What mom wants her baby to sleep? After all, don’t we have babies so we can stay up all night? Oh, that must’ve been my lack of sleep talking! My secrets to getting a baby to sleep are from my vast experiences of trying-quite literally-everything to get my baby to sleep, not from my experience of having a baby that slept anytime, anywhere.
The sound of a baby sleeping
Sound machines not only have noise and sounds that are soothing to a baby, but they have magic! White noise has transformed the way my daughter sleeps, and from the moment I began turning it on during her naptimes, she began sleeping better.
The power of quiet
I found my family watching TV all evening while my newborn baby was still awake. Overtime, I realized this routine was creating too much stimulation, and it was hindering her sleep. She slept much better when we had family time in the evenings and turned the TV and music off.
Write a lullaby for your baby
The first song I wrote for my daughter was nothing less than embarrassing, but it’s also a form of reassurance for her. To this day she still asks for me to sing it. Pen a loving message, find a soothing melody, and see if your child is comforted by one of your personalized tunes. Now that my daughter is three, she has begun asking me to record it and play it back for her.
Setting a consistent routine
Nothing is more important to a baby than consistency and stability. Knowing what to expect is comforting to them, so I set up a bedtime routine for my daughter that she could expect. I give her baths at the same time, read her a book, and then she goes to bed.
Knowing when to move baby to a crib
Babies can sense where their parents are, so they feel more at ease in a bassinet next to their parent’s bed. Often there is pressure to move a baby to a crib, but doing it too soon could leave you comforting a screaming baby every night. I advise waiting until the bassinet becomes too small for your baby.
I was shocked when I realized how well my baby sensed my feelings and mood. If I was stressed, she seemed to be more extreme. When she sensed my anxiety over getting her to sleep, it was almost certain she wasn’t going down. I had to figure out ways to keep myself from feeling anxious and stressed. Music, massages, and reading are some of my favorite ways to accomplish this.
Who doesn’t love a good massage? Babies are no different. When my daughter began struggling to sleep, I started giving her massages and I could see her immediately relax. There are special baby massaging techniques that you can try. These can also help with colic in babies.
Breastfeeding problems affect babies sleep
When my daughter was born, she had jaundice so I was breastfeeding and pumping after. I did this for months and I was exhausted which did begin to affect my letdown. Sometimes it took a while to get a good letdown because I was tired and stressed. When this happened, my daughter wasn’t getting the right proportions of milk for her to be able to sleep well. Finding a balance for breastfeeding is extremely important!
Let baby sleep with mom’s scent
After coming to wit’s end, I decided to get a Snoedel. It is basically a cloth that absorbs the mother’s scent, so the baby can smell her while going to sleep. For some babies this can be comforting, this method is even used in hospitals to comfort babies in the NICU.
Call in dad
Moms take pride in being able to put their babies asleep, but sometimes babies have an easier time falling asleep to dad’s deep voice. Try having him hum a lullaby and watch as your baby melts in his arms.