It’s the end of the day and all you want is that blissful break from the routine of dirty diapers, fussy feeds, and demands. You dream of putting your baby to sleep in 40 seconds.
After the day you’ve had your baby’s bedtime can’t come a moment too soon. But what do you do when your baby isn’t ready to unwind when you are about to come undone?
You can’t force an infant to sleep. While newborns can sleep for 16 or more hours a day. It’s rare, in fact, impossible for them to follow a convenient schedule. They usually snatch their slumber a few hours at a time. And it’s always when they want it.
However, there are some great techniques you can use to calm them and bring on those z’s faster than you ever thought.
How To Calm Your Baby For Sleep
Your baby gets sleepy because they have a decrease in the level of cortisol in their brains. According to Dr. Maureen Ahmann, this hormone is what keeps them revved up and raring to go. So by calming your baby’s senses, you can bring that down to a level where they are ready to snooze.
Develop Good Sleeping Habits
In those first few months, you will be dealing with those ‘middle of the night’ feeds. This can be disrupting for you and your baby. So you want to create some good habits to encourage good sleeping habits.
Keep A Consistent Routine
If your baby is overstimulated in the evening, they will struggle to settle. Ways of overcoming this are bathing, singing, and cuddling.
Reading is another way you can relax. 10to12 Baby Lounge uses bedtime stories to encourage routine and comfort for your child. Liam The Lion is one of our most popular. Our sleep stories are also designed to encourage you to read in a gentle and soft way to your baby.
Keep The Nighttime Low Key
A soft voice, and dim lights during feeding at night, as well as calm movements, are keys it’s time for sleep. If you employ these during your routine you can help educate your child it’s not time to play right now.
Align Your Sleep With Your Baby
Your baby might actually like being awake at night. Which of course isn’t ideal for you. However, you may like to think about adjusting your patterns initially to fit in with that. It doesn’t have to be forever.
Allow Time To Settle
It might be hard for your baby to settle initially. If that happens, then it may well be they are just trying to get comfortable.
Speaking to your baby in a comforting voice, can calm them and enable them not to fuss. And you being there as they try to relax can be reassuring.
Consider A Pacifier
A pacifier may be a way of getting your baby to relax as it’s time to sleep. Research suggests that pacifiers can not only help with sleep, but they can reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. According to the CDC hundreds of babies, a year lose their lives as a result of unexpected infant death.
Have Your Baby Sleep In Your Room
While it’s not always ideal, having your infant in your room next to you can give them, and you, comfort.
Put them in a crib, bassinet or other structure designed for infants, for at least six months, and, if possible, up to one year.
This may seem like a silly thing to say, but adult beds aren’t safe for your newborn. The headboard slats, the space between the mattress and the bed frame, are all potentially dangerous hazards. And your baby could suffocate if you accidentally rolled over on them.
What Not To Do If You Want To Get Your Baby To Sleep In 40 Seconds
Of course, there are tactics you can use to get your baby to be calm and drowsy for sleep.
A schedule can really help. But also avoiding doing certain things is just as helpful and calming your baby before sleep.
Keeping Your Baby Awake All Day So They Sleep
An overtired child isn’t going to sleep any better. It can actually make your infant miserable and stressed. And you too!
Adding Cereal To The Night Time Feed
There is an old wives tale that cereal can fill your infant’s belly, meaning they will sleep better and won’t need a nighttime feed. Not so!
Your baby should only have breast milk or formula. Cereal is for when your baby can physically eat it off a spoon, So that’s around six to nine months.
Hold Your Baby While You Fall Asleep
If you are in the first few months of your life with your baby, you are likely to be exhausted. It comes with the territory. And you could put your baby in a dangerous place if you fall asleep while holding them. If you are tired put them back in their crib. Your infant is far less likely to die if they are laying in their bassinet than if they are in your arms and you relax and let go of them as you fall asleep.
Your Baby’s Personal Checklist
If you are struggling to calm your baby for sleep, there are some checks you can do to see if there is something you need to fix to help them relax.
Is Your Baby’s Temperature Up?
A good rule of thumb is dressing your baby in the same number of layers as you are wearing. This can help them stay comfortable.
Check Your Baby’s Diaper
A newborn and infant can soil their diaper a lot. There’s a reason most new mom’s say it goes in one end and out the other! So do a double check.
Is Your Baby Spitting Or Vomiting?
Fussiness can be confused with colic when it comes to your baby. Alternatively, they could be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux (GER). If your baby is being fussy with feeding, isn’t gaining or maintaining weight, coupled with spitting or vomiting, you should consider taking them to see your doctor.
Could Your Baby Be Hungry?
Keep track of when your baby is feeding. If your little one is lip-smacking or moving their fists to their mouth, the likelihood is they are hungry.
Could Your Baby Be Bored?
Reading, as well as humming and singing a song, can help alleviate this. Or take your baby for a walk.
A consistent schedule coupled with calming techniques can work wonders so you can calm your baby so they are sleepy enough to get some shuteye. And that means you will too.
And while you won’t get a consistent sleep schedule at first, as your baby grows and can go longer between feeds, that pattern will finally emerge.
Once your baby gets to three to four months, they can easily manage five hours at a time. And then you have this to look forward to – at some point in their first 12 months, your baby will finally sleep for around 10 hours a night.
You are going to be a sleep specialist after this! Looking good.