By the time your baby turns 4 months old, he or she starts to differentiate day from night and enjoy longer periods of sleep. However, every baby’s sleeping pattern is different. It’s important to know that there are still those who seem to wake up all the time and have trouble sleeping through the night.
These unexpected midnight wakeup calls might actually be a result of a period called sleep regression. Despite the term, it’s actually a developmental phase that all infants and young children have to go through. Sometimes, though, the crying and sudden waking periods can be too much for every parent to handle.
Fortunately, there are essential things you can do to manage this tricky phase in your child’s life. But first, it’s a must to understand its causes and effects. Here’s the survival guide to baby sleep regression.
Sleep Regression Explained: The Survival Guide Every Parent Should Know
What is Sleep Regression?
Sleep regression refers to a period of time when a baby or toddler who has been sleeping well suddenly wakes up at night for no obvious reason. This phase can last for about one to four weeks which can totally throw new parents off guard.
But despite the word “regression,” there’s really no evidence to prove that this period leads to major lapses in your baby’s sleep. In fact, sleep regression is simply a part of your infant’s normal development when he or she has a tendency to wake more at night. It’s really much closer to transitions rather than regression when your newborn starts to develop his or her own sleep cycle or patterns.
What are the Causes of Sleep Regression?
While, at first, there’s no apparent reason for your baby suddenly waking up at night, sleep regression is actually caused by a lot of factors. And it’s a must to know these 6 causes in order for you to better understand that it’s just a cycle that you and your baby are perfectly capable of surviving.
a. Physical Development
This is probably the most common reason why a baby would constantly wake up at night after a peaceful time of uninterrupted sleep.
As your infant learns how to crawl, walk, roll, sit and stand, the more likely he or she’s going to take a longer time to fall asleep as his or her body is overactive from all these developmental milestones.
Furthermore, each mental leap or cognitive burst your little one experiences means greater awareness of one’s self and independence. However, this often comes with the feeling of insecurity which ultimately leads to difficulties separating from a parent and a constant need for reassurance at night.
b. Changes in Sleep Needs
During the first five years of his or her life, your baby’s sleep needs are bound to change regularly in order to keep up with his or her development. If you’re not able to adjust accordingly to your newborn’s needs, he or she will have a difficult time settling back to sleep.
What might be a case of sleep regression could just be inconsistencies in his or her sleeping schedule. Fortunately, this can be easily resolved by being accommodating to your baby’s needs and adapting whenever necessary.
Once your baby reaches a certain age, he or she is already aware (and possibly wary!) of one’s surroundings. That’s why travelling can be quite hard for him or her. Also, babies who cannot self-settle may struggle to cope with long car journeys and cry a lot.
Other newborns can perfectly adjust to this new environment but others need a lot of time and support in order to do so. This ultimately leads to difficulties settling into sleep when you get home.
d. Switching to a New Bed
As your baby grows older, he or she might not be able to fit into his or her prior crib. This would require you to move your infant into a bigger crib.
However, like travelling, a new bed is a foreign environment for your baby so he or she may feel uncomfortable to fall asleep that easily. For a toddler, though, this new change in his bedroom could have a completely different meaning. It can become his or her very own play area where he or she can freely bounce or jump around. Ultimately, the bigger space could stimulate your child which makes it harder for him or her to settle down for sleep.
Tip: Choose a crib that comes with safety railings as playing in the bed can sometimes lead to unwanted accidents.
e. Potty Training
This can also cause sleep regressions. For instance, potty training can teach your toddler awareness which makes him or her more likely to use the bathroom at night. Parents scrambling to assist their child every time he or she is in the bathroom is also a contributing factor. This makes your little one more dependent on you whenever he or she wants and needs something in the middle of the night.
Big life changes, such as the birth of a sibling, divorce of parents, first day at daycare, or moving homes, could be stressful for your baby. This tension would then reflect on the quality of sleep he or she would be getting. In short, the more stressful your little one can feel, the lesser the amount of sleep he or she can enjoy.
What is NOT a Cause of Sleep Regression?
Unfortunately, there are also a couple of factors that may look like causes of sleep regression but they are not. In fact, these behaviours tend to be a lot more serious and can even escalate over time when not properly treated.
A sudden change in your baby’s sleep behaviour (which is similar to sleep regression) can be caused by an underlying illness. It has a higher chance of happening when your little one’s waking behaviour is accompanied by pain-like crying and whimpering.
Fever is one common sickness your infant might get. Allergies are also common, from food sources (especially milk and eggs), their environment and the weather. Furthermore, seasonal allergies, called hay fever, can lead to snoring and sleep apnea, in which case you need to have your infant checked by a doctor.
Did You Know? Eczema is another contributing factor which can keep babies awake for long periods at night. This disease is characterised by inflamed and itchy skin that can further be aggravated by heat and synthetic fabrics.
When your baby is past the point of being sleep-ready, he or she might be overtired which activates the release of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. These two substances ultimately make it difficult for your newborn to fall asleep which can quickly lead to more missed sleep.
Overtiredness can simply look a lot like sleep regression but it’s far more serious. With no proper sleep, his or her condition can get a lot worse. As a parent, it’s a must to know the tell-tale signs of an overtired baby so you can effectively address the root causes of the problem.
What Should a Parent Expect During a Sleep Regression?
With all these factors (and non-factors!) of sleep regression in mind, you might probably be wondering how these could affect your child’s overall behaviour. Aside from lack of sleep—of course—here are 4 more things he or she might experience during the period of sleep regression.
a. Increase in fussiness – When your baby undergoes the period of transition, his or her body might find it unsettling. This feeling of uneasiness can lead to an increase in crankiness and fussiness.
b. Refusal in naps – During a sleep regression, your infant’s need for daytime sleep might change with age. As such, he or she might refuse a nap or two, especially when his or her body starts to only need two naps instead of the usual three or four naps.
c. Growth spurts – This is a natural phenomenon all babies experience. During this time, he or she may want to nurse more frequently. This ultimately means your little one would wake up every hour or so to ask for a feed.
d. Clingy behaviour – As sleep regression in babies is often a result of milestone developments, he or she might be anxious or worried about the new changes in his or her body. This ultimately results in a clingy behaviour and constantly wanting to be held or carried.
When do Sleep Regressions Happen?
The period when sleep regressions (along with growth spurts and developmental milestones) can happen is different for every baby. For instance, if your little one does experience one phase of regression, it does not necessarily mean he or she would also undergo different stages of sleep regressions. He or she may experience this at multiple age periods or totally ignore it altogether—no matter how old your little one is. Having said all of these, here are the common ages when baby sleep regression can occur.
a. 4 Month Sleep Regression
This is the most common type of sleep regression and most babies undergo this phase in their lives.
During this stage, a four-month-old baby is experiencing major changes in his or her body. This includes the Circadian rhythm in which he or she starts to switch from REM (rapid eye movement) to non-REM sleep just like adults. What this large transition means for your little one is the fact that he or she might wake up more often at night (as adults normally do) but still doesn’t know how to properly fall back to sleep. At first, it might seem like a huge setback for your newborn’s sleeping pattern but it’s actually a big developmental milestone.
