As a new parent, there can be a number of things you learn to deal with as your baby grows. Sleepless nights can be incredibly difficult, even if you were prepared before the birth with the knowledge your nighttime schedule would be drastically changed. It can sometimes take several tries to figure out how to adapt and help your baby get a better, longer nights sleep. It is important to set realistic goals, as well as create a system that provides you with the help and support you need, be it from a partner, other family or friends.
As infants grow older, they begin to sleep longer, compared to newborns who sleep in spurts. It is important to watch for signs of sleepiness, such as rubbing of the eyes, to ensure they are getting sleep when they need it. As you get better at noticing the signs of fatigue, you can begin to set up a pattern for their sleeping habits, such as certain nap times, pre-bed time stories and baths, and actual bed times that will later become routine.
If you stick to these times, not only will your baby begin to fall into the pattern, but you can count on those times to rest, as well. Try always putting your baby to bed when they are drowsy but not asleep, so they can connect bedtime with falling asleep in a safe space.
It can happen that some infants don’t adjust as fast to the change between day and nighttime as others. If your baby is keeping random hours after a few weeks of being home, you can create stimuli for them so they can begin to adjust more quickly by keeping the house lighter in daytime hours and much darker when it’s nighttime. This may require to use less lighting than usual in the evenings, and keeping their sleeping area dark so they can differentiate day from night.
Noise machines and fans that drown out other household sounds will also help your baby settle into a decent slumber. It can help to use light blockers on the windows to keep rooms darker so they can sleep past sunrise, and if they awake in the middle of the night try letting them settle back down before immediately picking them up. Infants tend move around and shift in their sleep, but they will sometimes simply calm themselves after a few minutes.
Always make sure to keep their sleeping space safe and free of too much clutter, including toys, etc.