What to Do When Your Baby Wakes During the Night
Are you up at 3 a.m. with your little one not knowing what to do to help her get back to sleep? Do you feel like your baby falls asleep only to wake 20 minutes later? If so, you are not alone. Here are some tips to help minimize those middle of the night wakings:
Give your little one plenty of opportunities during the day and night to fall asleep on his own. Instead of putting your baby to bed when he is fully asleep (and praying he doesn’t wake when his head hits the pillow!) put him in the crib when he is drowsy but awake. When your baby wakes in the middle of the night he won’t be surprised as to where he is, making it easier for him to put himself back to sleep.
Get to know your baby’s sleepy signs and put your little one to sleep before she becomes overtired. An overtired child is much more likely to wake in the middle of the night and have a harder time settling back to sleep.
If nighttime feedings are still needed, keep the room dark and have little to no interaction with your baby. Nighttime feedings are just that…a time to eat and return to sleep, not a time to play and coo with your baby.
Choose an approach to teach your baby how to soothe himself to sleep. Whether it is crying it out, timed check-ins, or a more gradual approach, find a plan that fits your parenting style. Staying consistent with any plan is just as important as picking a plan!
Share the burden. If at all possible let your partner help during the night. Sleep deprivation is equally as difficult on mom and dad as it is on baby. It is easy to forget that a well-rested parent is better able to take care of their child, home, marriage, and themselves!
Remind yourself of all of the benefits a solid night sleep gives your child. Following these tips will not only set your baby on the road towards a healthy sleep foundation, but will also help you get the sleep you need (and deserve!) to be the best parent you can be.
Guest Blog by Renee Wasserman, PT, MPH, founder of SleepyHead Solutions
SleepyHead Solutions is a Family Sleep Institute certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant. She offers many services including phone, email, Skype/FaceTime, and in person consultations to solve your child’s sleep challenges. Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. You can find out more information at www.sleepyheadsolutions.com and www.facebook.com/sleepyheadsolutions.
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