Perhaps one of the hardest things parents have to deal with is the erratic sleeping patterns babies seem to have. They wake up in the middle of the night, full-on howling and you don’t have a choice but to attend to them. It would have been fine if they do this once or even twice. But they do it every 2 hours and it’s just impossible to get enough sleep because of that.
Now we understand that no two babies are the same; one sleeping method may work for some but is totally rendered useless for others. For example the cry it out method.
Cry It Out Method
It has sparked a lot of controversies given the opposing views of mothers from different parts of the world. I, for one, know people who have done it and can attest to its great effects but there are also friends and family who are totally appalled by the idea of letting your baby cry until they fall asleep.
A lot of studies emphasize how beneficial it can be to parents and babies. Aside from promoting better and longer uninterrupted sleep, it can also help alleviate a mom’s postpartum disorder.
But there are those who disagree.
In an article from Psychology Today, we are introduced to the possible dangers of this method. Feelings of alienation, loss of trust, and increased stress are among the things pointed out in the article.
For first time mothers, it can be very confusing.
Which side should you believe in? Of course you don’t want to cause permanent damage to your baby but some people say this method works. What should you do?
Let’s go back to the fact that no two babies are the same. The best way to figure it out is to try it out yourself.
CIO: Ferber Method
The CIO is grounded on the objective to train the infant to self-regulate and is classified into different variations. There are versions that let the baby cry way up until they fall asleep and there are those that are kinder like the Ferber Method.
Success in this method is determined by the decrease of time it takes for your baby to fall asleep. Prepare yourself because this method is not easy. A lot of parents expressed how hard it was for them at the beginning. Also, if your baby is suffering from any illness, it’s best not to use this method.
What are the other things you can do to put your baby to sleep more easily?
If you look at your baby’s room, you can control almost everything you see. From the lights to the toys in their crib. Now use this to promote better sleep.
The same way that daytime means waking up and nighttime means sleep, light gives signal to the baby that it’s time to be and stay active.
To effectively put your baby to sleep, set their lights in the right mood during nighttime. You might want to install dimmers. It is advised to put dimmers rooms where your baby usually takes a nap as well.
It’s important to be consistent.
That means if the lights are dim, it’s time to go to sleep. No more playing or anything else. To train your baby to recognize when it’s bedtime already, start dimming the lights two hours prior. And when your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, avoid blasting on the lights.
Minimize rocking your baby
We all love rocking our babies simply because they love it. Once you start that soothing motion, their cries start to die down, making it a great way to put them to sleep. However, doing this too much and too often may result to a great deal of dependency.
It may offer a quick solution to your problem but ask yourself, are you willing to do this all the time?
Although some of you might say yes because after all, we are willing to do anything for our children, you might want to take a look at a long-term solution.
We are not saying don’t rock your child at all. Just don’t give in to the temptation of rocking them to sleep. Because they will get used to it, causing them to associate rocking to sleeping.
Aside from the dependency concerns, experts also suggest that constant motion can also affect the quality of their sleep. Think of those moment when you slept in the car or plane. Didn’t feel so good right?
Take the distractions away
Before, I was so obsessed with baby mobiles and think how amazing of an invention they are. But later on I found out that if you want your baby to sleep soundly, you need to free their room of distractions. Just like the bright light, these actually tell them it’s active time.
Even the classical music you think will usher them to a sleep full of sweet dreams can still distract them. No toys, music, and absolutely no screen should be in sight.
There are some of us who would like our children to stay up until we’ve gotten home and yes, I know how nice it is to play with them after a stressful day. But preventing them from sleeping at their designated sleeping time will only result to chaos. I mean it.
Just like adults, babies who are sleep-deprived tend to be cranky. But what’s worse is unlike adults who eventually just decide to sleep when they get tired, babies do the exact opposite. They refuse to sleep and do a great job in being cranky. You don’t want to deal with that, do you?
Disrupting their sleeping patterns
A routine should be established to ensure the quality of sleep your baby is having. This also makes it easier for you to put them to sleep every night. Once you’ve already established that schedule, your baby will learn to seek it out. In no time, all you need to do is dim the lights to make them understand that it’s time for bed.
Changing diapers often
Most of us think that a baby wakes up in the middle of the night because they peed or soiled in their diapers and are growing irritated by it. But that’s not always the case. To promote uninterrupted sleep, use a nighttime diaper that you only need to change if you’re dealing with poop.
Putting babies to sleep can be extremely frustrating especially when you are tired yourself. However, there are a lot of things you can do to manage this. If there’s anything you want to share to help others out, feel free to comment below.