“Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high
There's a land that I heard of once in a lullaby
Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true”
~ Judy Garland
Wizard of Oz
A tune so reminiscent of blissful sleep, bringing back so many wonderful moments spent staring at your baby sleeping peacefully. With the temperatures soaring, getting babies and toddlers to sleep can be quite a challenge. But before we get on to various ways to put your little ones to bed during summers, it helps to have an understanding of your baby's sleeping patterns.
During the first three months,the patterns for newborns can be quite erratic. But as the newborns get accustomed to their surroundings their sleep slowly becomes regulated and they mostly wake up only to feed or their sleep is interrupted when they pee or poop. It is also one of the memorable phases when your baby smiles during sleep.
Post that up to six months is the best time to introduce your baby to a sleep ritual as their sleep patterns are somewhat regular. They are able to sleep for hours at a stretch at night so it is a little easier for the mommies. Bedtime activities like lullabies can be established as cues that it's time for bed.
By the time they are nine months old, the child's routine is more or less established. Having started on solid foods, the baby has less issues sleeping through the night. During the day as well their nap time is more or less the same. It's a good idea to feed the baby before naptime as then they tend to rest more peacefully and for longer periods.
When the babies are about a year old they spend most of their time awake and are very active. They sleep through the night and are most likely to take one or two naps during the day. Their curiosity takes over thus they love crawling to explore their surroundings. They have also just started rolling over hence need to be propped between pillows when they sleep.
Ways to help your baby sleep better
Feeding and comforting
Comfort and feeding is the key to sound sleep for babies. Breastfeeding helps the baby feel peaceful with you by its side. If the baby has started on formula or on solids then a proper meal followed by formula will help the baby sleep better. Swaddling till your baby is three months old is also a good idea as it calms and soothes the baby.
A bedtime ritual
While newborns sleep when they have to, babies above four months need a routine. Winding down to sleep can be established in various ways. The most common of these is trying to put your baby to sleep every night at the same time. A mothers voice is like music to the child so a lullaby or a bedtime story or rhyme is the easiest way to establish a night time ritual and ease the baby into sleep. Dimming the lights is also a visual cue for the baby that it is time to sleep.
A warm bath before bed time
A warm bath is very soothing and it helps your little one sleep better. Ideally done an hour before bed, it helps the baby wind down and relax. Using a soft and mild hair cleanser and body wash, bathe your baby well and dry them thoroughly paying special attention to folds of the skin. In younger babies swaddling them helps while the older ones can be immediately changed into dry warm clothes.
While each baby is unique, and sleep patterns may vary, babies do understand their sleeping patterns by the fourth month, making it easier for moms to know when the baby is tired and ready for bed. With a little patience and understanding, these tips can help create a happy sleep experience for your baby.