Another change your infant might also undergo during the 4-month sleep regression is growth spurts. This simply means he or she is often hungry which leads to frequent feeding and awake time in the middle of the night.
b. 8 Month Sleep Regression
At 8 months in, your baby would start to take great strides, literally—from learning how to crawl to pulling himself or herself up and even walking small steps one at a time. He or she would also begin to get acquainted with language and speech. Furthermore, he or she can start teething.
With all of these growths happening all at once, it would surely affect the amount of sleep your little one can enjoy. The ultimate result is frequent night wakings, resistance to sleep, shorter (and skipped!) naps, and a very cranky baby.
Tip: Since separation anxiety is also common during 8 month sleep regression, expect an extremely clingy behaviour from your baby. To pacify him or her, make sure to stick with a routine so your child can know what’s next.
c. 12 Month Sleep Regression
This type of baby sleep regression is not that common but should still be handled accordingly. It usually happens when your little one starts to take one nap instead of two.
Throughout the 12-month sleep regression, your baby might oppose taking his or her second nap and would only try to get by with just one. However, this transition is not actually healthy for his or her young age and is not supposed to happen until later at 15 months old. As such, it’s best to stick with two naps for a while especially if your baby is overtired. If resistance still persists, though, try putting your infant for one nap at noon in order to pacify him or her.
Aside from these nap adjustments, the 12-month sleep regression can also be caused by developmental milestones such as learning how to walk. Similar to crawling, your little one might resist sleep because he or she wants to practice his or her newfound skill. Fortunately, you can easily fix this habit by allowing your baby to practice during the morning instead of the afternoon.
d. 18 Month Sleep Regression
While not as prevalent, the 18-month baby sleep regression is probably the hardest for most parents. This is because you’re now handling a toddler who is capable of a lot of babbling, talking, and shouting.
At 18 months old, your young child has a very active brain development and could be very communicative of his or her wants and needs. Due to these activities, he or she may refuse rest, and eventually, experience difficulties in settling down for sleep. Having said that, these problems can be solved by developing a comforting bedtime routine where your toddler can feel safe.
e. 2 Year Sleep Regression
At 2 years old, your toddler’s awake time is significantly getting longer—from 16 hours of newborn sleep to only 12 hours. However, as he or she makes this transition, your little one might experience a disruption in his or her sleep.
During the 2-year sleep regression, he or she also starts to go through big changes such as potty training and moving to a bigger bed. The birth of a new sibling can also disrupt his or her sleep cycle due to anxiety. Furthermore, your toddler would start experiencing real nightmares and night terrors. This ultimately leads to a very exhausting baby sleep regression.
How to Manage Your Baby’s Sleep Regression?
Now that you know the causes, effects, and stages of sleep regression, you’re probably wondering how you can solve the problem. However, before you get started, it’s important to know that sleep regression is a normal part of childhood development—no matter how challenging it may get. And while you cannot prevent it from happening, there’s a list of things you can do to make your and your baby’s lives so much easier. Read on to learn 6 tips that can help manage baby sleep regression and minimise its long-term effects.
a. Stick with a Bedtime Routine
As your child grows older, he or she starts to become aware of one’s surroundings and thus, tends to experience anxiety and stress. This ultimately keeps him awake at night. But while it may seem like your baby is resisting the bedtime routine you have previously set up for him or her, it’s best to stick with it.
Maintain the prior set of activities before bedtime and try to schedule sleeping periods at the same time every day. Typically, the schedule should go like this: feed, play, give a bath, then set your baby down for sleep.
Overall, by sticking with a predictable bedtime routine, your little one would feel comfortable and safe enough to fall asleep with little to no assistance required.
b. Establish an Early Bedtime
When your baby suffers from sleep regression, he or she may experience difficulties settling down for rest. This can quickly become a cycle as the more overtired your baby becomes, the harder it is for him or her to fall asleep.
In order to solve such problems, it might be necessary to move your little one’s bedtime earlier. This would give him or her enough time to calm down and settle if he or she’s particularly cranky and irritated. The extra hours from an early bedtime routine would also help your baby catch up on quality sleep.
c. Offer Extra Nighttime Feedings
A part of every baby sleep regression is growth spurts. During this stage, expect a fussy behaviour than usual and the constant feeling of being hungry from your baby.
To temporarily pacify him or her, you can offer extra nighttime (and daytime) feedings as needed. However, remember that this phase is just temporary and your little one would eventually return to his or her usual feeding schedule.
d. Provide Love and Comfort as Needed
Sleep regression can cause a lot of stress for your baby. That’s why it’s more important than ever to provide love and comfort as needed.
So whenever your little one needs your presence, make sure to be there and shower him or her with kisses and hugs. You should also show your support whenever he or she starts to learn a new skill such as crawling, walking, and talking. It’s best to do this during the day, though, and opt for quiet activities (like reading) just before bedtime.
e. Avoid Making Bad Habits
Showing your love and support doesn’t mean spoiling your baby.
You should avoid rocking him or her back to sleep as he or she can start to rely on your help in going back to sleep. This can ultimately become a bad habit that is hard to break. Instead, give your little one enough time to settle back on his or her own without your intervention. Your baby will then eventually realize that he or she can’t always get what he or she wants from you.
f. Don’t be Shy and Ask Help
If the situation escalates and is becoming unbearable each passing day, don’t be afraid and ashamed to ask for help.
Always remember that your health (whether physical or mental) is just as important too. For instance, if you can’t juggle household chores along with taking care of your baby, it might be best to enlist the help of a family member or a close friend. This would give you free time to catch up on some quality naps or sleep. For difficulties in balancing work and motherhood, asking for the support of your partner and switching roles would also tremendously help your case.
Ultimately, by taking care of yourself, you are much more capable of successfully managing baby sleep deprivation.
Sleep regression can be a difficult time for both you and your baby. It is a developmental phase when several night wakings, constant hunger, fussiness, and clingy behaviour all happens at the same time. This ultimately drives every parent mad especially after a prior successful bedtime routine that took weeks to establish. Fortunately, baby sleep regression is just a part of growing up and usually lasts for only one to four weeks.
Do you still struggle with baby sleep regression? You can consider enrolling your little one to the Nurture Sleep Program. For over 20 years, the baby sleep experts at Nurture Parenting have taught many families how to settle their newborns through a unique, personalized solution. Contact us today to get started!
Found this post helpful? Check our blog for more informative articles about baby sleep.
As a new parent, the birth of your child presents many challenges. For one, after nights of peaceful and uninterrupted sleep, your little one may suddenly start waking up and crying in the middle of the night. This starts a new, difficult chapter for many parents—figuring out how to put their babies back to sleep.
However, most parents are not aware that nutrition can affect the amount and quality of sleep your baby might get. In fact, giving the right food choices for your infant is extremely important in his or her development and growth. This will eventually help your little one sleep through the night.
And while there’s no one-size-fits-all guide on feeding your baby, simply understanding what he or she is going through can greatly help you in making the appropriate food choices. In this infographic, Nurture Parenting breaks down each stage in your baby’s first year and shows which food choices to give or avoid.
An Age-by-Age Feeding Guide on Baby Food Choices
On the day your baby was born, his or her stomach is only as large as a marble. In order to seek nourishment, he or she may latch on your breast.
