Being first time parents, it seemed like a dream, a far fetched one, that our newborn could sleep through the night, ever. Night after night, we were up with our little one, waiting for him to go to sleep for couple of hours.
When I would hear stories from friends or family on how there little ones started sleeping through the night at 3 months or so, my husband and I always doubted that our little one would ever sleep through the night.
But it happened when he was around six months. It did not come easy though, we tried so many different things. Only thing you have to keep in mind is, every baby is different. Some start sleeping through the night early on, some need some more time.
If you are one of those parents who are still waking up in the middle of night to feed or comfort your 4+ month old baby, there is still hope. There are so many different things you can try to help baby sleep through the night. If you wondering how to make baby sleep through the night, here are a few tips that came in handy for us that helped smooth the transition from wakefulness to relaxing sleep time.
Short Naps During the Day
Is your baby sleeping for four to five hours during the day but wakes every two to three hours during the night? If yes, then it is time to switch the sleep and wake clock on your baby. Shorter naps during the day will help him sleep longer hours during the night. Babies need their sleep, if they are not getting it during the day time, they will get it at night.
Set up a routine
Put your baby down for his or her nap at the same time each day, if possible. Slowly and gently wake your baby after two or three hours of sleep. This may cause crying in the beginning, but keep your baby occupied so he or she does not fall back asleep. This process will help your baby get down to sleep in the evening.
Soothing Bath Before Bedtime
Begin to settle down in the evening with a soothing warm bath for your baby. Sometimes a lavender baby bath will do the trick to calm the baby. Don’t get into playing during bath time. Talk softly and gently wash your baby enticing his or her senses with the lavender.
Relaxing massage after bath
After the bath, rub your baby down with some baby lotion, gently massaging his or her feet, legs, arms, and hands, all the time keeping the noise level low. Gently clean your baby’s gums or teeth, still keeping your voice soft. Over time, this will begin to signal to your baby that this is quiet time and time to sleep.
Read a Bedtime Story
In your baby’s room, have a dim light on while you complete the dressing after bath time. Swaddle your baby and sit in a rocking chair or other comfortable chair and begin to read a short bedtime story. As you are reading, hold your baby snug to your body, gently rocking him or her, and reading in a soft, gentle tone. After the story, place your baby in his or her crib, set the mobile music, a few rubs on the back, say goodnight, and walk out of the room.
When you repeat these tips for few days or weeks, your baby will automatically start to wind down and want to sleep at a certain time. He may fuss for about a week but this should dissipate soon. This is a process that may take some time for you and your baby to adjust. Do not lose your cool if your baby is still not sleeping through the night. What may comfort one baby may not comfort another baby, just keep trying.