Having a newborn baby is a full time job. Between constant diaper changes, unexplained crying fits and long nights with very little sleep, it can be an exhausting experience. That’s not to say it isn’t also a rewarding, wonderful time, but getting a little extra sleep can help you enjoy the time with your brand new baby a whole lot more. Here are a few simple tips to try out when night time is drawing in and your little one is still wide awake.
Create A Bedtime Ritual
A soothing bedtime routine can work wonders on even the fussiest baby. Babies don’t know what time it is, so you have to help them understand that it’s time to wind down, relax and get ready to sleep.
As long as your baby doesn’t find bath time too exciting, a warm bath with lavender essential oils added in can be the perfect way to begin your bedtime ritual. Follow it up by reading a story, singing a lullaby and offering a bottle or breastfeed. By the time your routine is complete your baby should be well on her way to sleep.
Work With White Noise
Every baby is different, so a noise that relaxes one baby may be over-stimulating for the other. Many experts advise using white noise to settle your baby- noises that are similar to the rushing and whirring of the inside of your stomach tend to work the best, for obvious reasons.
Invest in a CD or playlist online that contains long white noise tracks to help babies sleep, or try simply switching on your hair dryer for a few minutes. You’d be amazed how sounds that you find irritating can instantly soothe your baby.
While you may want your baby to lie in her cot and go straight to sleep, most newborns need movement to help them wind down. Rocking your baby can get tiring, so try pushing her around in her stroller for a few minutes, or sitting on a rocking chair and providing consistent movement. If all else fails, a long drive in the car usually does the trick, although this can be a frustrating habit to fall into.
Wear Your Baby
A newborn baby is at her most comfortable and secure when close to her mother, so wearing your baby in a wrap or baby carrier is a great way to get her to relax and drift off to sleep. A wrap can be especially handy when it comes to getting your newborn to nap while you do all of the other things that you need to do around the house, allowing you to keep your hands free while your little one gets a good stretch of sleep.
When practiced safely, co-sleeping is a wonderful way for the whole family to sleep well through the newborn stage. For breastfeeding moms, getting up constantly throughout the night to feed a hungry baby can be draining. Keeping your baby close to you in bed makes the whole process less tiring while increasing your baby’s feeling of comfort and security.