Here are Five Useful Tips for Mom and Dad to get your baby to sleep through the night.
1. Help baby to ‘wind down’
There are two techniques that can provide bonding time, while at the same time prep a baby for sleep. First, dad can try holding baby so that the head rests close to dad’s neck. He should then talk for ten to fifteen minutes – as men have a lower voice, this will soothe baby and these low sounds will help the baby’s brain to ‘wind down’. The second technique is to ‘wear’ baby in a sling, close to mom’s body, half an hour before bedtime. Mom should go about her usual house routines, this close contact will help baby make the transition from being overly awake, to soothing sleep.
2. Avoid eye contact.
For newborn babies – you may also want to avoid making eye contact during those feedings in the early hours of the morning. Doctors believe that when your baby locks eyes with you, her heart rate speeds up, her blood pressure rises, and she becomes more awake. It is definitely recommended that you make plenty of eye contact during the day so she knows it's time to be awake! (Also, it boosts brain development and bonding).
3. Light and shade.
Light is an easy way to regulate babies' circadian rhythm (the body's internal clock). You may want to try plugging lamps into dimmers (available at hardware stores), and when the sun goes down in the evening, lower the lights (even if your baby isn't going right to bed). This will help to reinforce baby’s natural internal clock. Also make sure your home is brightly lit during the day, even if he's napping, so as not to disturb this built in mechanism.
4. Do a quick spa treatment.
Studies done at the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine found that newborns that had a bedtime massage fell asleep faster and slept more soundly than those who didn't have one! Before bed, give your baby a 15-minute massage using slow strokes, moderate pressure, and a baby-safe oil such as Infant massage oil or Blissful Baby Massage Oil.
5. Breathe easy.
It’s a good idea to slow down your breathing as this sends your baby a signal to be calm and restful. While baby on your chest, you can try using headphones to listen to calming music that's slower than your heartbeat and then breathe to the slow, steady rhythm. As baby needs melodic soothing sounds to wind down, the Rocking Chair Relaxation CD can be of great benefit as it has been created with this in mind - for peaceful and relaxed babies. This especially composed CD has been commissioned by a Clinical Psychologist to relax your mind as well as baby’s and would be ideal to use to ‘wind down’. Containing the right combination of new sounds and repetitive melodies, it will also stimulate cognitive and neurological development in your baby while encouraging a deep appreciation for music in your child.