Making the baby sleep through the night is one of the biggest challenges faced by all parents. Till the baby is around six months, they continue to wake up at night for feed or diaper change. Once you start giving solid food to babies, they can sleep for a longer duration, especially during the night. Get all of this essentials and more at Yalla Baby.
But this may not work with all babies. Some babies wake up during the night, even when they are not hungry. This can leave the parents irritated and exhausted. If you are one such parent, then here are some ways you can make the baby sleep through the night.
When Do Babies Sleep Through the Night?
There is no one answer to this question. This depends on the baby. Babies who are less than three months of age do not know the difference between day and night. They sleep for 3-4 hours at a stretch and wakes up in between for a feed. This is because their tummy is so small that it can take in only very little milk. Once the milk is digested, the baby feels hungry, and it wakes up.
Once you start giving solid food to the baby at night, the duration of sleep increases. The baby can sleep peacefully for a longer period. But still, the baby wakes occasionally for nighttime feed. This nighttime feed is more a soothing mechanism for the baby than satiating hunger.
Once the baby is around one year old, you should stop feeding during night time. The baby might create some fuss initially. But you should somehow do away with the night time feed so that the baby sleeps peacefully throughout the night.
How to Make the Baby Sleep Through the Night?
Here are some techniques parents can follow to make the baby sleep through the night.
- Develop a bedtime routine
Developing a bedtime routine makes the actions predictable for the baby. This helps the baby to drift off to sleep and remain calm for a long time. The bedtime routine should be soothing and relaxing for both the baby and the parent.
Overstimulation can make it difficult for the baby to sleep. Thus, try to maintain a calm and peaceful atmosphere towards bedtime. Before going to bed, you can give a bath to the baby in lukewarm water. The water induces drowsiness, which helps the baby to drift off to sleep. If the baby is too small, you can sing a lullaby. Reading out stories and cuddling up are other bedtime routines that babies are sure to enjoy.
- Change the activity level.
This mostly applies to older babies who are awake for a longer duration. During day time, you can keep the baby active by playing with him. But towards bedtime, you should encourage quiet activities like reading books or singing songs. This gives a clue to the baby that it is time to sleep. Moreover, the daytime activities would have made the baby tired that he sleeps peacefully throughout the night.
- Stick to the same time
You should always put the baby to sleep at the same time every day. It is not a good practice to wait until the baby gets tired and then put him to sleep. This will make the baby more cranky and difficult to sleep. Till the baby is three months, it is tough to set a sleeping time. But after three months, you should stick to a time to put the baby to sleep.
- Teach the baby to self soothe
If the baby happens to wake up at night, do not rush to the baby at once. Give time for the baby to self-soothe. Let the baby suck the thumb and try to soothe himself. If the baby is still crying, you can go near the baby and place your hand on his chest and slowly pat. But do not lift the baby. If the baby is too small, you can even help the baby get a good thumb grip for sucking.
- Wean the night feed
This method works best with older babies. Babies usually wake up at night for a feed. If you feed the baby solid food at night, then the baby can stay without feeling hungry for a long time. This way, you can slowly stop breastfeeding the baby.
Babies breastfeed at night, mainly for comfort. If you stop night time feeding, then the baby is more likely to sleep throughout the night.
- Set a calming ambiance
The ambiance of the room plays a significant role in ensuring a sound sleep. Keep the room dimly lit so that the baby can sleep peacefully. This also provides enough lighting for you to check the baby once in a while. The temperature of the room should also be normal so that the baby feels comfortable.
If you want, you can even play white noise throughout the night. White noise masks all other sounds and creates a feeling of consistency. Ideally, the atmosphere in the baby’s room throughout the night should be the same as when she drifted off to sleep. This helps the baby to sleep peacefully. You should also keep the baby’s bed clear of any toys and pillows.
- Do not change the diaper.
Apart from hunger, another reason why babies wake up at night is diaper change. Unless the baby cries and makes a fuss, do not change the diaper. This can cause disturbance to the baby and interrupt his sleep. You can use a premium care diaper for the baby that can soak more wetness than the normal diaper. Still not buying your diapers the right way? Try UAE’s Favourite baby box.
Patience is the key to getting the baby to sleep through the night. Sometimes a baby who has been sleeping peacefully throughout the night suddenly wakes up from nighttime sleep. This stage is called sleep regression and is a temporary phase that lasts only a few days. In all likelihood, the baby will return back to the normal sleep routine in a few day’s time.