Whether it is taking a daytime nap or sleeping at night, most moms have not found the right way to ensure this important exercise is done with ease. Different babies have different ways of getting to sleep, depending on age, family routines, eating habits, environment, and a thousand other reasons. Babies under one year take a nap two to three times a day while those over one year nap only once.
You may not be able to entirely create and atmosphere for the baby to sleep every other time, but a few tips will make the process easier and fun. Every mother needs time off the baby to at least rest. The baby also needs sleep as it is an essential ingredient for development.
We will look at ten tips to help moms get their babies to sleep with ease.
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1. Create a Routine
Babies, irrespective of their age, work best under structured systems. One popular routine is a bubble, feed, then bed. A nice and warm bath will relax the baby’s nerves and body in general.
Keep the baby a little longer in warm water to allow him to play and relax a bit. Make it feel like jacuzzi time. Feed him immediately after a gentle massage and dress him in warm cotton clothes. This will provide an environment that’s neither too hot nor too cold, which is perfect for good sleep. Ensure the baby is well fed. You don’t want to have him sleeping on an empty stomach; he will wake up earlier than expected.
Hold him again your chest as you rub his back gently. This will get the baby to burp and go to sleep within a very short time.
This routine is the most effective and registers well in the baby’s system, therefore every time you do that, the baby automatically gets into sleep mode.
2. Gentle Rocking
This is gently moving the baby from one direction to the other. You can either do it with your hands or get a rocking bed to help with that. It may not be the best way to get the baby to sleep, but it works. The gentle movement soothes and lulls the baby to sleep. This technique is best for children below one year. At this age, they are young and lightweight and therefore easy on the hands.
After one, they get used to it, and immediately you do that, they feel its game time, and they could start laughing and take more time to go to sleep.
Be sure to also check out “What is “Me Time” & Why Every Mom Needs It” for a full guide on why you need your own time to relax and more.
3. Create a Conducive Environment
Most babies and generally, human beings, would not sleep in noisy and fully lit rooms. It is advisable to keep the baby’s room quiet and serene. Ensure minimum light gets in as this will keep distracting the baby’s concentration.
Some moms use blinds on their windows or very dark curtains. This helps to create that nice and calm environment to help the baby sleep. The curtains are encouraged because they are temporary and can be drawn as soon as the baby is awake to create yet another environment for play.
4. Books and Lullaby Songs
This tip has been used since time immemorial. It is the best and very soothing for babies. However, this works for babies who are six months and above since they can understand and feel the rhythm in the lullaby. This technique can be combined with rocking or just doing it when the baby is in their cot.
The songs or book reading should always be slow, gentle, and soothing. The main aim is to get the baby to sleep and not to encourage a dance or entertainment session.
5. Avoid Eye Contact
Babies know and love their caregivers. They grow fond of them and warm up every time they look at them in the eyes. It is even worse if the caregiver is their biological mother. The connection is powerful. Looking at your baby in the eyes registers love and attention. This gets them to smile or laugh, and it becomes difficult to get them to sleep. Eye contact sends them a message that it’s either playtime or gets them warm and bubbly. This creates an intimate session with your baby, but unfortunately, it will not help them get to sleep. The key is to avoid eye contact if you want them to sleep.
6. Have Specific Sleep Times
Babies work best with systems. Small babies under one year can nap up to three times a day and for the better part of the night. Those over one year are, however, less on sleep and do it just once a day and throughout the night. Creating a specific time for naps works best. For example, if a baby naps three times, ensure they have their naps at 9 am, 2 pm and 5 pm. (Timings can change depending on the caregiver’s needs). This will make them get used to the program such that when it gets to their nap time, they automatically start yawning and getting restless, a sign that they need to nap.
Don’t miss out on our “Make Your Baby Sleep “Like a Baby” (Sleep Training)” for a full training guide to getting your baby to sleep.
7. Sleep With Them
Babies love being held by their mums or caregivers. It soothes them to sleep. You can schedule your nap time to match your baby’s so that you rest together or sleep with them and leave the bed immediately they are deep asleep. That mother-to-child warmth encourages sleep, but be careful not to have any eye contact.
This is a traditional way of getting babies to sleep. It’s very effective, although not encouraged since it interferes with the baby’s independence. It sends a message to the baby that he cannot sleep without the caregiver. This has to be done in moderation.
8. Encourage Self-Soothing
This is the most challenging technique to execute, but once put in place, it is the best. This is done by letting the child find a way of soothing themselves to sleep. You can leave them a little longer in bed immediately they wake up or put them to bed while still awake.
This will make them cry a little bit, but don’t be scared; crying is a way of growing. They will cry, and within no time, their thumb will find its way into their mouths, and they will soothe themselves to sleep.
When applying this method, ensure the baby is well-fed, diaper changed, and not sick in any way. We need the cry to be for attention only and not any other reason. This idea builds on independence and frees the caregiver’s time to do other things. It works out great if done right. Just be sure not to overdo it.
Sometimes your baby will get upset before wanting to go to bed. Check out “7 Tips To Make Your Baby Stop Crying With Ease” for our full guide.
9. Use of Absorbent Diapers
High-quality absorbent diapers keep the baby comfortable at all times and save on money and time because they are changed only when the baby poops. Any diaper change makes the baby cold and therefore delays sleep. There should, however, be a balance here. You don’t have to keep your baby in diapers for a very long time as it gets uncomfortable, and it’s not encouraged to keep changing them all the time.
Another way of doing it is by keeping your baby without diapers when playing and awake. This helps in aeration and also saves money. When they are about to sleep, clean them, and have them wear a good quality diaper that is highly absorbent and will keep them warm for a long time. Hygiene is critical when it comes to babies.
10. Play hard during playtime
Just like any other human being, a tired baby will have a heavier and more relaxed sleep. When the baby is awake, ensure you play with them a lot, or if it’s a toddler, get them toys that move around the house. This will help in their development as well as get them tired of sleep. This also helps the poor feeders to eat a little more and for works great for the general growth of their bone structure and general body wellness.
Play is the best way to monitor your baby’s growth pattern, know when they are sick or disturbed, and finally get them to have a sound sleep.
Just ensure that the baby feeds well and takes a bath just before bedtime. This will make them more relaxed and less cranky.
With the tips above, it’s now possible to get your baby to sleep with ease, but above all, ensure that the baby is not sick and is well fed at all times. High standards of hygiene should be maintained. Babies are prone to more diseases compared to adults as their antibodies are still developing — a peaceful baby results in a peaceful home.
Thank you for reading with us today! Let us know in the comments below your techniques to putting your baby to sleep. Be sure to check out “10 Ideas to Keep Your Toddlers Entertained” or “Highly Creative Baby Photoshoot Ideas (With Images)” for more fun guides to motherhood.