If there’s any question on a new parent’s mind, it’s “how do I get my baby to sleep through the night”. While everyone warns you that your sleep will go out the window once your baby comes along, nothing could ever prepare you for how difficult it is until it actually happens.
As your baby gets older, you get to know them better. You start being able to distinguish their hungry cries from their tired cries and slowly start to get into a groove of understanding each other. But if there’s something that’s worth remembering in those new days of parenthood, it’s that every single baby is different. While some babies are great sleepers right off the bat, others need more time. This is completely normal!
While every baby sleeps through the night in their own time, there are things you can do to help speed the process along. Stick around for everything you need to know.
Start at the right time
One of those things that you’ve just got to accept about parenthood is that your sleep schedule is going to change - at least to start with. Newborns need to be fed every 2-3 hours, which means your days of sleeping without interruption will be a distant memory but only for a small period of time. While it can be tempting trying to ‘fix’ every last thing to help your baby sleep in those early days, try to take it easy. Your baby still needs to wake up to feed and you’ll soon be back to normal (even if it doesn’t feel like it!)
Let the house get a bit messy, stay in your pyjamas and get in sleep when you can during those early months. The good news is that as your baby gets older, they won’t have to feed as much during the night. This means that long nights of sleep aren’t too far away!
How to get your baby to sleep through the night
Once your little one is developmentally ready to sleep through the night (around 6 months old), there are various things you can do to help the process along.
- Create a bedtime routine
Bedtime routines allow you to do the same thing every night before putting your baby down. Once you do them every night, they will soon become a signal to your baby that it’s time to calm down and get ready for a restful night ahead.
Lots of people stick to a schedule similar to this: Play -> Bath -> Book -> Feed -> Bed
Find out what works for you and your family and try to stick to it.
- Keep temperature in mind
Similar to adults, babies struggle to fall asleep when they’re too hot or cold. Keep the temperature of your baby’s room between 20 to 22 degrees Celsius and ensure they’re dressed in a sleep suit that’s comfortable and breathable.
Made from 95% bamboo and 5% elastane, Zipster babygrows are soft and comfortable against your baby’s skin. This helps prevent them from becoming too cold or overheating throughout the night keeping them snug and cosy at all hours - an absolute must for falling and staying asleep.
- Try white noise
While some babies may be able to sleep through the sound of a fire alarm, others can easily get woken up by the sound of outside noise. To help drown out sounds outside or at home, try using a white noise machine to help your baby drift off peacefully.
- Try sleep training
The unfortunate thing about ‘sleep training’ is the wording used to describe a general process. While some sleep training techniques may be seen as a bit more harsh and controversial, there are plenty of other sleep training techniques out there to help your little one sleep through.
From the pickup and put-down method to the chair method, there are countless gentle ways to encourage your baby to fall and stay asleep. Just remember to choose a good time. If your baby isn’t feeling well, is just starting nursery or is going through another big change, it’s best to hold off until you’re back in a steady routine.
- Be realistic
If your baby is teething or suffering from a cold, chances are they’re going to have a difficult night of sleep. Instead of trying to desperately rack your brain for ways to get your little one to sleep through the night at a time like this, do your best to be there for your little one. Remember that teething and colds are only temporary. You’ll be out the other side in no time!