Preventive tips for babies from frequent night awakenings

Some of the ways by which you can prevent or control a baby from awakening frequently at night are as follows:

Follow the 5 S’s: Among the most effective ways to help babies sleep better at night is the 5 S’s. These include swaddling the baby in something warm and snug with space for them to roll comfortably. Sue white noise in the background to shush them to sleep. Swing to rock the baby gently for them to lull into a deep sleep. Keep the baby in the side/stomach position to help them relax. Encourage them to suckle by using a pacifier when they are about to sleep after breastfeeding. The 5 S’s as they are termed help a baby to relax, reduce crying and make them feel drowsy.  

Set a routine: When the baby is 6-8 weeks old, they can be encouraged to develop a bedtime routine. Begin soothing them around 15-25 minutes before they begin to snooze and it helps to calm them down and help them sleep better at night. Make it a bedtime routine and it will help the baby to enjoy a more restful night’s sleep.

Let the baby self-soothe: Every single time the baby whimpers or cries a bit do not respond immediately at night. The only time you should respond is when the baby begins to cry for a longer period. Baby sleep circles are generally under an hour, so they will squawk, wiggle about, and cry while switching to another sleep cycle. This generally takes anywhere between 30-60 seconds so let the baby self-soothe in the intermittent period and it is likely to fall into a snooze on its own.

Feed between 10 pm to 12 am Most babies that get up in the middle of the night, do so because of hunger pangs. Therefore, one of the best ways to prevent this from happening is to feed them between 10 pm and midnight. Studies have proved that it reduces the frequency of them getting up at night and having a longer sounder sleep.

Prevent the baby from getting overtired: Babies that get overtired do not sleep as soundly as babies that are rested. It is because being overtired produces cortisol that keeps the baby awake longer at night. You need to ensure that when the baby is awake and not let them get overtired by encouraging them to take short naps in between. Preventing overtiredness in the baby during the daytime will help them to sleep better during the night. 

Feed more in the daylight hours: For babies that tend to wake every hour or so the number of daytime, feedings should be increased. When in the womb the baby is almost constantly fed, so while we do not have to do that, babies do need frequent feeds for their sustenance. Babies that breastfeed should be fed 10-12 times and those that are fed by a bottle – times per day. Preferably aim to feed them more in the daytime and early evening hours as that will help them get better sleep at night.