Let’s face it. There isn’t a baby’s parent alive who wouldn’t like to get a little more shut eye. While there’s no way to make your baby sleep through the night until he’s good and ready to, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances for a decent night’s sleep. Making sure baby’s needs are met and he is comfortable before putting him can go a long way towards extending his nighttime sleep cycles.
A nice bath often comforts babies before bed time. Just about everyone sleeps better when they’re clean and fresh, and baby is no exception. Of course, some babies get excited during tub time. If your infant get stimulated by her bath, then bathe her earlier in the day. But, if she relaxes in the tub, consider making bath time just before bed.
Give your baby a good feeding just before bed. In addition to the relaxing effect suckling has on babies, he will sleep better if his tummy is full. Infants have small stomachs, and this won’t ensure that he’ll sleep through the night, but if you can feed him shortly before laying him down, you have eliminated one reason babies wake up at night, for a couple hours at least. Once you’ve introduced some cereals into baby’s diet, make sure to give him a little before bedtime, as this will digest more slowly, and keep him feeling full for longer.
Make sure your baby is warm enough without being too hot. A good rule of thumb is to give baby one more layer of clothing or covers than you need for yourself. If your baby is warm and comfortable, she is more likely to sleep longer than she would if she were cold. You should also make sure that the materials in baby’s nighttime clothing are soft. If baby is having trouble sleeping, or develops a rash, try switching her sleeping clothes to all cotton fabrics.
Know that you will have to get up throughout the night, and be prepared. Have a place for everything you need for night time parenting. Make sure everything is in its place before you go to bed. If you know where to find all of the things you need to take care of baby, you’re more likely to be able to comfort her quickly, and she’s more likely to drift back to sleep sooner.