In the earliest months of a newborn baby’s life, parents must be flexible. They will be learning a lot about their baby and responding to their baby’s needs. As the baby continues to grow, it’s important to help them learn how to settle at night or naptime so they can get quality sleep, and hopefully, start sleeping through the night.
What to Expect in the Early Months
Babies have tiny tummies, so for the first few months, they will wake to eat at night. They must be fed frequently during the daytime and nighttime hours to ensure they get adequate nutrition needed for proper growth and development. Babies may need to be comforted or calmed from time to time. Parents usually find what soothes their baby best, whether that is rocking, gentle patting, speaking calmly, or singing quietly.
As the baby develops, they will start to sleep longer, which eventually will include sleeping through the night. The goal is that at some point, they will learn to resettle themselves. Some tips for helping babies learn how to resettle themselves include:
- Emphasizing the difference between nighttime and daytime
- Putting your baby to bed while they are drowsy, but still awake
- Starting a sleep routine
These can help babies get used to a regimen, fall asleep faster, and settle quicker as they get a little older.
Tips for Emphasizing Nighttime vs Daytime
As babies reach three to four months of age, they usually naturally start to sleep longer during the night. You want to encourage them and help them understand nighttime is different from daytime. Here are a few tips to help them understand the difference between day and night and understand that nighttime is a good time to sleep.
- Keep the room quiet and dimly lit during the nighttime hours
- Use only dim lighting when tending to your baby during nights
- During the night, respond quickly to your baby’s cries to help them resettle
- Night-time feeds should be in their sleeping area or room
- Try to be quieter when tending to baby’s needs during the night
Tips for Putting Baby to Bed While Drowsy
By putting your baby to bed while they are awake but drowsy, you help them learn how to settle as the night begins. This is also helpful for making it easier for them to settle back to sleep if they wake up during the night. When a baby falls asleep in their crib rather than being fed or rocked to sleep, they start to associate falling asleep with being in their crib or bed. This helps them learn to settle by themselves in their own bed.
After the baby reaches three to four months of age, they may become upset if they wake up somewhere different than where they were when they fell asleep. If they fall asleep in their crib, they are less likely to be upset if they wake up there during the night. They soon learn to self-soothe, or calm themselves down so they can fall right back to sleep. Babies who are able to self-soothe usually sleep longer at night. You’ll find the sweet spot between awake and asleep for your baby. If they are put to bed too awake, they may take longer to fall asleep. This is okay. Just allow them a couple of minutes to settle down. If your baby starts to cry, they may need to be comforted, especially while they are learning to self-settle and soothe.
Tips for Establishing a Bedtime Routine for Babies
When your baby is around three months old, you may be ready to introduce a bedtime routine to them. Starting with a simple, soothing bedtime regimen can provide you with some precious one-on-one time with your baby. You can start with a few simple things to establish a routine. Try some of these ideas to see what works best for you and your baby.
- Giving baby a bath
- Changing into comfortable, cozy night clothes such as a Little Biscuit Sac
- Putting the baby in its crib
- Goodnight kisses and cuddles
- Reading a bedtime story
- Dimming the lights to help baby calm
- Singing a lullaby
- Rocking the baby for a few minutes
- Brushing teeth once they have them
Establishing a routine early on, can also be helpful as the child gets older. Having too much excitement or stimulation right before bedtime can make it difficult for them to settle down. Try spending time doing calmer activities leading up to bedtime such as reading.
Dressing Baby for Sleep
It’s important to dress baby comfortably for sleep. The temperature is not a huge factor, if you are comfortable with it, they probably are too. You can dress them in a onesie, a sleep sac, or long-sleeve pjs. You’ll learn what your baby feels most comfortable in. Just make sure the fabric is soft and non-irritating for their sensitive skin.
Let Little Biscuits Clothing Get Your Baby Ready for Sleep!
Check out our Little Biscuits Clothing options! Our bamboo clothing is perfect against a baby’s delicate skin. We’re happy to help you get your baby comfy and cozy and ready for a good night’s sleep!