Infant Sleep Aid: 8 Tips To Get Your Baby to Sleep
Little Yawn Collective - Nov 20, 2021
Having a baby changes who you are down to your core. It’s a brand new world that replaces your old reality from the very second you first lay eyes on the tiny bundle. And it’s in that same moment that you realize pure bliss and sheer panic can be felt simultaneously— along with a bunch of other conflicting emotions that you certainly hadn’t prepared for.
Let’s be honest: Being a parent is tough.
From mysterious low-grade fevers and runny noses to weird poops or general fussiness, there’s a number of baby conundrums that can leave us feeling confused, nervous, and even a little grossed out.
An emotional rollercoaster fully equipt with ups and downs, twists and turns, curves and swerves, parenthood is definitely not for the weak-hearted. It’s challenging, it’s humbling, and it’s straight-up exhausting — especially if you have a little one who battles bedtime or doesn’t sleep through the night.
From multiple feedings per night and unexpected 2:00 a.m. diaper changes to bouts of fussiness in the wee hours of the morning, an infant’s sleep habits can quickly turn the most composed moms and dads into bleary-eyed zombies. But don’t worry — Little Yawn Collective is here to the rescue!
In this post, we’re exploring the adorable world of infant sleep to uncover the best tips and tricks to get your little buddy to fall asleep and stay asleep. So if you’re ready for some vitamin zzz — get comfortable and keep reading. Sweet dreams, ahead!
Understanding Infant Sleep
To any new parent, baby sleep patterns can feel a whole lot like a mystery — and it’s easy to see why. In healthy adults, sleep patterns are fairly predictable and consistent. An infant’s sleep cycle, however, can seem so strange and sporadic, with the baby waking up and falling asleep at any time of the day or night. What gives?
For many parents, sleepless nights are a rite of passage. Yes, there are some babies who seem to snooze like perfect little angels from the very start, but we’ll be honest — that’s pretty rare.
In other words, if good sleep is starting to seem like a distant dream since having your tiny bundle — you’re not alone. The struggle to get even just an okay-ish sleep is without a doubt the bane of every new parent’s life.
Why Newborn Sleep Cycles Are Different
According to experts, newborns operate from a different sleep cycle than adults. Rather than catching quality zzz’s when the sun goes down, an infant’s sleep-wake cycle interacts with the need to be fed, changed, and nurtured.
You see, they aren’t born with an internal biological clock, no siree. Instead, it’s developed over the little one’s first few months of life outside the womb.
Speaking of the womb… before your sweet baby is born, they’ll spend most of their time snoozing surrounded by warmth and soothed by your voice.
Once brought into the world, you may notice your precious angel continuing their slumber for the majority of the day — this is perfectly normal as infants tend to spend roughly 75 percent of their time asleep.
Most babies will wake all on their own due to a rumbly in their tumbly every two to three hours, so there’s really no need to ever intervene in your infant’s sleep. However, if your little sleepyhead doesn’t stir, it’s important that you do wake them up to make sure they are adequately fed. Why?
Because tiny newborns have tiny tummies and can’t hold very much at a time. They require multiple feedings throughout the day and night to provide their tiny bodies with the nutrients they need to grow big and strong.
How Much Shut-Eye Do Babies Need?
Keep in mind that all babies are different, and the amount of time your small bundle spends snoozing will vary as they get older.
Here are the sleep guidelines endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- Infants 4 to 12 months old should get 12 to 16 hours per 24-hours (including naps)
- Toddlers 1 to 2 years old should get 11 to 14 hours per 24-hours (including naps)
- Kiddo 3 to 5 years old should get 10 to 13 hours per 24-hours (including naps)
- “Big kid” 6 to 12 years old should get 9 to 12 hours per 24-hours
Fluctuations in your newborn’s sleep patterns can happen and don’t necessarily indicate a sleeping issue. For this reason, the AAP doesn’t have a recommended amount of sleep for tiny tots under four months old.
Here are, however, things you can do to help lower your little one’s risk:
- Until their first birthday, babies should always snooze on their backs and never on their tummies.
- Use a firm sleep surface, such as a quality mattress, in a safety-approved crib.
- Keep the sleeping space completely bare — this means no bumpers, stuffed animals, pillows, or blankets.
- Never allow your baby to sleep on a couch, sofa, or water bed.
- Try giving your snoozy tot a pacifier at bedtime.
- Keep the nursery’s temperature between 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent your baby from overheating.
Why Won’t My Baby Stay Asleep?
By now, you know that infants require a whole lot of sleep. It’s a critical part of their development and impacts everything from their mood and behavior to their cognition and immune system — needless to say, baby sleep is of the utmost importance!
Around three months, many little ones start to slumber for longer periods of time, and by six months, most are able to snooze for six glorious uninterrupted hours at night.
That being said, all babies are different, so sleep duration can vary from tot to tot. Your sweet baby could be a perfectly healthy one-year-old and still not regularly sleep for more than four hours uninterrupted.
Is your little buddy struggling to stay asleep? While there are many culprits that could cause your baby to sleep poorly, some of the most common include:
- Hunger — more often than not, babies wake from their slumber because they are hungry and want to eat.
- Teething — if your tiny tot is crankier than normal, it could be due to teething. According to recent research, over 82 percent of babies experience sleep trouble when they’re embarking on this milestone.
- Wet diaper — when a baby’s diaper is dirty, it can feel really uncomfortable against their delicate new baby skin. This icky feeling can cause an infant to cry in the middle of the night until their nappy has been changed.
