Having trouble with your baby sleep? Read these tips to help your baby sleep better
Sleeping like a baby is a phrase everyone has read but ask new parents and they will share all the struggles they have had to put their baby to sleep and get some rest themselves.
Happy Sleep —> Happy Brain —> Happ Baby
Just like nutrition is necessary, sleep plays an essential part in developing body and brain in babies. Thus, it becomes crucial for us to understand it’s importance and how we can help our babies to sleep better.
The key hormones we need to understand are melatonin and cortisol. Cortisol keeps us awake and is at its most prevalent in the body at around 8 am, declining in potency throughout the day, unless a stress response causes the body to release more. Conversely, melatonin increases as light levels decrease, naturally preparing the body to sleep when darkness arrives.
Helping your baby’s brain to release melatonin means that you don’t have to fight to get him or her to sleep once cortisol levels have risen through over-tiredness.
Why my baby isn’t sleeping?
One of the most common issue is that your baby is ‘over-tired’, it means that your baby has reached a point where it has gone past the ability to sleep. He has become physically exhausted that his stress response kicks in releasing cortisol and adrenaline resulting in a state called ‘hyperarousal’, this state means they are irritated, cranky and angry and would resist with all might to sleep.
How can I help my baby sleep?
There is a myth around that if your baby sleeps late he will wake up late. It’s not true at all, infact this would make them more cranky due to lack of quality sleep and the loop of resisting sleep will continue.
- Identify signs of sleepiness - Try to put your baby to sleep when you first see them, signs could be, rubbing of eyes, yawning, pulling their ears, fidgety not playing with toys. This would prevent them to reach the state of over tiredness.
- Following wake pattern schedule - Research recommends following wake up windows for each age. This will help you to plan your baby’s day better and find the perfect bedtime routine for your kid,
- 0-3 months - 60-90 mins
- 4-6 months - 1.5 - 2.5 hours
- 7-9 months - 2-3 hrs
- 10 - 12 months - 2 - 4 hrs
- 13-16 months - 2.5 hrs to 4.5 hr
- 17-18 months - 4.5 - 5.5 hours
3. Develop a bedtime routine - Babies or toddlers both thrive on routines, they want to be in control of what they can expect next.
4. You can read about various sleeping methods and pick the one that suits your family.