What to Feed
These two food choices are already filled with all the necessary nutrients your baby needs.
How Much Per Day
To aid in your baby’s development and growth, you may need to feed him or her about 7-9 times per day. Do keep in mind that there’s no fixed number of feedings required daily—it’s best to feed your little one on demand.
Foods to Avoid
Your baby’s digestive system is not physically developed enough to handle the following food choices.
Did You Know? Introducing solid foods early in your child’s birth may result in poor feeding experiences and increased weight during infancy and early childhood.
New babies under 6 weeks may feed 2-4 hourly especially during a growth spurt and overnight. It is not necessary to wake your baby to feed during the night and most babies need 1-2 night feeds at this age.
As your baby grows, he or she may need to take in more milk or formula. This is also the time when a predictable feeding pattern starts to show.
If your infant is still hungry after feeding, he or she may be experiencing a growth spurt. Follow such hunger cues and continue feeding your little one.
There is no need to introduce solid foods yet at this early age. However, if your baby can hold his or her head up or weighs at least 13 pounds (6 kilos), you may want to begin feeding your little one with soft foods.
What to Feed
By the time your baby turns 6 months old, his or her natural supply of iron and vitamins may have already been depleted. That’s why it’s best to introduce foods filled with these nutrients.
Semi-liquid, iron-fortified cereal e.g. porridge oats, quinoa flakes made with baby’s usual milk or full cream cows milk
Pureed fruit (apples, bananas, and peaches)
Pureed vegetables (squash, sweet potatoes)
How Much Per Day
Mix a teaspoon of cereal with 4 to 5 teaspoons of breastmilk or formula. Its consistency should be the texture of custard or yoghurt.
For pureed food, start with a teaspoon then slowly increase its amount to a tablespoon.
Foods to Avoid
Large chunks of food
Chilli and spices
Did You Know? Citrus fruits can irritate a baby’s stomach and cause severe rashes. This ultimately affects his or her sleep.
Introduce one new food at a time and give your infant time (at least 3-5 days) to adjust. This would help you figure out what specific foods cause allergic reactions.
When preparing homemade baby foods, avoid adding sugar or salt as it may lead to obesity later in life and kidney problems.
For pureed fruits and vegetables, make sure to remove all seeds or piths to avoid choking.
Once your baby turns 6 months old, he or she may begin teething. This is the perfect time to introduce solid foods.
What to Feed
Iron-fortified cereal (barley, oats)
Pureed or strained fruit (apples, avocados, bananas, peaches, and pears)
Pureed or strained vegetables (carrots, squash, sweet potatoes)
Combo foods (beans and broccoli, lasagna, casseroles)
How Much Per Day
Feed 1 to 1 ½ cup each of fruits and vegetables. Giving 4-5 tablespoons of protein-rich foods is necessary for your little one’s growth and development. Increase your baby’s intake of dairy to at least ½ cup a day.
Foods to Avoid
Candies and chocolate
Did You Know? Chocolate contains a significant amount of caffeine. As such, avoid feeding it to your baby in order to ensure proper sleep.
Avoid feeding your little one with canned foods. These contain high levels of salt and sugar that are harmful to his or her health.
Do not force your child to eat all the food in his or her plate. It may lead to disturbances in appetite and result them to become pickier as they get older.
Help your baby give up the bottle by the time he or she turns 1 year old.
Your baby’s food choices not only affect the rate of his or her development, but also impact his or her sleeping habits. That is why it’s important to provide your little one with the appropriate food choices to ensure both proper growth and sleep.
Have you already fed your baby with these food choices, but he or she is still not sleeping peacefully at night? You may want to consult Nurture Parenting, the baby sleep experts in Sydney, Australia. For over 16 years, we have helped many families solve their problems through our Nurture Sleep Program. Through 7 easy lessons, we can take your baby from sleepless to slumber. Contact us today to get started!
Found this infographic helpful? Check our blog for more informative articles about baby sleep.
As a parent, the moment when you heard your baby’s first cries after birth was probably the most unforgettable and heart-warming. After all, they were the earliest sounds your little one made. As time passes, your infant’s non-stop crying could leave you with so many questions unanswered. This can be a difficult time for a parent, especially when you are clueless if the constant sobbing and screaming is normal or healthy.
Even when your baby is perfectly fine, his or her crying may get worse especially at around two months of age. This difficult period of your little one’s life is called PURPLE crying when he or she starts to sob regularly for long periods of time.
Curious about how this stage negatively affects your newborn’s life? Read on to learn all the important facts about PURPLE crying—including the definition, history, and some parenting tips to soothe the condition.
Everything Parents Should Know About PURPLE Crying
What is PURPLE Crying?
PURPLE crying is a term used by experts and other parents to describe colic or persistent crying. However, since the word “colic” has a negative connotation (in which babies are sick and should be treated medically), more and more people nowadays prefer to use the phrase, “period of PURPLE crying.”
This period of PURPLE crying usually starts at about 2 weeks of age, peaking at 2 months old, then lasting until 4 months of age. At this stage, it’s important to remember that some babies can cry a lot while others far less but they all go through it.
And unlike what the term might suggest, PURPLE crying has nothing to do with your baby’s colour whenever he cries. The acronym was coined by Dr. Ronald Barr, a developmental paediatrician and an expert on infant crying. He came up with the idea of the word in order to reassure parents that colic is simply a normal phase that many babies go through which may include increased and prolonged sobbing. PURPLE crying simply describes the common characteristics of the particular period or phase in a baby’s life.
What does PURPLE stand for?
P for Peak of Crying
The letter “P” refers to a baby wailing a lot (regardless whether it’s day or night) which becomes worse as time passes. He or she may cry more often—reaching the climax at two months old and gradually slowing down at three months to four months of age.
U for Unexpected
Unexpected crying means that your little one is consolable during mornings but can be very cranky once afternoon and night-time arrive. He or she stops crying then resumes sobbing again for no particular reason which can drive new parents insane.
R for Resists Soothing
Soothing your baby during the period of PURPLE crying might not be the easiest task. This is due to the fact your baby will continue on wailing no matter what kind of soothing you try to do. Whether it’s rocking, bouncing, swaying, or even driving around.
P for Pain-like Face
This is the particular characteristic in PURPLE crying worrying parents the most. It may even lead to them thinking it’s a sign of something wrong or a disease. Thankfully, there’s a high chance it’s just a normal phase in your little one’s life. During this period, expect your infant to exhibit a pained expression when crying even when there’s really no pain felt.
L for Long-lasting
Your baby’s cries may seem never-ending during the period of PURPLE crying. In fact, most newborns can cry up to five hours a day or more which may ultimately exhaust both baby and parents.
E for Evening
Your little one may cry the most during the late afternoon and evening. This fact proves to be a challenge to every parent as it’s harder to put your baby to sleep when he’s full-blown sobbing.
What Causes PURPLE Crying in Babies?
Doctors are unsure why infants experience increased and prolonged sobbing during the period of PURPLE crying. They did recognise, however, humans are not the only ones who go through this stage. In fact, other mammals also exhibit more whimpering and wailing at this early phase of life.
