7 - 8 Months

Tips to help babies sleep

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If your baby is overtired at bedtime, they’ll sleep in later in the morning…right?

Not so much 🙃 More than likely, they’ll wake up at their normal time—or even earlier. The key to more and better sleep is actually to start your baby’s bedtime routine earlier, says Lauren Lappen, Lovevery’s certified sleep consultant.

When the human brain is tired but trying to stay awake, it secretes the hormones cortisol and adrenaline to keep alert. This is known as “hyperarousal.” Babies in this state often seem wired, cranky, and even loopy. They may be hard to settle and soothe, with excess energy one moment and none the next. 

Why won’t my baby sleep in?

When your baby is short on sleep, they’re more likely to stay in this state of hyperarousal, which means they have a harder time falling asleep. They also have a harder time staying asleep, which is why they can’t make up for the deficit by sleeping in. 

The less they sleep, the less they sleep

Your baby’s brain also needs sleep time to reset and get rid of a hormone called adenosine that builds up while they are awake. When the adenosine doesn’t dissipate during sleep, your baby will be more cranky and less attentive. They can also get into that state of hyperarousal more quickly the next day, continuing the cycle of poor sleep. 

How do I help my baby catch up on sleep?

Think of your baby’s wake-up time as somewhat fixed, and their bedtime as more flexible. If you notice that your baby is often overtired, move their bedtime up. Here are a few tips for trying out new bedtimes:

  1. Try to put your baby down when they first show signs of sleepiness, like eye-rubbing, yawning, and pulling on their ears. This allows them to sleep off more of that built-up adenosine.
  2. If your baby has been going to sleep at 7:00, try moving it up to 6:30 at first. Keep looking for those sleepy signals and try to start their bedtime routine as soon as possible. Even a subtle shift in bedtime can make a big difference.
  3. A bedtime as early as 6:00 pm can be appropriate for older infants. It may seem early, but your baby may need it if they’re showing signs of being overtired.
  4. Don’t be discouraged if an earlier bedtime doesn’t immediately translate to a more rested baby. They may need a few days or even a week to catch up on sleep and get into a better cycle ❤️

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Posted in: 7 - 8 Months, 9 - 10 Months, Routine, Parent Life, Sleeping, Baby Care, Lovevery App, Child Development

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