Your Top Baby Sleep Questions Answered
If you think that you are alone in your baby sleep struggles, I’m here to tell you you’re not. Getting your baby to sleep through the night can be a struggle, one that most parents experience. The good news is that with any sleep issue there is a solution and I’ve compiled some of the more common questions I get asked by parents with sure fire tips for a better night sleep for all.
Why does my baby wake up so early?
It’s important that your baby’s room is conducive to sleep. We want to make sure that the early morning light is blacked out and investing in black out blinds could help with that. Typically, when we are seeing early morning wakings, it’s because your child isn’t getting the proper amount of consolidated sleep throughout the day and going to bed too late. Having too late a bedtime could mean that your child is going to bed overtired, which can result in more restless sleep throughout the night and an earlier wake time.
What is a typical bedtime routine and when do I start it?
Doing the same routine every night helps your child understand that bedtime is soon approaching. This can actually be practiced from day one. Establishing this consistent routine will help your child understand that sleep is coming. You can also include a short naptime routine to help prepare them for some great daytime slumber.
How can I help my child take longer naps?
Probably the biggest sleep struggle out there. Daytime sleep is one of the most important fundamentals in creating healthy sleep at night and we want to aim for a consolidated nap of at least an hour or more. While short naps of 30-45 minutes are common, it’s not enough of a restorative sleep and they are capable of pushing into the next cycle with a lot of persistence and consistency. Keep nap routines and your baby’s sleep environment consistent to help your baby fall asleep easier during the day and stretch out nap length times as well.
Why is an early bedtime so important?
An earlier bedtime is important as it means your child is going down better rested. Sometimes just by bumping up bedtime, your child will sleep much better at night. A typical bedtime for babies four to 12 months is 5-7pm. Mom and dad can get their nights back and your baby will go down before he’s overtired.
How can I help my baby fall asleep on their own?
Sleep training doesn’t mean you can’t cuddle your baby at bedtime but we want to make sure that we aren’t creating sleep associations, like rocking and nursing to sleep. Your child will remember how they fell asleep and when they wake up throughout the night they will need those associations recreated. Once your child learns to fall to sleep on their own they will be able to do it easily throughout the night. Put your child to bed drowsy not asleep and choose a sleep training method that mom and dad are comfortable with so that you will be consistent throughout the sleep training process.
Alanna McGinn is a Certified Infant and Toddler Sleep Consultant and Founder of Good Night Sleep Site. She is a mom of three (one + twins!) and is committed to helping families with their baby and toddler sleep needs. www.goodnightsleepsite.com, Follow her on Facebook – @GoodNightSleepSite, and Twitter and Instagram – @GNSleepSite.