Are you too wondering where you went wrong when it comes to your baby’s sleep routine? So was I, until I started separating and observing the different factors that were affecting my baby’s sleep. Crankiness, not sticking to the schedule and lots and lots of crying; it all comes with parenthood. But one surely can minimise this to win back one’s sanity. Ha!
Here’s a compilation of the four most common mistakes that parents make which contribute to ruining the sleep schedule of their baby.
Not Having a Sleep Routine
To start with, you might want to start establishing a routine in order actually to have one. It’s going to be difficult staying on schedule, and things are not going to be all rosy and sunshine at first (are they ever?). The trick is consistency and persistence. Be consistent in putting your baby to sleep at the right time and be persistent if it doesn’t work out at first.
Baby’s Dependence On Parents
One of the worst mistake is letting the baby depend on the parents for sleep. Of course, I too wanted to rock my baby and sing her to sleep myself! But I realised just how big of a mistake I was making when I had an extra load of work assignments, and my baby just wouldn’t fall asleep on her own.
Holding your baby and rocking him/her at bedtime every time might be a really bad idea. Your baby will begin to associate rocking and singing by you with sleep and will be unable to sleep without it.
Turning out Lights and Noises
Turning out the lights and the sounds will condition your baby to sleep only in their absence. My 9-month old was so used to sleeping uninterrupted by even the slightest of disturbances that even the soft ringing of the doorbell would result in the dreaded crying noises from the nursery.
Thus, you should condition your baby to sleep through a variety of situations, whether it is night or day, noisy or quiet. Sticking to the schedule will become so much easier after this.
Keeping The baby awake
Going to a late dinner and thinking of keeping your baby up past her regular bedtime? Well, I too admit to having done this just so I could show my little angel to all my friends and family. But not only will this mess up your baby’s sleep schedule, but it will also make him / her cranky in the morning. If you think putting your baby to sleep late will result in him/her waking up late, stop right there! Babies are attuned to waking up at the same time.
Putting yours to sleep at a later time will only cut off his / her sleep duration, making him / her cranky and irritable later. Trust me, you don’t want to do this.
These were the mistakes that I observed I was making when it came to my baby’s sleep schedule. However, there are certain traits in children that are naturally occurring, and thus unavoidable. They can be softened, but not eliminated.
Following these simple rules really helped me improve my baby’s schedule and it gave me more time to myself. I hope it does the same for you!