Bedtime can be such a challenge for some babies, but what if you’re only making it harder? Sometimes as parents we are not aware that what we do may affect our little ones – even the little things. Here are 3 bedtime “no-no’s” you should be aware of.
Letting your baby stay up late
Believe or not this is a very common mistake, some parents like to play with their baby late at night because they don’t have much time with him or her during the day or they developed the habit of putting him or her to bed just before they go to sleep. A late bedtime will lead to an overtired and fuzzy baby who will most assuredly have trouble drifting off to sleep, which can also increase night awakenings.
What to do: Did you know that most babies actually display signs of sleep readiness between 6 and 8 pm? Be aware of signs like, droopy eyelids or eye rubbing, before your baby gets a bit fuzzy. If you get him or her to bed when he or she is drowsy but not overtired or completely asleep, it will be easier for him or her to learn to fall asleep on his or her own.
Not having a bedtime routine
Sometimes your day might be chaotic and with a baby at your side, it seems even more! No matter what’s going on, it’s important to stick to a routine. Babies thrive on structure and consistency, so bedtime is no different, if you feed him or her back to sleep, but other times he or she is rocked or brought back to bed with you out of desperation, you are actually making it more difficult on your baby and yourself.
What to do: Create a bedtime routine and stick to it! You can try a bath, changing into pajamas, cuddling, and a story or lullaby before bedtime. Find a consistent pattern that works for you and your baby, or take a look at some sleeping techniques that suggest special routines. But remember no matter what routine you choose, you must stick to it!
Sleeping in different places
Maybe you started bedtime with your baby on his or her own bed, but as the night unfolded he or she ended up in your bed. It doesn’t matter the sleep technique you have chosen for your baby, the problem relies on the mixed message. All of this confusion can disrupt your child’s sleep.
What to do: Set a guideline of where your baby should sleep and try sticking to it. If your toddler is old enough to have his or her own bed, encourage him or her to stay all night in it, and praise his or her efforts.
Are you guilty of one or more of these “no-no’s”? The important thing is not to focus on making these common bedtime mistakes, rather how you are going to change them. Also, keep in mind that some babies begin to sleep through the night at four months old, while others don’t achieve this goal until nine months or even later.
Want to learn more about bedtime routines? Visit these cites: