There are a variety of reasons why babies wake in the night; it’s not uncommon. The majority of the time, they tend to be temporary issues such as growth spurts, teething, or they just want reassurance that you’re there. Or, perhaps you’ve gone through the baby stage, and now your little one has reached toddlerhood. We’ve all been there, that familiar 5 am squawk from your toddler’s bedroom signifying that they are up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, whilst you are still 7 cups of coffee away from fully functioning.
There are several things you can try with your baby or toddler to help them to go to bed at a reasonable time, reduce waking in the night and to help them to sleep a little longer in the morning so both you and they are getting a long, restful nights sleep time and time again.
Top tips for helping your baby to sleep
In this section, we will give you great advice on how to help your baby go to sleep and what to do if they wake up at night.
Introduce a bedtime routine
Many parents used the five B’s method to introduce a routine to get their baby relaxed and ready for sleep. The five Bs are bath, book, bedtime songs, baby massage, and bottle/breastfeeding. A consistent bedtime routine can work wonders.
Bath time is an essential part of the bedtime routine because it is soothing and helps to relax them, as does baby massage. Not only are these great for calming, but they’re a lovely bonding experience too that will make your baby feel safe and secure. Reading to your baby is great for their development, as is singing a song to them or allowing them to listen to soothing music and doing this before bedtime signals to them that it’s almost time for sleep.
Doing the five Bs every night at the same time will help to develop a great routine and a secure bedtime. Don’t be afraid for things to go wrong; getting your baby into a routine can take time. To help, you could try using a cot mobile like this one.
Like most other people, babies struggle to sleep if they are hungry. Trying to fall asleep whilst experiencing hunger pains is extremely difficult, so it is no surprise that babies wake up throughout the night if they are hungry. The younger your baby is, the more often they require feeding therefore, it is not unusual for them to wake in the night hungry. This problem should improve as they get older and move on to solid foods so they can have more balanced meals throughout the day.
Don’t limit their daytime naps
Struggling to sleep due to being overtired is also a common problem among adults. It is not uncommon to find yourself struggling to get through the day but then feeling energised at bedtime. The same goes for babies; if they’re overtired, it makes it difficult for them to settle and fall asleep. Young babies need lots of sleep, and limiting their daytime naps could make things worse.
Make your baby comfortable
Babies need lots of love and comfort, especially when they’re teething or experiencing growth spurts. Being in pain would prevent anyone from dropping off at night, which is no different for babies. This includes things like earaches or infections, an upset stomach, or just being uncomfortable.
Babies wake up if they are too hot or cold or generally feel uncomfortable, maybe in their clothing, nappy or cot itself. Ensuring that they are dressed properly, have a clean nappy, and good quality mattress are all steps you can take to minimize any discomfort they may be experiencing.
Allow your baby to learn how to self soothe
Self-soothing differs from baby to baby. Some are born able to naturally self-soothe, whereas others are used to being rocked to sleep and don’t have the ability to do it themselves. It is tempting to get up and soothe babies back to sleep as soon as they wake, but sometimes if you give them a few minutes, they can learn to go back to sleep on their own.
Top tips on helping your toddler to sleep longer
Congratulations on making it through the tough baby stage, but now you have a toddler on your hands, which can be just as challenging. They might have mastered going to bed at a reasonable time and sleeping through the night, but now they’re waking up way before you’d like them to. Here are some tips on getting your toddler to sleep for longer.
Use a training clock
Now, we realise that throwing money at the situation often ends in a smaller bank balance and even more stressed out parents. But, training clocks, such as the Gro Clock, really are a miraculous piece of toddler equipment. As well as helping to teach your youngster the time, the clock face changes from stars (signifying bedtime) to a smiling sun (telling your child it is ok to get up) on a pre-setting of your choice. Children may take a while to get the hang of it, but you’ll never look back once it sinks in.
The morning sun can greatly influence your toddler’s early rise. Especially problematic in the summer, when the sun seems never to disappear, sun streaming through their bedroom window can not only wake them out of their slumber but also make them believe it is later than it actually is. Blackout blinds help keep the rays at bay, ensuring your little one stays sound asleep.
Adjust daytime naps
Early morning antics may simply be the symptom of too much sleep (though, as an adult, the idea that one can have too much sleep is mind-blowing!). As painful as it may be to hear, you might want to consider dropping a nap or moving naps earlier in the day. You could also look at putting your youngster down a little later for their night-time sleep to see if that helps.
If your child is waking up hungry, their rumbling tummy might cause their early mornings. Try giving them more milk or a healthy snack just before they go to bed; that may keep the wolf from the door for a little bit longer, giving you a bit of a lie-in. Browse our range of baby-weaning sets here at Kiddies Kingdom.
We really hope that after reading this post, you and your little one get plenty of restful nights. Try using some of these tips but remember that it isn’t a one-size-fits-all method, so do what’s right for you and your little one.