For most new parents, one of the biggest challenges throughout the first months or even years of parenthood is trying to get their baby to sleep. All too often this encompasses hours, and is a process that needs to be repeated over and over again when the baby wakes up in the middle of the night.
To be perfectly honest, there is no way to ‘force’ a baby to sleep. Instead, what you should be focused on doing is creating an environment that is conducive to a baby being able to sleep, and also perhaps using certain techniques that can help aid the process too.
Developing a Routine
One of the first things that you need to do is realize that sleep is very much a routine – for both babies as well as adults. Your baby is going to get used to how you put them to sleep and it will become a part of their routine – so they will expect to go to sleep similarly the next time round too.
In other words, if you rock or soothe your baby to sleep, then they will continue to expect to be rocked or soothed to sleep – even when they wake up in the middle of the night. That isn’t to say that rocking and soothing a baby is a bad thing, quite the opposite – it creates a safe and secure environment which a baby feels at ease falling asleep. That being said you should be aware that there is that expectation being created at the same time.
A similar situation applies to naptimes, where you should ideally work out a schedule or a rough time for when you put them down for their daytime nap. The sooner your baby becomes accustomed to their sleep routine, the less likely they are to wake up at odd hours throughout the night.
If you would like any further advice, websites for mothers such as moms.com are a great place to get the opinions of other parents. Bear in mind that no two babies are the same however, and what may work for other mothers may not be ideal for your child.
The sooner you’re able to come to grips with putting your baby to sleep, the sooner you’ll be able to get a good night’s rest too and be able to focus on all the other aspects of parenting!