Every parent goes through that relentless stage of sleep deprivation. As soon as you start to fall asleep your little one wakes up and disturbs you. This is an endless cycle that doesn’t seem to be improving as time goes by. When they are tiny babies it can be very difficult to establish a consistent sleeping pattern, but as they start to get older, the notion of routine is so important. From the age of six months old your baby should be able to settle themselves to sleep and go up to eleven hours without needing a feed. Although this sounds so out of reach right now, you will be able to get there if you are consistent with their bedtime routine. Here are some of the reasons why your little one isn’t sleeping at night.
- They Are Not Comfortable
Tiny babies require very little equipment to get them to sleep. You should place them on their backs on a firm mattress in their crib and tuck them into their sleeping bag; this should be enough for them to get a good night’s sleep. As your children get older they may require more comfort, from cuddly toys to soft pillows. A lot of parents also find weighted blankets for autistic children very effective, so consider the unique needs of your child.
- There is No Routine
Little ones thrive on routine, no matter how old they are. When they know to expect a certain thing at a specific time each day, they will function well. Try to keep their mealtimes and bedtime as similar as you can as each day passes by. Getting out of your normal routine for vacations and special occasions can put you one step back if your child is usually quite unsettled. Start implementing a bedtime routine when you know you can stick to it for at least the first two weeks. A warm bath, fresh pajamas, and a bedtime story will always work a treat!
- Their Tummy Hurts
Babies will struggle to self soothe if they have a pain in their tummy after a feed. Make sure your little one is well winded before settling them down; try to make their bedtime around half an hour after their last feed. With older children make sure they are eating a well-balanced diet and not consuming too much sugar before bed.
- There is Too Much Stimulation
When parents invest in night lights, moving mobiles and singing toys it can cause too much stimulation for a little one to get to sleep. It is best to put your child down to sleep in complete darkness with no toys, music or television. Although this might sound strange it will really help your little one to drift off peacefully.
- It Is Too Hot or Cold
Babies have a hard time maintaining their own temperature so make sure their bedroom is always around sixteen degrees celsius. Dress them in more or fewer clothes as the seasons alter so that they are always comfortable.
- Their Daytime Naps Were Poor
It is so important for your baby to take regular naps throughout the day in order to aid their sleep at night. When they get older you can reduce these naps, but overtiredness can also lead to poor sleep in the night. You will soon find a balance and discover the unique needs of your child when it comes to daytime naps.
- You’re Getting Stressed Out
Children and babies can sense the mood of their parents from a mile off. If you’re stressed out about them going to sleep, they are going to feel this too. Try to remain calm and keep your voice at a low soothing tone whenever possible. Getting frustrated is easily done, but it won’t help your child to go back to sleep when they wake in the night.
You’re never going to get a perfect routine for your child; this doesn’t exist. As they grow up and develop they will go through phases that disrupt their sleep patterns and make them needier. You have to accept that there are always going to be moments of disruption even if you have nailed their bedtime routine. You still need to enjoy those moments with your partner and go out without your little one too; feeling chained to the house because of their nightmare sleep schedule is very isolating and may lead to further stress down the line. Ultimately, you need to gently encourage your little one into a bedtime routine that works for them. Soon they will start to settle into bedtime seamlessly or the majority of evenings.