While every mother or mom-to-be is excited about being or becoming a mother, respectively, caring for an infant is exhausting. It requires long hours of looking after your little one, and this can turn out to be quite demanding on your health. Waking up in the middle of the night to tend to your baby’s needs ruins the rest of your night and the upcoming day.
Keeping this in mind, we have come up with a few points to help you understand when you can squeeze in hours of sleep into your 'mommy routine', so you don't have to be tired all day everyday.
One strategy would be to sleep near your baby. Keep your baby’s cradle in your bedroom. Some babies only fall asleep when they know their mothers or parents are near them. This way, when your baby cries in the middle of the night, you don’t have to leave the room. You can simply pacify him/her right away and go back to sleep.
2. Schedule their sleep routine
Try to ensure a regular sleeping pattern for your baby. This can be done by making them sleep at a particular time everyday and waking them up at a particular time as well. See to it that you also sleep during this time, as this way, your sleeping pattern is also taken care of.
3. Night time routine
Another solution would be to incorporate a night time routine to signal to your baby that it is time to sleep. A routine could include a meal, a sponge bath, some soft music or even a bedtime story. Choose a routine that you can stick to every day – the idea is to keep it short, but consistent, so that your baby understands when it is time for him/her to sleep. Eventually, your baby will begin to feel sleepy at that particular time.
4. Self soothing
As your baby grows older, you can train them to doze off on their own. When they get used to this, you can put them into bed awake, and when you leave them there for a while, they will fall asleep in a little time. As hard as it may be, refrain from lifting them up – even if they start wailing. After 3 minutes, console him/her while he/she is in the cradle or bed, and they will fall back to sleep. If he/she starts crying again, wait for another 3 minutes before consoling him/her again. Repeat this until your baby eventually falls asleep. Repeat this everyday for a week, gradually increasing the waiting time from 3 minutes to 5, 8 and later 15 minutes.
5. Sleep environment
It is a well-established notion that it is easier to fall asleep when the surroundings are dark than when it is well-illuminated. This is because in a dark room, the brain releases melatonin, a sleep inducing hormone. When light enters your eyes upon waking up, the hormone, cortisol, is released, causing you to wake up. Therefore, make the room as dark as possible when you put your baby to bed.
If you combine this with all the above tricks, your attempts to get your baby to sleep early would definitely pay off. You will find that you get a lot more hands-free time and your child would have a regular sleeping pattern. Do try this out and let us know how it goes.