So your baby is four months old and you’re struggling to put him to sleep for the night. Don’t worry because with these tips, you and your baby will get a good night’s sleep.
Between ages three and six months, babies experience a startle reflex and this reflex involves jerking movements that cause the baby to wake up during the night. Swaddling your baby helps him sleep well despite the reflex. If your baby squirms at the thought of being swaddled, you want to make sure that the baby’s arms are placed close at the sides of the body. But you can leave the legs out as they don’t really need swaddling. Generally babies won’t need swaddling after six months old.
Limit the Naps
While this might not work for all babies, it’s worth the try to put a limit on the long naps your baby takes. When babies take one or more long naps, they are less likely to sleep well at night. If this method is not working, take heart because between ages one and three, your baby drops at least one of his daytime naps for good.
Put on Upbeat Music and Bounce Him Around
Many baby sleep experts recommend that you put on soft music to get the baby to sleep. However, surprisingly some babies sleep better with upbeat music. If this describes your baby, put on upbeat music and then gently dance with him over your shoulder. In time you’ll wear your baby out and he will fall asleep.
Get a Routine in Place
Another way to put your baby to sleep effectively is to establish a bedtime routine. Start after dinner when you clean up the baby’s playroom and put his toys away for the night.. Once this is done, give the baby a bath and then go in his room. Dim the lights and read some books to him. After this you can place him in his crib when he is drowsy and then leave the room. If he cries, let him try to soothe himself to sleep before taking him out of the crib and comforting him.
My Baby Is Used to Co-Sleeping. How Can I Transition Him To the Crib
One idea is to have the baby get an idea of what to expect in her room by spending a few days with her in it. Place her in the crib and let her play in it for awhile. This gets her used to the idea of sleeping in her own room. Give your baby extra cuddles and massages as this is a source of comfort before you separate from her at bedtime.
Get Rid of Bright Lights
It will be difficult for your baby to sleep as long as the bright lights are on. Dim the light to low, and turn off the TV and other electronic devices. This creates a calm atmosphere for your baby and she can sleep without interruptions from the things in the room.
Pump Up the Daytime Activity
One reason why it is sometimes hard for babies to sleep is because. they are just not tired at bedtime. You can alleviate this by increasing their daytime activity. Some ideas include going for long walks in the neighborhood, having them play in the yard with random safe objects, dancing with them around the house, and giving them practice in walking and crawling throughout the day.
Have Realistic Expectations
Even if you keep your baby on a schedule and use the other tips mentioned above, you need to have realistic expectations regarding your baby’s sleep habits. If your baby is six weeks old, then on average he would need fifteen hours of sleep. These hours come from his naps and nighttime sleep. Keep in mind that younger babies still wake up at night due to feedings, teething or because they’re sick.
In conclusion, it takes patience and effort to put a baby to sleep. Don’t feel like a failure because you struggle to get your baby to sleep. Reach out to other mothers because they experienced similar frustrations and can offer invaluable advice.