1. Use dimmers to help your baby distinguish between day and night
A great place to start is to teach your baby that night is for sleep. If your baby understands this one earthly rule, your life will be a lot easier. Plan your baby's nighttime schedule and live by it. Using dimmers in the lamps and lights in your house will signal to your baby that it is time to sleep and will also regulate your baby's circadian rhythm.
2. Include a warm bath to your baby’s nightly routine
Running a warm bath, before snuggling into bed works wonders. Having a nightly routine could signal to the baby that it is time to call it a day, working wonders for a smooth sleep through the night.
3. Regulate the temperature of the baby’s room
In Dr. Alan Green's book, From First Kicks to First Steps, the best temperature for an infant's sleep ranges from 65 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, keeping your baby's room temperature a little low will allow your baby to fall asleep more quickly.
4. Plan the diaper changes well through the night
Planning tactfully with midnight naps and a diaper change can provide your baby with a good night's sleep. So, before the midnight feed, change your baby's diaper and put them back to sleep with a cozy swaddle. If you change their diaper after the meal, they might be fully awake and may take longer to fall asleep again.
5. Use a bassinet or a co-sleeper
For the first 6 months, it's preferable for your baby to sleep as close to you as possible. So, as opposed to a crib, keep a bassinet or a co-sleeper, this will ensure that your baby has uninterrupted naps. Bassinets tend to feel cozier and are more secure. Sleeping right next to your baby, or taking a quick nap with them can have the same effect.
6. Limit your baby’s screen time before bedtime
Research has shown that babies that play with touch screens take a longer time to doze off. So aim to keep your baby away from the screen for an hour or two before their nap time, which will help them get ready to call it a day.
7. It's okay to wake your baby up for their feeding
While most parents swear by the number one rule, never wake up a sleeping baby, if your baby has slept past the next feed time, or hasn't eaten in the last three hours, it's perfectly okay to wake the baby up! This will get your baby into the right sleep routine, and ensure there are no fussy evenings.
8. Find what works best to put your baby to sleep and go with it
Babies, like adults, have their likes and dislikes. While there is no set manual for what works best, your baby might be giving you signals as to what is a win-win with them. It could be little things like brushing their eyebrows, or the hum of the hair dryer - every parent has a trick they use. So once you catch the signal, and go with it.