Being parents is one of the most challenging roles in life. While many may agree, it’s also one of the most fulfilling roles anyone can take on. It’s fun, you feel the love you never thought you’re capable of. Regardless of that fact, it is challenging. One of the challenges of the everyday life of a parent is the constant bedtime battles.
What are bedtime battles and what makes them a huge part of your parenting story?
What Are Bedtime Battles?
Bedtime battles are those struggles you face when it’s bedtime. From taming them before bed to making sure they take a bath and finally tucking them in bed. Well, that’s just half the battle. You’ll have to watch out for the impending tantrums, countless questions and your child’s attempt to push you to your limits.
They do that on purpose, did you know?
The ultimate goal is to make sure they fall asleep in hope of good dreams. These are normal scenarios in a parent’s life. It starts from the day your baby is born until they graduate from being toddlers and start to become more reasonable.
“A newborn can’t do much, it’ll be easy.” You won’t know until you’re a parent putting your baby to sleep for the tenth time in the middle of the night now, would you? Just sharing a thought – newborn babies are adjusting to a new life outside the womb, do you really think it will be easy?
Let that sink in…
So, how do you handle bedtime battles with newborn babies?
5 Strategies To Handle Bedtime Battles With Newborn Babies
1. Newborn babies love the swaddle.
The reason newborns are fond of swaddles until the first two or three months is because of how it feels. It’s like they are back inside the womb – all warm, soft and protected by the swaddle blanket. This usually helps them calm down after throwing a fit.
At this point, if a newborn baby isn’t looking for milk, they are looking for comfort. If your baby is crying nonstop, you might want to give them a nice, comfortable swaddle. Use a light swaddle, not too thick to cause your baby to overheat, and just enough for your baby to feel embraced in place.
2. Try different sleeping positions for them.
Some newborn babies don’t need pillows just yet, but some may prefer them.
If your baby stops crying when they’re lying down on a pillow, it’s best to use the pillows that have a hollow middle. These types of pillows help avoid the ‘flat head syndrome’ among newborns.
The Flat Head Syndrome is when the sides and back of your baby’s head flatten instead of grows out into the shape it’s mean to develop into. It could flatten because your baby’s head is growing, and the pillows with hollow middles can help give your baby’s head more headspace.
3. Maybe it’s the wrong parent putting the baby to sleep.
Yes, there is such a thing. If the baby is seeing or hearing too much of the mum, the baby will start to also look for the dad. It’s not common, but it’s a factor that a baby comes to realise it prefers a certain parent at times.
So, if you’ve been putting your baby to sleep a lot, maybe it’s time for a rotation of labour with your spouse.
4. Familiarise what makes them calm and comfortable.
Just like us, a newborn baby may have preferences of how to go to bed or it’s another night of bedtime battles. Many ways can help like feeding before putting them to bed or making sure they burp right after. Some babies like to have a little light in the room, some may not. Swaddling definitely helps in making sure they’re secured for bed. Proper ventilation can add more to the comfort they feel, too.
Some babies like to be caressed by the cheeks or head, or tapped by the thighs. Especially if these are gestures you do while they were inside your womb, it could also help when they’re outside the womb. They are newborn babies adjusting outside the womb after all.
5. Adjustment to being outside your womb takes time.
Having a newborn baby isn’t much work since they can’t crawl and climb yet. But these first three months require your patience because the only form of communication they can provide is crying. Your patience is everything for them.
So if they keep crying in the middle of the night and milk or swaddles don’t work, talk to them. Hold their tiny fingers. At this point, any form of interaction for you is a learning experience for them.
In A Nutshell…
Bedtime battles are normal for babies at different ages. Newborns and even toddlers have these moments with their parents. The trick is always in how you handle them as a parent. It may take time for some babies to find what works for them, so you will have to be patient. Everything works out when you and your baby find the best routine.
What is your bedtime battle with your baby?