Getting Baby to Sleep through the Night: Tips for New Parents
Is your baby waking up from the sleep in 4-5 hours or less? Well, it’s normal in the babies below 3 months (Even 6 months). A baby’s sleeping regime is different from that of the adults. There are many problems that restrict a baby from getting a sound sleep like hunger, sleeping position and improper sleeping time.
The sleeping problems in babies not only disturb them but create a nuisance for the parents as well. Every parent wants to establish a harmony between their personal sleep and their baby’s sleep. When your baby falls asleep on his own without any external effort or approach, it’s a dreamlike condition. A baby’s sleep may get interrupted due to lifestyle problems or medical conditions. Let’s understand the complete process and the solutions to deal with it.
Lifestyle Causes Interrupting a Baby’s Sleep
Problem with Baby’s Biological Clock
Most of the babies below 12 months don’t understand that they need to sleep in the night and wake up in the morning. The main problem is with the sync of the biological clock which is needed to be fixed. Babies find it the sleeping time when it’s dark around and an exposure to the sunlight is considered as the wake up time. So, maintain a specific sleeping and wake up time for your baby and set the ambiance accordingly.
If your baby is small, he may need frequent feeding. You can’t escape from the responsibility by feeding him in a huge amount at a time as his dietary need is different from the adults. Studies say that feeding a baby before the parents hit the sack is productive for the uninterrupted sleep of both the baby and the parents.
Teething is the most common reason of an interrupted sleep in the babies above 6 months. The fuss and the pain during the teething process differ from a baby to another baby. When the discomfort level increases during teething in the night, a baby will wake up and start crying.
If you have put too many clothes on your baby during his sleep, waking up in the middle of the night is obvious as he may feel too hot. Putting no clothing or very less clothing is also troublesome as he may feel cold during his sleep. A balanced temperature is very important for baby’s comfort and it will help him attain a sound sleep.
Small babies and toddlers are sensitive to the surrounding lights. If there is a source of light disturbing him during his sleep, he may not able to understand what time it is. Make sure there is sufficient darkness in the room when your baby is sleeping. Also, make sure there is no noise around when your baby is sleeping.
Long Exposure to Computer or Gaming Screen
Many parents introduce gaming gadgets to their babies so that he attain a peaceful sleep after their exciting gaming or entertainment session but things don’t go well all the time. The screen exposure for a long time may affect your baby’s sleeping cycle
Irregular Bedtime Routine
It’s very important to establish a bedtime routine for your baby. Try to feed your baby at a specific time every day. Also, keep his sleeping time same every day. This will help your baby improve his internal clock.
Medical Conditions Interrupting a Baby’s Sleep
Apart from the lifestyle conditions interrupting your baby’s sleeping regime, there are some medical conditions as well worth your attention.
When babies cross the 6 month age, they are able to move here and there and hold many things around them and out them in their mouth. This is the main cause of becoming prone to various infections. These infections affect the sleeping routine of the little ones causing many health issues.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a medical condition interrupting a baby’s sleep and causes many other issues like behavioral changes.
In many cases, babies feel sleepy during the daytime but stay awake or face interruption in nighttime sleep. This sleeping disorder is known as Dyssomnias.
Parasomnias disturb the sleeping cycle activating the physiologic systems anytime during the baby’s sleep.
In this sleeping disorder, there is an interruption in breathing which causes discomfort to the baby disturbing his sleeping cycle.
Why My Baby Wakes Up and Cries in the Middle of the Night?
Apart from the external factors like noise and light, there are some scientific reasons behind waking up of the babies and start crying in the middle of the night. The primary causes include –
• Unfamiliar bedding and surrounding
• Runny nose or cold
• Falling or non-availability of the pacifiers
• Brain wave activity
Tips for Making a 6 Months Old Sleep through Night
Here are some useful and proven tips for making a baby fall asleep in night
Co-Sleeping: Why is it Recommended?
The little ones feel very unprotected in the night, especially when they don’t see anyone. It’s recommended to co-sleep with the child. Mother/s warm touch reassures the baby and creates positive vibes around.
The Crib/Bed Addiction
Make sure when your baby feels dozy, you place him in the crib/Bed. It will make the crib familiar to him and help him get back to the sleep after waking up in the middle of the night. When the baby sees a familiar environment and bedding after waking up, he feels comfortable.
Hold the Baby
Sometimes, the babies don’t stop the fuss even after many calming speeches and reassurances and visits. In this case, try to hold the baby gently and make him feel comfortable till he calms down and feel drowsy again.
Baby Hammock: Sleep Wizard
Baby swings/cradle are a magical aid for the baby’s sleep. It’s just to make them fall asleep. Once the baby is asleep, put the baby on the bed. Long time nap/sleep in the swing is not healthy for the baby
The Cotton Hammocks
Hammocks make baby feel like in mother’s womb and the swinging motion is very helpful in making baby sleep.
Make the Daytime Naps Minimal
Babies have the tendency to fall asleep during the daytime. Keep the busy and entertained in the daytime so that they feel tired in the night and enjoy a sound sleep. (The day time nap should not be skipped as they are important for physical and brain development)
Change Diapers Frequently
Wet diapers make baby feel uncomfortable. It is also bad for baby’s delicate skin.
A Controlled Nighttime Feeding
Many 6-month-olds get addicted to the nighttime feeding. Pediatricians also suggest that such feedings should be minimized gradually and make the baby realize that he has to fall asleep without that element in his nighttime sleeping routine. (Do not skip the night time feeding, try to reduce the frequency)
Gently massage the baby’s body just before putting her to bed. The massage relaxes the baby’s body and improves blood circulation. Your touch makes baby feel safe and hence makes it easy for long time interruption free sleep.
A 6-month-old baby needs around 9-11 hours of sleep every night to wake up in a great mood. The sleeping duration should be pushed a bit gradually when he turns 1. The daytime nap of 2 to3 hours is also important for the 6-month-old babies. As a smart parent, analyze your baby’s sleeping routine every day and find out the factors that calm him down. A proper strategy can save your own and your baby’s sleeping routine.