One of the biggest milestones for a parent is when you finally start to settle your baby into a reasonable sleep schedule. For some, it’s a lot harder than others, and it can be made even harder by the little issues that can wake your baby up screaming after you’ve finally got them off to sleep.
Here are a few of those issues you need to keep in mind and what you can do to fight them.
1. A lack of routine
A nightly routine has been shown in some studies to make it much easier for a baby to fall asleep, and to stay asleep. As such, if you want to make sure that you’re helping them drift off the right way, then you can follow a newborn sleep schedule for the first three months.
Once you settle into a routine, it’s easier to keep following it until they don’t need as much help sleeping through the night.
2. Letting them fall asleep on you
It’s tempting to want to soothe your baby to sleep in your arms, then put them down in their cot when they have already fallen asleep. However, this can lead to them briefly waking up during the night and not recognizing their surroundings. Instead of going back to sleep, they can become distressed and start crying.
Put your baby to sleep in their crib or bassinet while they’re still awake, but drowsy. Try to soothe them in bed if they wake up fussing, but don’t take them out of their crib.
3. Dirty Diapers
Babies will wet themselves whenever they feel the slightest urge, no matter what time of day and whether they’re awake or asleep. If this happens throughout the night, they can end up with a wet and leaking diaper, which will cause discomfort and make them wake up screaming.
However, some diapers are designed to make sure this doesn’t happen. Check out the best overnight diapers and see if there’s one that fits your baby’s particular type of nighttime wetting issues. Choosing those with the best leak protection and absorbency is priority number one.
If you’re unsure about which diapers are the best for your baby, consider getting a diaper sampler pack from Diaper Dabbler. These sampler packs offer a variety of diapers so that you can trial them out and quickly compare diapers before purchasing a whole case.
4. Negative sleep association: Feeding to Sleep
Your baby is going to fall asleep while eating or just after eating all the time. However, as they get a little older, moving into the 5th month, you want to keep feeding and sleep time separate. Otherwise, babies can start to associate the act of feeding with the act of going to sleep.
This will cause them to wake up and not drift off until they have been fed. They then become reliant on you for the feeding in order to put themselves to sleep.
You should try to make sure you’re only nighttime feeding when the baby is actually hungry, not when you need them to sleep.
Hopefully, the points above help you to keep your baby sleeping peacefully for as long as they need with no more middle of the night wake ups for your baby.