A self-settling baby can calm down, relax and go back to sleep on their own. That’s why it’s important to start encouraging your baby towards self-settle as early as at six months old to help him or her sleep for longer stretches during the night. By implementing this technique, you can make a huge difference in your baby’s sleep and overall well-being.
However, most newborns may find it difficult to sleep through the night and self-settle by themselves. This is due to their need to get enough food at night for their growth and development. Fortunately, there are guidelines you can follow to teach your newborn how to self-sooth to fall asleep.
Curious? Nurture Parenting, the baby sleep consultants and experts in Sydney, presents these 4 foolproof tips on how to help your 0-6-month-old baby self-settle.
4 Foolproof Tips to Help Your Baby Self Settle
1. Implement a Bedtime Routine
You should create a bedtime routine to help your baby settle into a regular sleep pattern. Start by doing things in a similar order every day. Typically, you should follow this routine:
- Feed – Prepare food and feed your baby right after he or she wakes up.
- Change Nappy – Limit your baby’s fussiness by regularly changing their dirty nappy.
- Talk and Play – Give your baby the time to play and explore their surroundings.
- Sleep – Put your baby to sleep as soon as he or she shows signs of tiredness.
You can still have flexibility when it comes to your baby’s sleeping and feeding times, but the key here is consistency. Implement a bedtime routine that is simple and comfortable so your baby can easily follow it anytime. Ultimately, you and your baby can reap many benefits from it.
Tip: Avoid playtime at night and focus on settling your baby back to sleep so they can easily associate night with bedtime.
2. Teach the Difference Between Day and Night
It’s important to know that your baby isn’t capable enough to tell the difference between day and night due to their young age. That’s why it’s normal for the baby to feel tired during the day and awake in the middle of the night.
You can help your baby understand the difference between day and night by keeping their room quiet and dimly lit during bedtime. If you need to attend to your baby at night, avoid turning on bright lights as this can be distracting. You can also try giving night feeds in the bedroom in order to make it distinct from his daytime feeds.
3. Consider Sleep Props
You should give your baby a prop to associate it with positive sleep. Consider using a soft pillow, cosy blanket, or even a pacifier. Your baby will grow attached to these items and consider it as a strong sleep cue especially when he or she wakes up in the middle of the night or in between their sleep cycles.
It’s also advisable to continuously monitor how your newborn sleeps. For instance, your infant might only go back to sleep if you give them milk. If there’s anything your baby grows fond of, decide on how to implement it into your plan.
4. Put Your Drowsy Baby to Bed
When your baby is starting to get drowsy, you should put them to bed as soon as possible. With this, you can teach your baby to understand that being in bed is an indicator that it’s time to fall asleep.
However, don’t rush your baby to sleep and give him or her some time to settle down on their own. You should avoid picking up your baby when you hear a little cry during the night. Wait until the baby re-settles without your intervention.
Tip: If you hear real and continuous crying, try patting your baby until he or she calms down and stop just before your little one goes to sleep.
This patting settling technique can help your baby sleep while they are still in bed.
It’s important to put your baby to bed when he or she becomes drowsy. And as time passes, the baby is more likely to self-soothe back to sleep upon waking up in the middle of the night.
You should teach your baby how to self-settle so they can relax and go back to sleep on his own. Ultimately, you can help your infant sleep for longer sleeping periods that can improve both their health and well-being.
Nurture Parenting, a company in Australia that offers a holistic approach to baby sleep through The Nurture Sleep Program that designed to take babies from sleepless to slumber.
Nurture Parenting is recognised as Australia’s baby sleep expert. Headed by Karen Faulkner, a Baby and Toddler Sleep Consultant, the company offers The Nurture Sleep Program that helps babies and children using sleep training. This is a tried and tested approach that has already transformed the lives of families through its exclusive baby sleep methods that help baby self-settle and promote blissful sleep.