Tricks for Putting a Baby to Sleep
Sleep deprivation can turn even the strongest parents into zombies. We have all seen the parent with bloodshot eyes show up to work and struggle to stay awake during the day. Desperate attempts are made every night to get children to sleep. Successful attempts result in a happy parent who is full of energy throughout the day. Unsuccessful attempts result in a zombie. So what can be done to help prevent those sleepless nights? Here are a few tricks that can be used to help your baby fall asleep.
1. Stop Using a Pacifier
This can be kind of tricky. Your baby will resist the change and there may be a few nights when you’ll have to let your child cry it out but eventually they will get to a point where they can sleep without the pacifier. This is good because when their pacifier is constantly falling out of their mouth it wakes them up over and over again.
2. Create White Noise
Even the smallest noises can wake a baby. Something as simple as a light switch being flicked on or off or a toy being knocked over is something that will wake up a baby. You need to be able to cover up that noise with a white noise machine or a fan. As you start using white noise your child will gradually associate white noise with sleep and whatever you are using for white noise will start to relax and soothe your child.
3. Adjust Blankets
In general young babies like to sleep when they are tightly swaddled and older babies like to sleep with loose blankets. Since babies that are too hot or too cold are more irritable and restless you need pay attention to the temperature of the room they sleep in and adjust their clothing and covering accordingly.
4. Don’t Make Eye Contact
This can be a struggle for loving and caring parents. Seeing that bright light in your child’s eye makes you so proud and happy but children are easily stimulated. Making eye contact when your child is falling asleep can make slowly falling eyelids fly wide open. You need to learn how to go through the whole routine of preparing your child for bed without making eye contact.
5. Give a Firm Touch
Father’s tend to have more success with this trick because they usually have bigger hands. When your child is falling asleep firmly place your hands on their back, belly, arms, or head. A firm touch can have a soothing effect on your child and help them drift to sleep even when they are not being help by you.
6. Have a Routine
If you have the same bedtime routine night after night your child will learn what activities happen before sleep and as you start the routine they will relax and start to get drowsy.
7. Alternate Motions
You may have a go to rocking motion that you use when you’re holding your child but you may want to consider using different motions. Going from a side-to-side rocking motion to a gentle up and down bounce can help your child relax. The change in motion will distract your child long enough to fall asleep.