Getting a baby to adjust to a normal sleep schedule can be a challenge for new parents. Here are some tips so that both you and your baby can get a good night's rest.
1) Establish a routine - A kiss good night or stroking the baby before sleep can calm the child, or bathing and cleaning the child before bed time. Make sure to repeat these patterns. Once the baby becomes familiar with this routine, they will know that it is time to sleep. Also, make sure the baby sleeps in the same place and in the same conditions as much as possible.
2) Try lullaby music - Lullaby music can calm the child as can white noise CD's. The sound of a vacuum cleaner is also known to have a soothing effect.
3) Make sure that the room temperature is not too hot or cold and that the baby is in a location that is away from any noise or distractions that may cause the baby to awaken.
4) Shorten nap time during the day - If the baby sleeps too much during the day, then he or she may not be able to sleep as well at night. When napping, keep the lights on and try not to give the baby any cues that it is bedtime by avoiding the night routine. No need to wake the child from napping, but if conditions are brighter and a bit noisier, then the baby will probably wake up on its own.
5) Rocking - Rocking and massaging the baby can relax the child and this may be good as prelude to sleeping through the night.
6) Read a story - Read a story or spend some time with the baby before bed, instead of just dropping the baby off in the crib and leaving. This extra time will allow the baby to transition into sleep.
7) Feeding - Make sure the baby is getting good nutrition. If you must feed the baby in the middle of the night, make sure to keep the lights dim so as to not disturb the baby's sense of time.
8) Make sure that it is quiet at night and that there is activity during the day. Babies need to learn the difference between night and day.