Do note increased crying is perfectly normal for babies at this age. However, consult a doctor immediately if the crying seems more excessive than usual. Alternatively, if you have a gut feeling something far more serious is happening.
10 Effective Tips to Soothe PURPLE Crying in Babies
By now, you’re probably wondering if there’s something you can do to ease (if you can’t stop) the period of PURPLE crying in infants. Fortunately, there are some methods you can try in order to soothe babies suffering from this developmental phase. It’s important to remember that not all of these tips would work out as all babies are unique in their own different ways.
#1. Try Feeding Your Baby
One of the common reasons your baby can’t sleep is due to the fact he or she might be hungry. In order to ease this discomfort, you should feed your little one with food appropriate to his or her age. Two-week-old infants should only take in breast milk while four-month-olds can start eating solid food.
And since feeding is naturally designed to nurture a child, it can ultimately lull him to slumber. Furthermore, the warmth of your arms and breast can also comfort a crying newborn.
It’s important to check your baby isn’t hungry when breastfeeding. Breastmilk can vary in supply and it’s important to get baby weighed on a regular basis in the early weeks and plot their measurements in their child health record on the graph. Average weight gain is 150-200g in the first 3 months. It’s also worth checking for other medical causes and having your baby checked by your GP or Paediatrician to rule out anything organic e.g. reflux.
Most babies don’t have the ability to burp by themselves which may result in uneasiness and eventually, crying. In order to help infants release the air inside their stomachs, gently lay them on their sides and gently rub their backs. Doing this would ultimately soothe them and even pacify their crying.
#3. Swaddle Your Baby
Another reason why your baby may exhibit unusual crankiness is the fact that he or she might be cold. At a young age, most newborns can’t regulate their body temperature on their own which can eventually lead to fussing and whimpering.
Fortunately, there’s something you can do to ease his or her discomfort. Simply lay down your little one in a safe and flat place. Then gently wrap him or her with a cosy blanket. Make sure not to secure the covers tightly as this can pose risks for your baby’s safety.
#4. Play White Noises
Try playing white or repetitive noises such as a washing machine spinning, a fan turning, or even water pouring to soothe babies. In fact, these repetitive sounds remind infants of the time they spent inside their mum’s womb so they’re more likely to calm down and relax once they heard it.
However, if you opt to purchase an actual white noise machine, it’s recommended to place it at least 7 feet away from your baby’s crib to avoid potential developmental problems.
Did You Know? According to the American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP), regular exposure to white noise through a sleep machine can affect hearing, speech, and language development.
#5. Give Your Baby a Warm Bath
You may find it surprising that giving your little one a warm bath helps soothe his or her crankiness. This is due to the fact that like white noise, newborns also find the sensation of warm water against their delicate skin similar to the feeling of being inside their mum’s womb.
#6. Massage Your Baby
After bathing your baby, you can also opt to massage him or her to further alleviate discomfort caused by prolonged crying. Use gentle and rhythmic strokes against his or her skin and pour moisturisers or oils to let your hands glide on smoothly.
#7. Sing a Lullaby
Your voice is a very powerful tool you should use in order to calm and relax your baby. In fact, singing lullabies can regulate emotions and stimulate positive reactions. Furthermore, it can decrease stress and anxiety levels, making it one of the top choices when getting your baby to sleep.
#8. Hold Your Baby Close to You
Swaying, rocking, or just simply holding your baby against your chest make calm motions that can pacify his or her crying.
You can also try placing your hand on your baby’s chest and gently rub it back and forth. The soothing touch lets him or her know that you’re safely nearby and ultimately comforts any uneasiness he or she might be feeling.
#9. Shower Your Baby with Kisses
Aside from gently wrapping your arms around your little one, you can make him feel loved and cherished even more by showering him or her with kisses. This loving act ultimately calms down and reduces the tension your crying baby might be experiencing.
#10. Try Making Eye Contact with Your Baby
If all else fails, you have to remember that the simplest things can actually do wonders.
Try staring deeply at your baby’s eyes in order to distract them from the sensation of excessive crying. Prolonged eye contact can also calm down your little one and even stimulate them with positive emotions.
As parents, it’s normal to get upset or frustrated when your baby starts exhibiting endless crankiness and crying. However, you should know that it’s most probably just part of a period called PURPLE crying when he or she undergoes a developmental phase. Hopefully, with this definitive guide to soothing PURPLE crying in babies, you have a better understanding of this stage in your newborn’s life. With that being said, it’s still best to consult professionals if you feel like something more serious is happening.
If you’re having trouble putting your baby to sleep due to PURPLE crying, you can always consult the baby experts at Nurture Parenting. We offer the Nurture Sleep Program that can take your little one from sleepless to slumber in just seven easy lessons. Contact us today to learn more!
news of a baby’s arrival is exciting for every parent. In spite of this, there
are a lot of things you need to prepare for this new addition to your family.
One of these considerations includes buying the right newborn essentials.
However, as a new parent, you probably don’t know where to begin and what exactly are the things you need for your little one. In addition, a large majority of baby registries will suggest a long list of baby must-haves which leaves you more confused than ever.
Fortunately, there are guidelines presented by baby experts which you can follow when shopping for your baby must-haves. Take a look at this infographic that shows the ultimate newborn essentials checklist for new parents.
The Ultimate Baby Must-Haves Checklist
for baby clothing is probably one of the most exciting tasks for new parents.
But while fancy baby clothes can look cute on your newborn, always keep in mind
that all he needs are clothing pieces that can keep him warm and comfortable.
Onesies are like jammies that can be used for
both sleeping and playing.
Pick a style that can be zipped down or
snapped open on the front to have easy access when changing soiled nappies.
Pyjamas that can snugly fit your baby can ensure his comfortability during night-time. Look for clothing preferably made of soft and breathable natural fabrics such as cotton.
Tip: Avoid jammies with strings, ribbons, and other decorative additions as they can choke your baby while sleeping.
#3. Sweaters or Jackets
Since babies can’t properly regulate their
temperature at an early age, it’s a must to buy sweaters and jackets to keep
him cozy and warm.
Choose a larger size with loose armholes to
avoid fussiness and unnecessary tugging.
Your baby will also need extra pairs of
short-sleeved shirts to wear underneath a sweater or jacket. Look for ones with
a stretchable neckline so you can easily slip it over your infant’s head.
#5. Leggings or Comfortable Pants
Pants allow changing of outfits without the
need to replace the whole get-up. In addition, an elastic waistband present in
leggings and jogging pants easily fit your baby’s waist and can expand whenever
he’s in a diaper.
#6. Socks or Booties
You might be tempted to buy tiny shoes because
they would look adorable on your baby’s small feet. However, your newborn
doesn’t need hard-soled shoes during his first year. Opt for socks or booties
Did You Know? According to numerous researches, some types of shoes can affect your baby’s development especially when worn during his early years.
Hats provide protection for your infant by
offering shade from the sun during summer and warmth throughout the winter.
Baby mittens are necessary to keep your little one’s hands from freezing during the cold winter season. It can also prevent cuts and scratches caused by his own fingernails.
Changing soiled nappies is a daunting task for
most parents. Fortunately, these diapering must-haves can make the work easier
#1. Disposable or Cloth Nappies
No matter what kind of nappies you choose for
your newborn, you’d probably change it 10-12 times every day so it’s a must to
be wise in your purchases.
