So many things can make a baby not to sleep at night. It may be as a result of hunger or lack of reassurance. The baby may also find it difficult due to lack of comfort. Teething problem is yet another factor that can prevent the child from sleeping at night. In ability of your child to sleep also means you too will not be able to sleep properly. Consequently, your energy will be sapped by the time it is daybreak and you will not be productive all day long. In order to give yourself the required rest every night, you need to learn how to put a baby to sleep.
Believe me; depression is on the way if you consistently fall into this situation. Whatever the case may be, there are certain things you can do to help the child fall asleep. This is exactly why this write-up is put together; to enlighten you on those simple things you can do as a mother that will make the child sleep at night. These things will make your child sleep all night long and till the morning. The hints given here need to be carried out on consistent basis in order to get the desired result from them.
- 1 Tips on How to Put a Baby to Sleep
Tips on How to Put a Baby to Sleep
Change in feeding pattern
You can modify the child’s feeding pattern to make him or her sleep properly during the night. How can you do this? Makes sure you add lots of liveliness and socialization to his day time feeding. However, make sure the night time feeding is calm and quiet. This will make the child understand that night time is not for play or socialization. You will be able to reset his body clock this way.
Day time feeding
You can follow the steps below when feeding the baby during the day
- Place him in the comfort of your arm while breastfeeding him.
- Smile at him and make him smile back or even laugh.
- Tease his body while the feeding is going on.
- Pat his buttocks and make him feel happy and lively.
Night time feeding
- Place the baby on the bed or in the cot.
- Release the side cover of the cot so that you can feed him without picking him off the bed.
- Do not play with him at all.
- Stroke his body gently like you are rocking him to sleep.
- He may fall asleep this way while the breastfeeding is ongoing.
The nighttime feeding method described above is best performed when you co-sleep with the baby.
However, it is not safe to co-sleep with your baby if you or your husband is guilty of any of the following:
- Take any drug that makes you to sleep rather heavily
- Take alcohol
Give them opportunity to fall asleep by themselves
One of the best ways to make your baby fall asleep at night is to allow the child to sleep on his own. Instead of rocking him to sleep, just lay him in the cot and allow him to sleep. This way, he will become used to sleeping on his own without your support or petting. It will save you a lot of trouble and will make your night more restful. This process can be started when the baby is six weeks old; the natural circadian rhythm of the baby is developing at this stage. If you breast feed him or rock him to sleep always, he will end up depending on it and this will put even more pressure on you as the mother.
How to do this
- Place your baby on his back when he feels sleepy, but still awake.
- Do not be tempted to feed him or rock him to sleep at all.
- Keep the room as quiet as possible around this time.
- Regulate air flow in the room
- Reduce light and reflection in the room
- Leave the room once you have laid him down
- You can come back to check on him once in a while as he sleeps
- In the event your baby is used to sleeping in your arms as you breastfeed him, wake him up gently when he is about to drift off to sleep. Lay him in the cot after waking him up and watch him sleep on his own.
You need to practice this as often as possible, since it will help the baby to get used to sleeping by himself.
Set short and simple bedtime routine
This should be done once the baby is up to 3 months. In order to make the bedtime routine work perfectly, make sure you encourage some quiet time before its starts. The quiet time should start some 30 minutes before bed time. This includes turning off the television. You should also wind down all activities and this will help set the scene for the baby to feel relaxed and quiet; these are very helpful in making the baby sleep at night.
Other bedtime routines you can include to help the baby fall asleep are highlighted below:
- Kissing the baby goodnight
- Giving the baby gentle massage
- Singing the baby a lullaby
- Reading to him his bedtime story
- Changing him into his pyjamas
- Giving the baby a bath, playing quiet game with the baby.
Whatever you include in the list of bedtime routines, make sure that it helps to calm the baby down. The bedtime routine lasts for about 30 minutes in most instances.
