Off To Sweet Slumber

As new parents, a baby means many sleepless nights. Your baby has no sleep schedule. She sleeps whenever and however much she needs to. This can be tiring for you, especially when she keeps waking up in the dead of the night. But take heart. She’ll be sleeping more predictably in her sixth month. Until then, here is how you can help her drift off to sleep:

  • Set a routine. Treat day time sleep and night time sleep differently. In the day, let her sleep in a carrycot, your bed or pram. Save the baby cot for night time use only. At night, put your baby to sleep at about the same time and keep the room dark.
  • Gentle rocking. Lull your baby to sleep by rocking her in your arms or singing a lullaby. This may take a while as she may wake up each time you put her in the cot.
  • Sucking. Some babies will be soothed by sucking and this leads to the pacifier. Please note that the pacifier can cause dental problems and is not encouraged.
  • Wrapping. Tuck baby’s arms snugly but not too tightly in a light blanket. This gives her a sense of security and helps her sleep more peacefully.
  • Rubbing. Rub baby’s abdomen rhythmically to soothe her and put her to asleep. Don’t change the rhythm as you may disturb her. Stop rubbing when her eyelids have closed.
  • Massage. Infant massage on a regular basis helps baby sleep well.

“How do I get my baby back to sleep if she wakes up in the night?”

Wait a few minutes to see if she goes back to sleep. If she keeps crying, pick her up and cuddle her for a while or feed her. Put her back into her cot when she stops crying. If she cries again, soothe her verbally to assure her that you are still there.Wait for 5 minutes before checking on her again. Pat her but do not pick her up unless she is terribly cranky. Tuck her up and leave.

Do this every five minutes until she falls back to sleep. After half an hour, increase the interval between visits to 10 minutes. Doing this for a couple of weeks helps set a more sociable sleeping schedule.

Let baby sleep in a carrycot or baby cot, not a “sarong cot” or “buai” as baby may fall out. To avoid cot death, let her sleep on her back with her feet at the end of the cot. Tuck in the covers securely so that they stay below her shoulders and cannot slip up and cover her head. If you think your baby is sleeping poorly, consult the paediatrician. PP

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