For instance, if you use disposable ones, make
sure to start with small packs first as certain types can irritate your baby’s
#2. Unscented Baby Wipes
A baby’s skin is still
sensitive from harsh chemicals such as fragrances. As such, it’s necessary to
clean his bottom area with unscented baby wipes to minimise adverse effects.
#3. Changing Table
You obviously need a place where you can
change your little one’s diaper. And while you can always plop him on top of a
changing pad or towel, investing in a changing table will make the job
#4. Diaper Pail and Liners
In order to keep dreaded scents at bay, buy an
airtight diaper pail that can seal and store your baby’s dirty nappies..
Tip: If you prefer cloth diapers, consider a lidded pail that comes with a washable liner.
#5. Diaper Cream
Since you need to change your baby’s diaper
every hour or so, he is most likely to develop a bad case of diaper rash.
Prevent this from happening by adding a diaper
cream in your shopping basket.
#6. Diaper Bag
It’s necessary to have a diaper bag,
especially when you travel a lot with your little one. Get one that’s big
enough to carry all baby nappy essentials.
The preparation for your baby’s nursery
probably started way before you knew the gender of your newborn. However, you
might still be missing a few more things to complete the room.
#1. Bassinet or Crib
During your baby’s first few months, opt for a
bassinet as it’s more space-saving. You can simply put it beside your bed which
makes it easier to tend to your baby during night time.
However, he will eventually outgrow it so it’s
advisable to buy a crib ahead of time.
Tip: Avoid buying drop-side cribs as they have caused dozens of baby deaths.
#2. Baby Monitor
This gadget allows you to keep an eye on your
little one while you’re in another room. Just make sure to put the transmitter
close enough in order to pick up the sounds your baby makes.
A humidifier can help your baby sleep better
because it eases nasal congestion. It can also help with dry and chapped skin
as it provides moisture to the air.
Tip: It’s a must to clean the machine often so you avoid introducing mould into your baby’s nursery.
#4. Night Lamp
If you often change your baby’s nappies in the
middle of the night, use a night lamp and keep the lighting as dim as possible
to avoid overstimulating him.
are a lot of fancy bedding sets in baby stores but all you really need are
these essential things.
#1. Fitted Sheets
Equip your baby’s crib with fitted crib sheets
to minimise the risk of SIDS and accidental suffocations.
#2. Crib Mattress Pads
Oftentimes, your baby will have bowel and
bladder movements when sleeping so it’s a must to buy a couple of crib mattress
pads. This will help protect the bed sheets underneath so you don’t have to
wash it everyday.
#3. Swaddling Blankets
Most newborns love to be swaddled to sleep. As
such, having a blanket specifically made for this purpose can make your life
#4. Wearable Blankets (for colder climates)
Wearable blankets are good alternatives to
traditional blankets because they keep your little one warm without the risk of
Breast milk provides all the necessary
nutrients for your newborn. That’s why it’s important to buy the right items to
help you with breastfeeding.
#1. Nursing Pillow
Nursing pillows are designed to support your
baby while you’re nursing. It also helps you avoid neck and shoulder strains.
#2. Nursing Bras
Nursing bras are specially made for mums’
lactating breasts to allow your little one easy access to feed.
#3. Breast Pads
Your breasts tend to leak whenever you’re
nursing. That’s why it’s advisable to have breast pads to keep your clothing
#4. Nipple Cream
Nipple creams, such as those with lanolin, can
help treat and relieve tender breasts and sore nipples.
#5. Burp Cloths
It’s a must to have burp cloths whenever
you’re breastfeeding in order to catch spit and wipe other baby fluids.
you prefer feeding your baby with formula, here’s a list of baby must-haves to
make it easier for the both of you.
#1. Baby Formula
There are a lot of options when it comes to
infant formulas. Carefully review each one and talk to your provider to see
which one is the best for your baby.
#2. Baby Bottles
100 mill baby bottles are perfect for your
newborn when you’re just starting formula, but you will eventually need 300
mill bottles as he begins to drink more.
#3. Insulated Bottle Carrier
If you’re always on the go, buy insulated
bottle carriers to keep the formula milk warm or cool.
#4. Bottle-cleaning Brush
This cleaning tool is specially designed to
thoroughly scrub tiny parts and crevices in baby bottles.
Having trouble calming down your fussy baby?
Buy these items to soothe him.
Babies love sucking on pacifiers because it
reminds them of the time they spent inside their mum’s womb.
Putting a mobile above your baby’s crib will
keep him happy and entertained.
#3. White Noise Machine
Newborns find complete silence a little
disconcerting as they are used to the sounds inside your body.
It’s advisable to invest in a white noise
machine to help your little one fall asleep easily.
Bath and Grooming
It’s a must that you occasionally groom your
baby to keep him healthy. Here’s what you need to buy for a proper bath time.
#1. Baby Bathtub
Bathing your baby on the kitchen sink works
well when he’s still a few months old. However, you should still consider a
baby bathtub in order to accommodate his growing size.
#2. Baby Soap and Shampoo
Your baby’s skin and eyes are still sensitive
at a young age so look for no-tears formulas.
Tip: Look for soap and shampoo brands that don’t list “fragrance” as an ingredient as it exposes your baby to phthalates.
#3. Baby Towels
Opt to dry your newborn with baby towels as
regular bath towels are often too big.
#4. Soft-bristled Toothbrush
Your little one might sprout a few baby teeth
at about 6 months of age. Having a soft-bristled baby toothbrush will help you
clean his teeth properly and safely.
#5. Baby Hairbrush
Your baby’s hair is still fine so a gentle
baby brush is a must to properly comb and style his hair.
#6. Baby Nail Scissors and Clippers
This kind of nail clippers are specially
designed to trim and smooth your baby’s nails safely.
Soft washcloths have multiple purposes for
grooming. You can use it to wipe your baby’s teeth after eating, gently wipe
his nose, and even clean his ears.
Did You Know? Ear wax is beneficialfor your baby as it protects his ear from dryness and infections.
for on-the-go parents, these baby gear must-haves will make the parenting job so
Want to bring your baby with you around the
neighbourhood? Simply buy a stroller and you can travel with your little one.
Tip: There are a lot of strollers in the market. It’s a must to think about your needs (storage space for shopping or reclining seat for napping) before buying one.
#2. Baby Carrier
A baby carrier is also useful to take your
baby with you when doing errands. The best part about it is that your two hands
are free to do your tasks easily.
Tip: Check all the straps and harnesses prior to buying a baby carrier to make sure they can support your infant securely.
#3. Infant Car Seat
Having an infant car seat is a must to keep
your newborn safe during road trips. Avoid buying a used car seat as it does
not meet the current safety regulations enforced by law.
#4. Car Seat Cover or Blanket
Your baby should not wear a thick jacket while
in the car seat as it can prevent the seatbelt from being properly tightened.
Opt for a car seat blanket instead to keep your baby warm.
Sunshades in the car window will protect your
little one’s eyes and skin from the harmful rays of the sun.
Make sure to have these items in your medicine
cabinet to treat any unexpected sickness encountered by your baby.
