As fathers, we are ready to move mountains for our babies. From working late nights to making six grocery store runs in a day, we’d do anything for them. So when it’s 2:36 in the morning, and the baby won’t fall asleep despite our best efforts, it can make us feel a little defeated, to say the least.
But fear not, tired dads of the world. While you can’t fast forward to when your baby learns to sleep contently, you can follow these tips for helping your baby sleep at night.
Watch for Signs of Drowsiness
It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s common for your baby to get so tired that they can’t sleep. When babies are overtired, they tend to stress themselves out. And when they do, they will often become more upset the more you try to soothe them.
The trick is to catch babies when they’re first growing tired. Be on the lookout for signs they’re getting sleepy, such as:
- Rubbing their faces
- Droopy eyelids
- Clumsy movements
- Unfocused gaze
When your baby starts looking sleepy, put them in their crib immediately, if possible. This will help them associate the sensation of falling asleep with their bed.
Create an Ideal Sleep Environment
Just like us, a baby’s environment will likely impact how easy it is for them to fall asleep. So it’s a good idea to keep these ways to help your baby sleep at night in mind when designing the nursery. Here are a few ways to enhance your baby’s sleep environment:
- Use black-out shades or dimmer switches to keep the room dark
- Keep the room temperature on the low side, at around 68 to 72 degrees Fahrenheit
- Utilize a white noise machine
- Try diffusing calming essential oils, like lavender
- Consider putting a fan in the room
Change Up the Bedding
Along the lines of a baby’s sleep environment is the place where they’ll rest their heads. Of course, there isn’t much to baby’s bedding. Until they’re at least a year old, experts discourage the use of blankets, pillows, or even stuffed animals. However, you still need to keep their bed clean, so you may wonder how often you need to change your baby’s bedding. While it depends on the type of bedding, consider changing the bedding at least once a week.
Another bedding tip you can employ is to swaddle your baby. Swaddling is a natural soother for little ones that calms anxiety and protects against the “startle reflex.” That way, you can put your baby in the best position to have a good night’s sleep.