- Overtired — if a baby goes too long without resting, they can become overtired. When this happens, they may fuss, cry, and whine to relieve their stress. For an overtired infant, falling asleep and staying asleep is extremely difficult.
Tips And Tricks To Help Your Child Fall Asleep
Whether your little buddy is putting up a battle at their beddy-bye time or is simply struggling to stay asleep through the night, these tips and tricks below can help:
Tip #1: Set The Mood To Sweet Dreams
As mentioned earlier, infants aren’t born with an internal biological clock. For this reason, it’s essential to help your tiny bundle realize that it’s time for sleep when the sun goes down— so creating the right snoozy atmosphere is crucial.
Dim the lights, draw the blackout curtains, lower your voice and sing a soft lullaby or two. Make sure they’ve been recently fed and changed before placing them into bed (on their back!) and kissing them goodnight.
We also recommend spritzing some of our Relaxing Pillow and Linen Spray into your baby’s room. This dreamy melatonin-free mist is infused with our signature NaturalSnooze fragrance, featuring scents proven to create a peaceful environment that helps with falling asleep and staying asleep.
Tip #2: Power Down
Did you know that electronic screens emit a type of light that stimulates the brain? Yup, it’s true — known as blue light, this particular wavelength of light inhibits melatonin production, the sleepy-time hormone.
Essentially, when your little one comes in contact with blue light, their brain is tricked into thinking it’s daylight and time to party.
To prevent this from happening, limit screen time before bed and turn off all artificial lighting sources unless they have a reddish hue instead of a blue or white color.
Tip #3: Drop The Temp
We all sleep best in a cool room — including babies. Before putting your infant down for bedtime, make sure the temperature in the nursery is comfortable, ideally between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit.
Babies aren’t able to regulate their body temperatures very well and can overheat fairly fast. In addition to disrupting sleep, overheating can also increase an infant’s risk of SIDS.
Tip #4: Summon The Swaddle
Infants innately possess a startle reflex in which they feel as if they’re falling. This sensation causes jerking movements and can incidentally wake your slumbering tot. Thankfully, wrapping your precious bundle can prevent this from happening.
Tip #5: Try Sleep Drops
When a baby is dealing with gas, itty-bitty bubbles form in their tummies or intestines, often creating pressure and belly pain. Many gassy tots aren’t really bothered by their gas, but some become restless and struggle drifting off to la-la land until the gassiness goes away.
To help your precious baby feel better and find calm, we recommend our Calming Probiotic and Chamomile Sleep Drops. Designed for little buddies like yours, our Lactobacillus Rhamnosus GG can help combat fussiness before bedtime and soothe occasional digestive upset.
Tip #6: Use White Noise
After having a baby, you may think that the next few months of your life will involve a whole lot of tiptoeing, but that’s certainly not the case.
You see, your small bundle spent a good chunk of time surrounded by ambient sounds in the womb. So with that in mind, it’s easy to see how silence can actually be a bit uncomfortable for newborns.
However, a white noise machine can create a familiar, womb-like environment that calms an anxious baby to help them find sleep.
Tip #7: Master The Four B’s: Bath, Book, Bottle (or Breast), Bed
Science proves a consistent bedtime routine can work wonders for kiddos. The order is totally up to you and how you see fit, but a good nighttime ritual usually involves a warm bath with soothing shampoo and body wash, a snuggly bedtime story, and one more feeding before bed.
We also like to add a relaxing infant massage with our Nourishing Body Lotion with Oat and Shea Butter.
This innovative dreamy formula is not only clinically proven to be oh-so-gentle on your little one’s sensitive skin, but it’s infused with our signature NaturalSnooze fragrance, featuring snoozy scents to encourage restful Zzz’s.
Tip #8: Stay Flexible
Lastly, no matter the age of your baby — always stay flexible.
Your sweet chickpea might be on a solid bedtime routine, which is great — your infant is getting sleep which means the whole family is finally getting sleep. But then a growth spurt or illness comes along and throws a wrench into your growing tot’s sleep patterns, and just like that, you’re back at square one.
Babies are constantly evolving. Enjoy the short moments when you have consistency and be flexible when things change. That might involve readjusting feeding times or even your little buddy’s bedtime.
It might take a couple of days to get back into the swing of things, so take a deep breath, embrace the change, and stay positive. You got this!
Snooze Time Better
Trying to help your sweet baby snooze through the night can be pretty frustrating at first — especially if you’re dealing with some sleep deprivation yourself.
For happier bedtimes and sweet dreams, staying consistent with a great bedtime routine is key.
To find what works best for you and your little one, we recommend experimenting with different nighttime activities — such as a warm bath, soothing massage, and a cuddly story.
Creating a peaceful environment in your tiny tot’s nursery can also help to summon the sleepies. Dim the lights, close the blinds, and turn on the white noise machine.
You can also spritz some of our Relaxing Pillow and Linen Spray directly onto your child’s sheets or in their room before it’s time to hit the hay. This gentle, melatonin-free mist fosters a restful environment and is the perfect companion for your little buddy’s bedtime routine.
Here at Little Yawn Collective, we’ve got zzz’s down to a science. Whether you’re on the hunt for safe sleep solutions that work or a melatonin-free bedtime routine specifically designed for your little one, you can always count on us to have the best sleepy essentials that are second to none.
Using high-quality naturally derived ingredients, our science-backed formulas are meticulously developed with scientific experts and are clinically tested and approved by both pediatricians and dermatologists. Steering clear of icky chemicals and questionable ingredients, all of our products are created with efficacy, science, and safety at heart.
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