At the age of four months, a baby can sleep for 4-5 hours continuously. However, teaching your baby how to sleep may not be easy. Should you let your baby cry it out to sleep? Should you sooth them all the way to slumber land? When it comes to your baby’s sleep look for what works for you best.Some sleeping techniques work best with certain babies while other do not.For this reason,its imporntant to settle for what works for an individual baby.
Here are the best techniques to help your baby fall to sleep and stay in sleep for long:
Having a consistent schedule with a verbal and physical reassurance will help your baby learn to fall asleep faster. The baby can:
- Settle down to sleep without much intervention from you.
- Be consistent in their sleeping routine
It is important to start soothing your baby each time every night so that you can create a routine. A warm bath is a crucial signal to your baby that they need to relax and settle down. Put your baby in the crib when it is time to sleep but only when they are drowsy.
Form a habit of looking at the baby but avoid looking picking them up. This helps the baby learn how to condition themselves up until they can fall sleep on their own. Only work on the naps the same way after your baby can fall asleep alone.
2. Break dependence
Breaking dependence is also known as the long goodbye. This involves sitting farther from the baby at bedtime to help them slowly break their dependence on you. Always put the baby in the crib when they are awake but sleepy and sit next to them. Try to offer reassurance through smiles and back pats.
Only pick your baby up when you think her cries are not hysterical. Each t5ime lengthen the amount of time your baby fuses before you pick them up. This technique should be applicable for some days.
3. No cry technique
The no cry baby has you comfort your baby whenever they need you and gradually cutting down on the amount of time and the level of attention you accord them.`
Even though the method is demanding, it is pretty simple when done with passion and patience. All you need to be consistent in the napping and calming routine that you have chosen. Listening to your baby whenever she wakes up without putting them into your arms will give the independence they need to fall asleep on their own
4. Use white noise
White noise helps filter out the environment noise because it is almost impossible to keep asking people to keep quiet. Also, place a fan in the middle of the room so that it doesn’t blow directly to the baby’s face thus distracting their sleep.
5. Limit napping
Waking up a sleeping baby is hard. However remember that if your baby sleeps too much in the afternoon, it is likely that they will stay awake at night. Wake up the baby, feed them and place them back for some sleep. A nap limit should not go beyond 2.5 hours.
6. Dream feed
A dream feed is feeding done right before you go to bed. It helps your baby from waking up in the middle of the night. Dreamfeeds also help the baby sleep for longer while you also sleep. It is recommended that you continue dream feeding until the age of nine months.
A baby possesses a startle reflex until the age of five months. The startle reflex makes the babies feel as if they are falling. Such sensations cause them to jerk and wake up unexpectedly. Keeping a tight swaddle prevents the baby from startling themselves awake; hence helping them sleep for longer.
8. Try pre-nap and bedtime routines
Babies thrive better when on routine. It is, therefore, Important to create a consistent routine for the baby. Remember that both the [re-nap and bedtime routine must work for you. Bedtime routines are a bit longer since they involve much of bedtime baths, cuddles, and massages. You need to have a more friendly time with your baby to help them relax completely.
9. Change the baby’s diapers
Changing your baby’s diapers prevents them from waking up more often after feeding is done. Diaper changing after midnight may cause your baby to wake up, making it hard for them to falling sleep.
10. Understand your baby sleeping pattern
Yes, this is vital understand that if you let your baby sleep more, they will eventually have problems waking up even for feeds. Limiting daytime naps helps you make a good sleeping pattern that your baby shall be able to follow effortlessly.
Try not to rush sometimes babies wake up with cries only to fall back into their sleep some minutes later. Allow the baby to have some time on their own and see if they will eventually fall asleep. Do not rush to place the baby into your arms, unless you never want them to learn to sleep better in the long-term.
11. Follow the eat-wake-sleep cycle
It is recommended that immediately the baby wakes up from sleep they should eat and play for a while before they can go back to sleep. Here is the purpose of the cycle:
It encourages feeding of the baby and allows the baby to eat immediately they wake up thus making them prefer full feeding as compared to intra-napping feedings
Feeding the baby after sleep enables them not associate food to sleep as compared to feeding before sleep.
Try to avoid feeding your baby before sleep even though in some cases you might find yourself trapped in this.
SOURCES AND REFERENCES
- Getting your baby to sleep (June 2014)
- Helping your baby to sleep (June 2009)