You just placed your baby in bed and thought it’s finally time you can have a good rest. But within an hour or two, loud wails overwhelm the whole room again. Why your baby won’t sleep soundly through the night?
Babies’ sleep patterns can be affected by many things, such as discomfort, hunger, changes in their environment, routine, surrounding temperature and sound. It is perfectly normal for your baby to wake up in the middle of the night requesting for a feed or to get their soiled diaper changed too. Sometimes, even the fun activities that you engage with your baby just before your baby’s bedtime can cause them to wake up in the middle of the night, crying to be cuddled.
With so many possible reasons why your baby can’t sleep through the night, it is important to identify the issue and work towards a solution that will help your baby sleep better through the night.
Here are five strategies to help your babies sleep better!
1. Help your baby differentiate day and night
How do you help your baby understand it’s time for active play or when it’s time to sleep? During the daytime, use a vibrant tone to speak or play with baby, play nursery rhymes in the background while baby interacts and play, and you can also introduce natural light into the room. During night-time, tone down on the activities and use a softer and calmer voice to talk to your baby. You can even hum a lullaby to get them into the mood for sleeping. Adjust the temperature and lighting in the room to make it comfortable for your baby.
2. Allow baby to sleep on their own
Many babies are conditioned to sleep by certain habits such as sucking their thumb or pacifier, or being ‘rocked’ to sleep in an electric or sarong cradle. As your baby grows older, you may like to slowly wean them off from these practices. This will reduce the frequency of your baby waking up in the middle of the night looking for their pacifier or wanting to be cuddled and rocked back to sleep. Some of these habits will take a longer period of time for your baby to quit or grow out of it too. Give your baby a chance to learn how to sleep on their own instead.
3. Provide a security object that they can hold or hug
Babies need to feel secure. An insecure baby tends to cry more in the night. Providing your baby with a security object like a small handkerchief, stuffed toy, blanket or pillow will give them additional comfort and security. When there is a sense of security, your baby will probably feel less frightened when they wake up in the middle of the night and might even learn how to self soothe and fall back to sleep on their own.
4. Develop a sleep routine and minimise changes
A consistent routine helps baby get into the mood for sleeping. You can start off with a nice warm bath, read a nice story and play soft music before putting them down in their cot. Repeat this routine and soon, your baby will associate these activities with sleep. The key is to be consistent, even during the weekends.
5. Play white noise sounds
Some babies are naturally light sleepers, causing them to wake up at the slightest noise. Don’t try to block out external sound by covering baby’s ear with pillow or ear muffs as these object might pose as choking hazard. Instead, try to block out these nose by introducing ‘white noise’! White noise is a steady and consistent noise that you may hear in a quiet room or when it’s raining. White noise can be rather therapeutic and helps to promote sleep. Go to YouTube and search for ‘white noise’ and you will a wide variety of ‘white noise’ music that can last through the night.
It can be challenging to train your baby to sleep through the night but it is definitely worth the effort. Understand what your baby needs are, keep making changes to see what methods work for them.
With time, effort and patience, you will reap the
rewards of a good night’s sleep!
By Crystal Tan