Opt for a digital thermometer to get a reading
of your baby’s temperature in less than a minute or so.
#2. Prescription Medication
Keep your doctor’s phone number and
prescriptions just in case your infant’s sickness get worse.
#3. Infant Tylenol
You can let your infant take tylenol to lower
his fever and ease his pain.
Always have sterile bandages at hand to
prevent bleeding from your baby’s scrapes and cuts.
Use tweezers to remove
splinters and ticks from your child.
#6. Teething Toys
Teething can begin in babies as early as 2
months. Be prepared and invest in toys made of rubber to relieve your little
#7. Electrolyte Drink
Electrolyte drinks can help treat diarrhea-related dehydration.
There are a lot of baby items out there in the market which can overwhelm a lot of new parents. Fortunately, these baby must-haves checklist will help you avoid spending your hard-earned money on things you won’t really need for your newborn.
Need further help in taking care of your newborn? Nurture Parenting, the Australian baby whisperers, has more than 30 years of experience in supporting parents in their new lives with an infant. We also offer the Nurture Sleep Program, a baby sleep training course, which helps newborns self-settle and. Contact us today to get started!
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Sleep promotes your baby’s growth and development and has an overall positive impact on their health and well-being. However, most parents spend countless hours figuring out how to put their baby to sleep. The lack of sleep can negatively impact the baby’s physical and mental development and may even lead to sleep deprivation for the baby and parents.
Fortunately, there are time-tested and proven techniques to help your baby sleep through the night, thus keeping him or her healthy and happy.
Look no further than this article to know everything about baby sleep, which includes the reasons why infants wake up at night, as well as essential tips on how to put them to bed.
Common Factors Waking Babies at Night
1. Sleep Cycle
It’s perfectly normal for babies to wake 4 to 5 times in the middle of the night because of their short sleep cycle.
Similar to adults, a baby’s sleep cycle is divided into an active sleep cycle (rapid eye movement sleep or REM) and a passive sleep cycle (non-rapid eye movement sleep or non-REM). During the night, your baby naturally moves from one stage of sleep to another and in this transition, they have a tendency to wake up.
However, unlike most adults who can fall back to sleep after waking up, most babies don’t know how to settle back to rest by themselves. It’s also important to know that they don’t start sleeping through the night until they are at least 3 months of age.
2. Growth and Development
As babies grow older, they start to develop their gross and fine motor skills. They want to practice these newly-discovered skills and might become fussy if they cannot successfully carry out the task.
These physical milestones can excite infants, which makes it harder for you to settle them down at night.
3. Behavioural Changes
All babies, especially those around 6 or 9 months of age, experience natural behavioural changes. They start to become aware of their surroundings which makes them more likely to be active at night. They also develop separation anxiety during this time, so you can expect clingy behaviour when they realise you’re not at their side. All of these factors ultimately affect their sleep patterns.
Most parents think that a baby who is overtired can sleep better. However, the opposite is true.
When your baby is overtired, he or she is already past the period of sleep-readiness. During this time, your baby has difficulty calming down due to an activated stress response system. This allows the flow of stress hormones inside the baby’s body, which triggers overactivity.
Babies aged under 6 months may wake once or twice during the night when they experience hunger, this makes them uncomfortable. However, since babies’ small stomachs are designed for frequent feedings, it’s only natural for them to wake every three hours or so. Note that once they turn 6 months old, they don’t nutritionally require a night feed which means they can sleep through the night.
Medical conditions, such as acid reflux and teething, can also disrupt the sleep of your baby as they cause pain. Furthermore, cold weather can also have a bad effect on your baby’s sleep, as he or she still doesn’t know how to regulate their body temperature, which is crucial for a good night’s rest.
Overall, both simple (such as being cold) and complex (teething) discomforts can make it harder for your baby to fall asleep.
44 Essential Tips on How to Put a Baby to Sleep
Fortunately, there are time-tested and proven techniques to help both mums and dads put their babies to sleep that can last through the night. To learn more about them, you can consult this extensive list which contains 50 ways you can get your baby to sleep.
#1. Set a Routine for the Day
Consistency is key in putting your baby to sleep. Develop and follow a schedule to help your baby understand that it’s time to rest. This will help your baby learn what to expect next and feel secure.
Ideally, the routine starts after waking up. You need to feed your baby as soon as he or she wakes up then give them enough playtime to enjoy their surroundings. After a whole day of activities, your baby would be tired and ready to go back to sleep at around the same time each day.
By following a regular schedule, you can ultimately help your baby settle into a healthy sleep pattern that they can easily follow.
#2. Stick to an Early Bedtime
Know that timing is just as important as a routine. If you put your baby to bed late at night, you can increase the chance of overstimulation, which makes it harder for the baby to fall asleep. This can lead to sleep deprivation, which can negatively impact babies’ health.
To avoid this, it’s a must to stick to an early bedtime. Start slowly by putting your baby to bed 15 minutes earlier each night and examine if their sleeping habits improved.
#3. Avoid Eye Contact at Bedtime
You should avoid making prolonged eye contact with your baby at bedtime, as babies generally find this gesture to be too stimulating and exciting. When you’re putting your baby to sleep, avert your eyes as much as possible to minimise your newborn’s possible interest.
#4. Let Your Baby Burp
It’s important to know that some babies can sleep without having the need to burp. However, you still need to burp your baby while he or she is asleep to release air that can make them spit up and cranky. This can eventually wake the baby at night in pain due to trapped gas.
By burping your baby, you can be ensured that they will have a comfortable rest through the night.
#5. Stretch Out Feeding Time
A baby’s digestive system is fit for small and frequent feedings, and this is why you need to feed your newborn every three hours or so.
However, when babies turn 3 months old, you can start stretching out your baby’s feeding time, especially during the night. Try adding a half-hour in between feedings to help the baby have longer stretches of sleep during the night. This will eventually turn into a healthy habit and help the baby become less dependent on you to fall asleep.
#6. Limit Caffeine When Breastfeeding
You should cut your coffee consumption if you’re breastfeeding, as caffeine can be passed to your baby through breast milk. This can wake them up and even make them fussy. However, the results are not instantaneous, as it may take a few days to a week after you eliminate the caffeine from your breast milk.
Tip: Limit your daily caffeine intake to less than 300 milligrams, as excessive amounts can stimulate the baby.
#7. Avoid Rushing to Feed
Most newborns find it difficult to sleep through the night because their bodies need food to aid in their growth and development. You can feed your baby to calm them down. However, you should avoid rushing to this method at night, especially if your baby only emits a small sound. Give him or her enough space and time to doze off on their own, as babies are often capable of self-soothing actions.
The sooner you teach your baby that waking up at night won’t result in instant feedings, the more likely he or she be able to sleep through the night.
#8. Co-Sleep with Your Baby
Numerous experts stated that co-sleeping can help your child develop positive qualities. This includes comfort with physical affection and confidence in one’s own sexual gender identity. Furthermore, it also develops an optimistic perspective on life.
However, co-sleeping doesn’t necessarily mean you have to share the bed with your newborn. In fact, bed-sharing is dangerous as you can roll over onto the baby or even suffocate your baby with the bedding. Instead, try placing your hand on your baby while he or she is in a bassinet. This method is far more effective and safer to help your newborn fall asleep. Don’t forget, co-sleeping is sharing the room with your baby and not sharing the bed.
