You know by now that your baby is just going to wake up at night. There’s no getting around that simple fact. Sure, she’s eventually going to sleep through the night, but it can take months for some babies to mature enough and to develop sufficiently to do so. Like most parents, you’re interested in getting your baby back to sleep after she wakes up at night. That’s a perfectly normal and natural thing, and in the long run your baby will be better off getting back to sleep, too.
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help your baby get back to sleep after he wakes up during the night:
- Keep everything you need nearby. Make sure that your bottles and bottle equipment are nearby. Keep a stack of burp cloths handy. Diapers and wipes should be accessible. If your baby uses a pacifier, keep an extra around. Keep all of these things well-stocked. The difference between a quick diaper change at night and a baby that won’t go back to sleep is often simply how accessible the extra diapers are.
- Put motion to work for you. Rocking chairs have been helping babies get back to sleep for generations. After a change or feeding, rock your baby a little bit until he’s right on the edge of being asleep. Place him back into the crib while he’s barely awake, as this will help him learn to self-sooth.
- Recognize your baby’s needs. Learn to know what kind of a cry means your baby is hungry, what kind means she’s wet, and more. Learn what kinds of things to look for if she’s teething, for example, and you’ll find it much easier to help your baby get back to sleep.
- Recognize your baby’s sleep patterns. Just like you, your baby’s sleep cycle involves various stages of sleep, some of which are deeper than others. Babies, however, spend more of their sleeping hours in the lighter stages of sleep than we do. Knowing whether or not she’s just in a light sleep stage will help prevent you from picking her up to soothe her when it’s not really necessary.