DON’T MAKE EYE CONTACT
Making eye contact with your baby will wake her up- her heart speeds up and her blood pressure rises. While you should lock eyes with your baby plenty of times during the day, you should avoid gazing into her eyes late at night.
CHECK ROOM TEMPERATURE
Did you know that you can actually sleep better when the room is a bit cooler? Same with your little one. Keep baby’s room warmer during the day, and cooler at night. The optimal room temperature to put baby to sleep is between 65 and 70 °F.
You can use dimmers to regulate baby’s circadian rhythm, -the body’s internal clock. Plug your lamps into dimmer units, then lower the lights when the sun goes down in the evening. Even if your baby’s not going to sleep right away, this will reinforce the body rhythm of baby. During the day, have the lights brightly lit, even if baby is taking a nap.
USE WHITE NOISE
It’s easy to think that you need silence to put your baby to sleep. But don’t forget that while your baby was in the uterus for 40 weeks, she was listening 24/7 to sounds about as twice as loud as a vacuum cleaner. Babies love strong rhythmic noise! Use white-noise machines, a radio tuned to transmit static, or even let her sleep near the dishwasher.
Put your swaddled baby in a reclined seat and buckle her in. But we recommend you use the swing technique only if your baby keeps on waking up after you’ve swaddled her and used the white noise. In fact, fewer than five percent of babies will actually need it.
CUT YOUR CAFFEINE INTAKE
If you are a breastfeeding mama, your caffeine consumption can actually affect your newborn. Large consumption of caffeine from coffee, soda, chocolate or tea can turn up in breast milk. For a newborn, it’s much more difficult to metabolize caffeine- it will stay in their bodies for up to 96 hours! So, if your baby seems to have trouble sleeping while everything stayed the same, you might want to check on your coffee consumption. To learn more about appropriate amount of caffeine intake for a breastfeeding mom, check out our article.
GIVE BABY A FULL STOMACH
Starting from about 5 p.m., decrease the gap between feedings. For example, if you feed your baby every 3 hours, do so every 2 hours during the evening. A full stomach will help baby fall asleep.
USE THE BABY BOTTLE
If your breastfed baby wakes too often, try feeding her pumped breastmilk from a bottle. Dads can take part in this nighttime routine, so that Mommy can have some break too.
GIVE BABY MASSAGE
Studies done at the Touch Research Institutes at the University of Miami School of Medicine found babies who received baby massage before bedtime fell asleep faster and slept more soundly, than those who didn’t. Check out our video on how to to give a baby massage.