Reassuring a baby into a continuous sleep patten can become frustrating when baby becomes awake at odd hours, causing disturbance throughout the house. I personally suffered this – as my daughter would practically stay up all night. I could not piece together how my daughter had all this energy to be awake, and in need of constant entertainment. Luckily my mother-in-law stayed awake at night with my daughter during her first three months. I was allowed to to catch up on my sleep, and cuddle my daughter during the day. My daughter continued to surprise me as I saw a new side of her personality – at night – when she should be sleeping. As I consulted with relatives and friends, I felt relief when everyone advised that my daughter’s sleepless nights would fade after three months.
Soon it was three months, and my daughter started sleeping more consistently through the night. Yay! A huge milestone achieved – until two weeks later when she started repeating the pattern. Turning tointernet sites and how-to-books for my predicament, I was sure to try all the techniques. But then, my daughter got pnenomnia and she was hospitalized with powerful medications. The medicinesmade her sleep soundly at night – until she finished them. Her nights became days again. What to do? I composed a list of strategies and now I will implement them to investigate their effectiveness. It’s a plan.
- Set up a schedule. Predictability- just like adults, babies want to be aware of their activities. Happy babies like to follow schedules. They want to be aware of their feeding times and activities. Make it friendly with pictures with sensory touches.
- Engaging Authentic Activities: Simple, play games. Babies love games. They can learn numbers, shapes, opposites, rhyme, repetition, and the alphabet by playing games. They are having fun and learning social skills in a friendly environment. The earlier the babies learn these skills, they will be able to internalize for the rest of their lives. Before going to sleep, it is advisable to play games that would calm and soothe the baby.
- Nutrition: Feed Baby. Let the baby be fed before he or she becomes drowsy. I have witnessed my daughter nodding off the sleep before her feeding time. It becomes a challenge to wake her up for feeding. Now I try to observe her and when I see that she wants to sleep, I feed her. I try to keep her awake for a half an hour to help her digest before she goes to sleep.
- Permanent Sleep Area. When baby falls asleep, make sure that baby is always sleeps in his or her crib in the same sleeping area. When baby is familiar with the sleeping areas, he or she will feel safe in their sleep. A permanent sleep area will also learn to sleep by themselves.
These are just some of the strategies to help babies transition into longer hours of sleep at night. I will try these out and post about my daughter’s progress.