtime in his own crib will help your child be a better sleeper. Every once in awhile breaking bedtime rules is fine, but keep to your schedule as much as possible to get your baby to sleep longer. The consistency will pay off.

Sources: Romper and Babble