You might consider pregnancy to be the biggest challenge of your life, but just wait until your baby arrives! As soon as your newborn is safely at home, you can expect to spend several nights wide awake, helping him or her get to sleep. Because your little one can't yet utter words, you're going to need to rely on his or her cries to let you know when it's time to eat or change the diaper. Unfortunately, these signals might occur in the middle of the night.
That being said, there are a few ways you can get used to this lifestyle change and make it a little easier for your child to fall asleep each night. While there is no actual solid solution for these evening wake-up calls, there are some tactics you can utilize to ensure your newborn has a comfortable nursery for resting. Here are some key pointers to take into account.
1. Hone in on symptoms of sleepiness
It's important to recognize when your baby is getting sleepy, according to CNN. This can make sure you're putting him or her down when the time is right, and it can also increase your chances of keeping your baby asleep - what better opportunity to get him or her to rest than when tiredness has already crept in? One of the key signs of sleepiness that you can easily recognize is eye rubbing. As soon as your little one starts to show this symptom, he or she is ready for some rest!
"As soon as you see eye rubbing, yawning, fussiness, those are signs that you should start preparing your baby for a nap," Judy Owens, M.D., director of the Pediatric Sleep Disorder Clinic at the Hasbro Children's Hospital, told the news source. "If you wait too long, your baby might get a second wind and then be too alert or too irritated to sleep."
2. Make the nursery dark and quiet
No adult wants to sleep in a bright, noisy area when they're trying to get some rest, neither does a baby! Keep this in mind as you're decorating your child's nursery. Ideally, the room should be dark and quiet, according to iVillage. Now is the time to put away your child's toys and noisemakers. Instead of playing a lullaby, think about investing in a white noise sound device, which has been proven to help newborns fall asleep and feel comfortable faster.
3. Create a routine
Bedtimes can be beneficial for adults as well as children. The Mayo Clinic states that establishing a rhythm can help you establish a more consistent feeding and sleeping pattern with your child. Over time, you'll notice that your infant is resting more soundly through the night.
4. Wear out your newborn
Your little one will sleep a lot throughout the day, but he or she will also be bustling with energy while awake. To make sure rest is a possibility at the end of it all, tire your child out. Play with him or her and allow your newborn to exert pent-up energy that may make it difficult to sleep in the future.
5. Don't share beds
You might feel bad about leaving your child crying in the crib, but it's best to steer clear of sleeping together, even in the first few months of his or her life. This will help your child learn to fall asleep faster on his or her own later down the line.