6 habits to help your baby sleep
New parents know that getting their baby to sleep can be a difficult task! To make it easier for everyone, adopt a bedtime routine and make sure to follow it every night. These repetitive and predictable behaviours will help your child realize when it’s time to go to sleep.
Yes to naps!
Naps are essential for your child’s wellbeing. They complement nocturnal sleep. In fact, the belief that if you prevent your child from taking naps during the day they’ll go to sleep faster at night is completely false! On the contrary: a baby that is too tired, more irritable and agitated, will find it harder to relax and go to sleep.
When it’s time to go to sleep, enjoy a quiet activity with your baby : rock in a chair, tell them a story, sing a lullaby. This is a great moment to cuddle, speak softly to them, caress their forehead. A direct contact will help baby feel safe, relax and deepen their breathing.
Programming their internal clock
Babies can’t distinguish between night and day when they are born. Their internal clock (circadian rhythm) has not yet been programmed to follow a 24-hour pattern. To help them tell morning from night, when it’s time for a nap you can dim the light in their room but don’t pull the curtains all the way closed. At night, close them completely.
Your little one is new to this world, so it’s quite normal that they are curious and sensitive to the numerous stimuli in their environment. With time, they’ll learn to filter them. But until then, Mom and Dad will have to help them by eliminating the sources of excitement that could interfere with their sleep: TV, tablets, physical or noisy toys, etc.
The benefits of a massage
After bath time, spend about 15 minutes massaging your baby. This activity will put them at ease and reassure them. Lay them on a towel on the ground or on a sofa. To make the experience even more pleasant, use a lotion with a calming fragrance. Start with their lower body (feet, toes, legs), then move on to their arms, hands, chest and finally their back. Your baby will love it!
A massage is great for reinforcing the emotional bond between parent and child. It can also:
- Regulate their sleep (deeper, longer sleep). Because your little one will learn to relax, they’ll sleep better
- Aid their digestion
- Can soothe them if they are in a bad mood or are irritable
- Help relieve colic
Just like adults, babies can get a lot out of a bath. Taking a bath one hour before bedtime can help your child relax. It’s a tender moment that promotes relaxation, fun and strengthens your bond with your baby. To heighten their sensorial experience, you can use aromatic and soothing bath products. But make sure to choose ones that are gentle and hypoallergenic.