Sleep is crucial for babies as it plays a significant role in their growth and development. However, lots of parents struggle with getting their little ones to form solid sleep habits. As a result, they can make several common mistakes. In this article, we will highlight some of the top mistakes parents may make with baby sleep and show you how to fix them.
Having an Inconsistent Sleep Routine
One of the parents' biggest mistakes with baby sleep is not having a consistent sleep routine. When the sleep routine is inconsistent, it can lead to confusion and difficulty falling asleep. Babies thrive on routine, so a consistent sleep routine helps establish healthy sleep patterns and helps babies feel secure.
Parents should establish a routine that includes bedtime, bath, and feeding time. This will help their baby learn to associate these activities with sleep and make it easier for them to fall asleep and stay asleep longer.
A consistent routine helps your little one sleep better
Not Creating a Conducive Sleep Environment
Babies need a safe and comfortable sleep place to have healthy sleep patterns. Several parents may ignore some essential factors, such as lighting, room temperature, noise level, and the firmness of the crib or mattress.
Ensuring your baby’s sleeping area is dark, quiet, and cool is crucial to help them sleep better. You can use blackout curtains to block out any light and a white noise machine to create an ideal atmosphere.
Ignoring Baby’s Sleep Cues
Babies send out signals that they are getting tired and need to go to bed such as yawning, rubbing their eyes, whining and fussing, slowed activity, and loss of interest in play.
However, many parents miss these cues and may try to keep their baby awake. This can lead to an overtired baby, making it harder for them to fall asleep.
When your baby yawns, it’s time to go to sleep
You should pay attention to your baby's cues and put them down for a nap or bedtime as soon as they see them. If you cannot see those signals, go to a quiet, dimly lit room and engage in a soothing activity when you think your child’s bedtime is approaching - you might see the cues start to appear.
Relying on external aids
Another mistake is relying too much on external aids to get the baby to sleep. Activities like rocking, feeding, or giving pacifiers to babies to soothe them to sleep can create a reliance on such aids.
Instead, parents should encourage their babies to develop self-soothing abilities by placing them in the crib when sleepy but still awake. This will help them develop the skills they need to fall asleep independently.
Overstimulation Before Bedtime
This is another common mistake new parents often make with baby sleep. Babies can be overstimulated before bedtime from some activities such as watching television, playing with baby toys that make noise, or engaging in any exciting activities.
A dark sleeping area is perfect for baby sleep
You can opt for calm activities like listening to soft music or reading a book. Furthermore, putting your little one to sleep in a nearly pitch-black room is best. A white noise album or a fan may also help, as it will muffle any noise from outside.
Skipping the bedtime routine
Bedtime routines are critical for creating a predictable and calming environment to help babies wind down and prepare for sleep. Skipping the bedtime routine can lead to difficulty falling asleep and disrupt natural sleep patterns.
One of the essential things you can do to help your child get a good night's sleep is to build a bedtime routine that should include a warm bath, a massage, a story, and a lullaby. This routine should be done simultaneously each night to create a sense of predictability and signal to the baby that it's time to sleep.
A warm bath before bedtime helps your child get a good night's sleep
Not allowing for enough sleep
Sleep is vital for the child’s growth and development. Newborns tend to sleep for about 16-17 hours a day, while infants up to one-year-old need about 12-14 hours of sleep daily.
If they do not get enough sleep, they may suffer from behavioral problems, mood swings, and difficulty concentrating. Therefore, parents should ensure their baby gets the recommended amount of sleep for their age group.
Ensuring your baby gets sufficient sleep is an important aspect of parenting. With the above useful tips recommended by Gili Closet, you can avoid common mistakes with baby sleep and help your little one get better sleep.