Attempting to get children of all ages to go to bed for the night or settle down for a nap during the day can often be a difficult task. For most babies, counting sheep usually just isn’t enough. Here are a few simple tips that will help get your little one to sleep without all of the fuss.
One of the most important things that parents can do is create consistent naptime and bedtime routines and attempt to stick to those routines as much as possible. According to AskDrSears.com, one of the key principles of infant development is association, so consistently using the same routine before bedtime will cause your baby to associate that ritual with sleep and make the bedtime process much easier. This pre-bedtime or naptime ritual can include rocking, singing lullabies, a warm bath or anything else that helps relax your baby. For naps, try to designate the time of day that your baby seems to become the most tired and attempt to schedule naptime during those natural patterns.
Before putting your baby to bed, remember to remove any physical discomforts that could be present. This could include clearing the nasal canal, changing wet diapers, removing clothing that could potentially be irritating and addressing teething pain. Try to create as tranquil an environment as possible by making the room dark, quiet and a comfortable temperature.
According to the Mayo Clinic, stimulation during the day can help promote better sleep. Engaging children while they are awake helps them become tired and more receptive to bedtime or naptime. Singing, playing games and going on walks are good ways to help tucker little ones out.
Above all, it is important to approach your child’s sleep patterns with a realistic attitude. No child is the same and it is normal for a baby’s sleep schedule to be erratic. All parents are busy and things are bound to come up that are going to interfere with your baby’s sleep. Allow for some flexibility in your bedtime and naptime routines. The goal here is to discover what works for your situation. If you attempt a technique and it doesn’t seem to work, be open to trying new methods until you discover the best way to have your little one sleeping soundly.