Tips and Tricks to Put Your Baby Back to Sleep
Written by Jen Dunowska
The first year of your unpaid job as a new mom can be downright maddening. With your baby's short bursts of sleep around the clock and a never-ending to-do list that keeps you busy 24/7, fatigue will set in before you know it. Sleep deprivation has long-term effects on our body, and these effects go far beyond feeling tired, groggy, out of sorts, or cranky. When we are not getting enough sleep, we put our physical health at risk and drain our mental abilities.
It is a proven fact that newborns cannot differentiate night from day, which justifies their exasperatingly short sleep surges at all hours. However, there is a solution to any problem, right? It is a rare blessing to have a baby that sleeps through the entire night. If you are not that lucky, you can still have a saying in how much sleep your baby gets and how often he wakes up during the night. More importantly, you can learn tips and tricks to help your baby get back to sleep faster and stay asleep longer.
Use Light to Your Advantage
By now, you know that darkness activates the release of the sleep hormone called melatonin. There is your chance to use light strategically and help your baby distinguish better between night and day, induce your baby's sleep at night, or put your baby back to sleep.
Bright lights during the day and no lights during the night will help your baby figure out quickly when it's time to play and when it's time to sleep.
Two hours before bedtime, set the mood for nighttime sleepiness by lowering the lights. As soon as your baby drowses off to sleep, turn off the lights completely.
Don't turn on the light or take your baby into a lit room when he wakes up during the night. Soothe your baby back to sleep in his dark room.
Create the Optimum Sleeping Setting
Focus on creating a sleeping environment that encourages your baby to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer rather than on mastering tricks to help you put him back to sleep. There are several things that you can do to transform your baby's room into a sleep-friendly environment:
Select a good mattress. The quality of the crib mattress dramatically influences the way your baby sleeps. Opt for an eco-friendly mattress that is hypoallergenic and features an anti-microbial layer to reduce germs from diaper accidents and spit-ups. My online searches have led me to Topmattress advisors, where I found everything I needed to know about crib mattresses.
Take care of the lights. You can keep a dim light on during the night if you are afraid your baby will be all frightened waking up in complete darkness. Choose a small one that is cool to touch and plug it away from textiles. You can also install window shades if your baby tends to wake up early in the morning due to morning sunlight.
Eliminate noise sources. Noise can seriously affect sleep in both babies and adults. Keep sounds from reaching your baby's bedroom during the night as well as minimize or even eliminate background noise. Consider an acoustically insulated bedroom that will enhance an increase in deep sleep and REM latency and encourage fewer arousal events.
Sleep is essential for each of us, but it can be a critical issue for mothers struggling to juggle with more than they can manage in 24 hours. Some of the unfortunate effects of sleep deprivation include memory issues, trouble thinking or concentration, mood changes, car accidents, weakened immune system, high blood pressure, weight gain, the risk of diabetes, poor balance, low sex drive, or risk of heart disease. And, remember, it is advised that your baby drifts off to sleep on his own, so try to put your baby to bed when drowsy, rather than when he is already fast asleep. This way, your baby will learn to soothe himself back to sleep.