#9. Try Warming up the Sheets
Placing the baby on cold sheets, especially in the wintertime, is not going to help your little one drift off to sleep faster. To help your newborn feel more relaxed and fall asleep, you can warm up their sheets using the dryer or a hot water bottle, creating a warm and cosy environment to help him or her feel sleepy. However, it is important to check that the sheets are a safe, warm temperature for your baby, and not too hot, before placing your baby on them.
#10. Give a Warm Bath
Give your baby a warm bath before putting them to sleep. You may even find it surprising that your newborn loves the sensation of warm water against their skin, as it can remind him or her of being inside a womb. With this, you can also raise your baby’s body temperature, which helps them to relax and eventually fall asleep.
Tip: Do not incorporate toys in the bath and keep the activity low to avoid overstimulating your baby.
#11. Offer a Massage
After giving your baby a warm bath, you can follow it up with a good massage. It can soothe your baby and relax his tense muscles, promoting tiredness and sleepiness.
Just make sure to keep it gentle with rhythmic strokes and use oils and moisturisers as necessary to help your hands glide smoothly over your baby’s skin. You can also hum softly while massaging to make it even more reassuring for the baby.
Did You Know? The best time to give your baby a massage is in between feeding times as he or she is awake, but already settled in and ready for sleep.
#12. Try Yoga
For many babies, sleep can come naturally. However, factors such as home environment and sunlight exposure can make it harder to get your newborn into a sleeping routine. Fortunately, yoga can help your baby sleep at regular intervals. It also develops the baby’s gross and fine motor skills. Furthermore, it can effectively prevent constipation, promote better digestion, and alleviate typical baby crankiness. This ultimately leads to a good night’s rest.
#13. Drive Around
You can carry and put your baby in the car seat and drive around the neighbourhood until he or she falls asleep. The motion and sound of the car remind your baby of the tranquillity inside the womb.
Once your newborn has his fists unclenched and facial muscles relaxed to indicate that he or she is in a deep slumber, you can now carefully carry your baby back to their own bed.
#14. Set the Right Bedroom Temperature
It’s important to set keep your home and the baby’s room at a suitable temperature for an infant, as they do not have enough body fat to insulate themselves during the winter months. Keep your baby’s room temperature between 16-20°C to make him or her comfortable, which will promote better sleep.
#15. Give Your Baby a Cosy Blanket
During their early months, most newborns find it difficult to adjust to their new environment and stay warm to get proper rest.
To aid your baby get good sleep, you should try different ways of swaddling them. Keep the little one secure and warm by wrapping a cosy blanket around him or her. However, you should also be aware that not every infant is fond of swaddling. For instance, older babies like to sleep with loose coverings, as it allows them to move with more freedom.
Tip: Adjust the amount of layering you use according to the sleep habits of your baby and the temperature in their room.
#16. Let Your Baby Sleep on Their Back
Avoid putting your baby to sleep on his or her side, as the infant can accidentally roll over on their tummy. With this position, the baby is more likely to feel hot and breathe in exhaled air, which can eventually wake them up at night.
Let your baby sleep on their back instead for a night of healthy and longer sleep. Back-sleeping is also a proven way to lower the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS.
Did You Know? Stomach sleeping increases the risk of SIDS by 1.7% to 12.9%.
#17. Warm the Bed
Make sure to place your baby in a warm bed, as they can’t regulate their own body temperature as effectively as adults during the cold weather. Try using flannel sheets to protect your baby from the cold. You can also place a hot towel on the bed to warm the sheets, but make sure to remove it before you place the baby in the crib.
#18. Avoid Irritating Sleepwear
You should avoid sleepwear made with synthetic materials, as this can irritate your baby and hinder sleep. Be especially wary of polyester pyjamas because this material can cause allergies and rashes for your baby. Instead, switch to cotton sleepwear to eliminate the risk of discomfort.
#19. Consider Fragrances
Some toddlers can be lulled to sleep with refreshing scents, such as lavender and chamomile. These oils provide essential benefits that can help relax and relieve anxiety in infants.
Tip: Avoid using fragrances around babies less than 12 months old, as their noses and skin are more sensitive to chemicals.
#20. Stay Quiet
Most babies can block out disturbing noises while they are asleep. However, you should still avoid making sudden noises, as these can easily startle and wake your baby up. Make it a point to put your phone in silent mode and turn off other noisy electronic devices before getting your infant to sleep.
#21. Speak in Soft Tones
If you need to wake your baby for their regular night-time feeds, you should do it in the softest way. Speak in calm, soothing tones to help baby stay at a drowsy state. Your voice is a powerful stimulus for your baby, and comforts them since it lets them know they are safe, eventually helping them drift to sleep peacefully.
#22. Play White Noise
Since white noise is similar to the sounds of their mum’s womb, most babies find it calming and relaxing.
Try playing repetitive sounds, such as a fan turning, water pouring, and clock ticking, to help your baby fall asleep. You can even record the loud sounds of a running vacuum cleaner or a spinning washing machine to comfort your baby and help him or her fall sleep.
Tip: Keep white noise levels between 50-65dB to ensure your baby gets a good night’s rest.
#23. Sing Lullabies
Music is an excellent way to lull your infant to sleep. It helps regulate emotions and stimulate positive reactions. In fact, a study has shown that singing can calm babies more effectively compared to talking. It can relieve your baby’s stress levels, helping him or her to fall asleep easily.
Furthermore, the use of lullabies releases a hormone called oxytocin which helps you create a stronger bond with your child. It also establishes a routine for your newborn that fosters familiarity in sleeping methods.
To avoid this, keep your baby’s room dark and block out all possible light to help them get a good night’s rest. By doing this, you can ultimately teach your baby the difference between day and night. So, make sure to turn the lights off during his night time sleep and keep things bright during daytime naps. This can help him establish a good sleep routine.
When you need to feed your baby in the middle of the night, you should avoid turning all the lights, since this can be disruptive of the baby’s sleep. Instead, keep light sources minimal to avoid overstimulation.
#26. Relieve Pain from Teething
Teething can start as early as at three months and continue until your toddler turns two. This can cause discomfort and pain, which ultimately result in sleeping problems.
You should look out for obvious teething indicators, such as drool on the bedsheets, swollen and tender gums, and even fever. You can try adding cold pressure to distract your baby from the sensation of pain. If he or she desperately needs relief from immense pain, you can give your baby appropriate doses of painkillers, such as acetaminophen.
Tip: Get a doctor’s permission first before administering analgesics, as some drugs can irritate your baby’s stomach.
#27. Check Your Baby’s Nose
Keep your baby’s nasal passages clear to ensure normal, unobstructed breathing at night to keep the little one asleep. Make sure to remove items that can cause allergies, such as feather pillow, fuzzy blankets, and stuffed toys from the baby’s crib to avoid congested breathing passages.
If your infant is prone to allergies, you can invest in a HEPA-type air filter. Such filters not only remove airborne irritants, but it also provide “white noise” (the natural hum of the air filter) that can help your baby sleep.
#28. Change Soiled Nappies
You can simply leave wet diapers alone at night, especially if it doesn’t bother your baby and he or she is able to sleep through the night.
However, it’s a must to change soiled nappies as soon as possible because poop irritates your baby’s skin and can even cause rashes and bladder infections.
After changing the soiled diaper, it’s your goal to put your baby back to sleep so you should avert your eyes away from him or her to avoid possible overstimulation. You should also get in and out of his room as quickly as possible.
Tip: Use a barrier ointment that contains petroleum jelly or zinc oxide to protect your baby’s bottom and minimise irritation.
#29. Hold Your Baby’s Hand
The simple act of holding your baby’s hand lets them know that you’re there which makes your little one more likely to doze off to sleep. It also keeps your baby’s body temperature warm and helps regulate their breathing and heart rates. Furthermore, this intimacy and closeness reduces crankiness and crying, which leads to a peaceful rest at night.
#30. Give Your Baby Hugs and Kisses
Making your baby feel loved and cherished helps them feel calm and comfortable. Snuggle with your newborn before bedtime and shower them with little kisses to make them feel safe and secure in your arms. This loving act ultimately allows your baby to sleep longer and deeper.
#31. Give Your Baby a Pacifier
Sucking on a pacifier has a soothing and calming effect to help your baby sleep easily. It can be used at both naptime and bedtime and can even help your little one settle back to sleep. It’s also safe when left out in your baby’s mouth. Just make sure it’s soft enough to prevent pain if he or she rolls onto it.
#32. Read a Book
Although your newborn is too young to understand what you’re saying, reading should be all about the bonding formed between you and your baby.
Cap off the long day by reading a bedtime story for your infant. You should use a soothing voice to relax and persuade him or her to sleep. Make sure to do this every day to give your baby a sense of familiarity in the routine, which provides certain expectations regarding the ideal time for bed.
#33. Have Someone to Put Baby to Bed
For most babies, their mum’s mere presence is enough to stimulate and excite them, preventing them from falling asleep. If this continues to be a persistent problem, try having someone else put your baby to bed. Sometimes, dads can be the perfect solution to babies’ daily night-time waking.
#34. Know the Right Time to Move Your Baby
It’s perfectly normal to have your baby inside your room to immediately attend to their needs during the night without having to walk down the hallway. However, you should know the right time when to transition your baby from their bassinet to crib.
Ideally, you can move him to a crib at around 3 months, as he or she will eventually be too big for their bassinet. With this, you can give your baby enough freedom to move around and ultimately provide a good night’s rest.
#35. Avoid Clutter in the Room
The presence of mess in a baby’s room can disorient him and makes it harder for your baby to fall asleep. Prevent this from happening by getting rid of all the clutter found in the room. You should also remove unnecessary bedding in the crib, as it increases the chances of choking and suffocation.
#36. Give Your Baby Enough Naps
Most parents think that when they let their babies skip naps, they increase the chances of the baby sleeping longer at night. However, the opposite is true.
When your baby skips naps, their stress hormones increase, leading to overtiredness. You should give your baby the proper amount of naps he or she requires for mental and physical growth. Furthermore, by letting your baby nap, you have enough time to do other things, such as taking a shower and checking emails.
#37. Play During the Day
Playtime is an important part of childhood development. It allows children to use their creativity and imagination. It also contributes to their social, cognitive, physical, and emotional well-being. Furthermore, it provides a good bonding experience for both parent and child.
It’s important to know that the schedule of your baby’s playtime can affect his or her sleep. Therefore, you should make sure to play with your baby during the day to help lengthen his awake time. This will ultimately help him sleep longer periods during the night.
Tip: Avoid playtime during the night as this can stimulate your baby. Instead, focus on settling your baby straight back to sleep after feeding him at night.
#38. Let Your Partner Comfort the Baby
Give your baby time with your partner to let them nurture a loving relationship with your infant as well.
You may even find it helpful to have your partner participate during night-time waking periods to comfort the baby without having to resort to feeding. By doing this, you are letting your infant know that nursing isn’t available all the time, thus preventing bad habits to form.
#39. Put Your Baby to Bed When Fully Awake
Most parenting blogs and community advise parents to put their babies to bed when they are drowsy. However, doing so as this causes sleep associations which ultimately prevents babies from self-settling at a young age.
Always put babies to sleep when they’re fully awake.
#40. Invest in Baby Sleep Books
Baby sleep books contain hundreds of relevant information to help your baby sleep. Consider investing in them to learn other facts you haven’t known yet. You might even be surprised when you find that the one new trick you learned about can solve your baby’s problem.
#41. Look for Signs of Tiredness
Look out for cues that indicate your baby is tired so you can immediately put him or her to bed. Some tell-tale signs are yawns, whines, and rubbing of eyes. If you miss these signs, your child can become overtired and his or her body will be overstimulated with a stress-related hormone called cortisol.
It’s a must to pay careful attention to your baby’s “tired cues” to avoid overtiredness and eventually make it easier for them to sleep at night.
#42. Consider Your Baby’s Moods
In order to help your baby sleep through the night, consider his night-time temperaments. Determine whether your baby is a natural self-soother who has no problems sleeping at night or one who constantly needs attention. Adjust the sleeping methods you use according to your baby’s behaviours as there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to baby sleep.
For instance, a baby with self-soothing sleep temperament can easily drift off to sleep once you put him down to his bed. In contrast, a baby who’s a “signaller” has a tendency to wake up during the night and can even cry out.
Fortunately, your baby’s sleep skills are learned behaviour. They will eventually learn to adapt and sleep without your help, so it’s a must to start them early.
#43. Hire a Baby Sleep Consultant
Raising a baby on your own is no easy feat, so whether you’re a new mum or a mum of three, consider hiring a baby sleep consultant to help your baby sleep. Working with an expert will not only improve your child’s sleeping pattern, but can also have a positive impact on your family’s overall well-being.
Want to reap these numerous benefits of having a consultant work with you and your baby to ensure optimal sleep for your little one? Nurture Parenting, the baby sleep consultants in Sydney, offers a holistic approach to baby sleep that can take him from sleepless to slumber in just 7 easy lessons through their Nurture Sleep Program.
#44. Consult a Doctor
If you’ve tried every possible technique listed above and you still find your infant waking up regularly and seemingly in pain, you should have your baby checked by a doctor.
Your baby’s night waking might be caused by a common condition known as gastroesophageal reflux, or GER. It happens when stomach contents come back up into the oesophagus due to a malfunction in the muscle, which causes pain similar to heartburn. In worst cases, it may even prevent your infant from feeding. It’s important to look out for the other symptoms such as:
lump in throat
As a parent, it’s important to educate yourself on common medical conditions seen in children and consult a doctor as soon as possible to keep your baby safe and give everyone in the family a more peaceful night’s sleep.
With this extensive list of time-tested and proven techniques, you can certainly find a way to get your baby to sleep, thus improving the well-being of the whole family.
Nurture Parenting's Karen Faulkner is a baby sleep and toddler expert who brings calm and sleep into families and gives parents their confidence back.
Cerris Pty Ltd trading as Nurture Parenting - ABN 42 623 216 384 - Sydney, Australia