Give security object to your older kid
Such objects you can hand over to the older kid are stuffed animal or baby blanket. This is best for kids that are older than 6 months. Why does the baby need such security object? He needs to be reminded of you. As he grows older, he would start noticing if you stay too far away from him and he may not feel comfortable with this, leading to crying and wailing all night long. The best way to make him feel you are still around is via these security objects. Babies less than six months should not be given this kind of soft toy or comforter anyway. This is because such things can put the baby at risk of what is called Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
What to consider before giving toys to your baby
- As hinted earlier, only give it to babies older than 6 or 7 months
- Keep the toy very close to you before you give it to the baby. Keeping the toy close ensures the toy smells of you.
- In case you are breastfeeding the baby, try to pour some breast milk on muslin and place it close to the baby.
- Babies have very strong sense of smell. If they ever wake up in the course of the night, they will fall asleep again after perceiving your smell on the muslin or the toy.
Watch if your baby can sleep by himself
When your baby becomes 4 to 5 months old, the frequency at which he needs to be breastfed will reduce and he will also be able to sleep for longer period of time.
What to do
- Put him down once you notice he is feeling sleepy and watch to see if he will sleep off on his own or not.
- If he cries after putting him down, do not rush to pacify him immediately; leave him for few seconds to find out if he will fall asleep again on his own or not.
- If he however continues to cry, you can go to him and give him gentle pat to give him reassurance that everything is alright. Let him also realize it is time to sleep.
- Leave him alone in the room and wait outside for some minutes. You can come back afterwards to find out if he has settled back to sleep.
- If he is still feeling somewhat distressed after 3 to 4 times of checking, you can pick him up and find out if everything is alright.
- Afterwards, repeat the process highlighted above.
Controlled cry method
If you are looking for how to put a baby to sleep, the controlled cry method is one of the best ways to put your baby to sleep at night. It is equally referred to as “crying it out”. How does this method play out? All you need to do is to leave your baby alone to cry until he falls asleep. Some schools of thought think it is better to allow the child to cry for some time before going to pat the child. They recommend that the crying time should however not be too long.
How to go about it
- Lay your baby in his cot
- Kiss him good night and tell him it is time to sleep
- If he cries on you at this point, leave him to cry for some time; 2 to 10 minutes should be enough.
- Comfort him after this short period of time.
- Do not bring her out of the cot while you attempt to reassure and comfort him.
- Even if you do bring him out of the cot, do not take long before returning him.
- Whatever you do, make sure you keep it quiet and short.
- This process is best followed with the lights off.
- Avoid talking in the course of reassuring and petting the baby.
- It is also important to avoid eye contact.
- Say good night to him after reassurance and leave the room after.
- Reduce the duration within which you pay him visit during the night and this will allow him to get accustomed to sleeping by himself.
While crying for long may not be good for the baby, a short period of crying will not do the baby any harm.
This method contrasts the method described earlier. It involves going to the baby and pacifying him whenever he cries without waiting for him to cry for any length of time. You can also place him in his cot then pet him till he falls asleep. Some researchers have shown that this method tends to work better than the method described earlier. However, the child may become dependent and may not be able to sleep until he is comforted and reassured by you. If you prefer this method of how to put a baby to sleep, then you can consider any of these methods to perfect the act:
After coaxing the baby to sleep, put him back inside his cot and put of the light in the room.
Practical tips for sleep training
The following steps are important to train your baby on how to sleep on his own.
- Set the stage for success: Make sure you prepare the room, and make it comfortable. Make sure you always maintain this comfortable bedtime routine and your baby will always fall asleep without any problem.
- Time is right: The sleep training must be planned for a period in which both of you do not have lot on. You may lose sleep in the first two night of trying sleep training. Plan ahead as this will help the baby to stick top particular sleeping time.
- Stick to your plan: One thing that makes the sleep training works is consistency. You need to stick to it if you want it to always work and send your baby to sleep every time. Do not be strict or rigid with the sleep training plan; you should be ready to make changes when such change becomes necessary.
- Do not expect the method to work all nights; there are some difficult nights the method may not sail through. Prepare for such nights and never let it get you frustrated.
- When making up your mind regarding the right method to use, make sure you use a method that perfectly fits every member of your family, since you will need their cooperation to make this work perfectly.
- Some relapses will surely occur and you should be on the lookout for such. This may happen especially if the baby is learning new skills, like walking. Such relapse can also occur when the babe is teething or unwell.