1. Sleeping on a flat surface.
Something that hadn’t occurred to me until it was too late, is that babies require conditioning. Go figure. I would be downstairs doing house work with my little one in her swing, sleeping away. And in a short period of time, she decided that she wasn’t going to sleep unless she was on an incline while swinging in a cuddly nest type thing. Which sucked considering she sleeps in a pack-n-play in our room. Now you’d think “well Lauren, why don’t you just put the swing in your room at night?” Two reasons! One, that swing is freaking huge! And I refuse to carry it up and downstairs every day. And two, I’m going to hate life when she is too big for the swing and needs to start sleeping in her crib. So! What’s the alternative? Only use the swing for short periods of time when she is awake. Otherwise, she naps in the Pack-n-Play whenever possible. So if you have your little one sleeping next to your bed in a swing, bouncing seat or Rock-n-Play, you may be conditioning them to sleep under specific circumstances. Let me tell you! Since I started doing this, she sleeps for longer periods of time at night!
2. Sleeping when it’s dark
Considering your baby just spent nine months in the dark, they don’t know that they are supposed to be sleeping at night. So whether it’s nap time or night time, try to keep it as dark in the room as possible. That way they learn to associate dark with sleep!
Swaddle your baby when it’s time to sleep. Unswaddle when it’s not nap time or night time. Again, it’s all about creating sleep signals for them! Some babies actually don’t like to be swaddled. For this reason, it’s ideal to start swaddling from day one. That way there is no “like” or “dislike” it’s just the way it is.
4. White noise
This has helped us immensely! You always hear that you should vacuum or have the TV on when babies are sleeping. And that’s all good and fine. But the problem then became, sleeping at night when it’s silent. She wouldn’t sleep for any longer than an hour unless there was noise. SOLUTION! White noise machine! You can also download a white noise app. (Bonus: My husband snores to the point that I want to punch him in the face. The white noise has helped me sleep more soundly and I only wake up when I hear my daughter)
The earlier you start these routines, the smoother the process tends to be. Good luck and happy sleeping!