One of hallmarks of a new parent is that glossy-eyed, half-mast look marking their faces for about that first two to six weeks. The fact of the matter is that the old catchphrase, “sleep like a baby,” is a completely ridiculous idea. Sure, babies might sleep soundly, but they don’t sleep for very long.
That being said, there are some important baby sleep guidelines that you can follow which will help your little one get into the habit of sleeping through the night. Obviously it’s not going to happen until your baby’s stomach is big enough to hold enough food to last for several hours, but once it is you need to do some things to help baby sleep through the night.
On top of that, there are some basic baby sleep principles that you need to try to follow, no matter whether you’re traveling, your schedule gets mixed up or you’re even facing the advent of Daylight Savings Time.
Here are some baby sleep guidelines you need to follow:
- Keep a bedtime schedule. Your baby’s internal clock may still be adjusting, but you need to realize that it’s a powerful thing. If your baby’s best time to go to bed is at 8 PM, then you need to get them down as close to 8 PM as you can every night. If you miss that time, you might find your baby is fussy and even over-tired, and may give you a hard time going to sleep.
- Develop a bedtime routine. You should engage in a consistent pattern of behavior for your baby each and every night. You want baby to know that it’s time to sleep, and so you should establish some activities. A bath, some soft music or reading a book are all wonderful ways to help transition your child to sleep.
- Help baby to fall asleep independently. One of the most common mistakes parents make in regard to baby sleep is to rock their baby until baby is already asleep. There’s nothing wrong with rocking your baby at bedtime, of course. But you need to watch for those sleep signs. Once your baby starts to nod off, place her in her bed. This will help her learn to fall asleep on her own.