Babies need their rest to feel good...and Moms need their rest, too. Moms who are having trouble putting their babies to sleep may get really tired and frazzled and this is why they will benefit from discovering the most effective and practical "how to put the baby to sleep" life hacks. We have twenty of them to share. Moms are encouraged to try one, a few or all of them, with a mind to boosting the odds of putting their babies to bed as peacefully as possible.
"Lullabying" babies is one old-fashioned and conventional example which soothes babies and also makes it easier for moms and infants to bond. Others are definitely off the beaten track. One example is white noise machines. These ultra-modern electronic devices definitely help some babies to fall asleep.
By combing the web, finding the best advice from parenting experts and real-life moms and caregivers, we've created a news roundup that is loaded with useful life hacks that will help Moms to soothe their babies to sleep. While each tip won't work for every baby, it's safe to say that most tips on the list work for most babies. After a little trial and error, Moms will be able to figure out what is exactly right for their infants.
20 Sing To Your Infant
This may seem like common sense, but, according to The Science Nordic, the benefits of singing to your baby before his or her bedtime are major. Aside from soothing a baby into dreamland, the practice of regular "lullabying" will offer a trio of advantages to moms.
The first is that sharing music with a child through singing creates a connection that boosts the mom-baby relationship. The second benefit is that nightly singing helps to create a structured bedtime routine which reassures a baby. The third advantage is that Moms feel more in control of bedtime when they sing to babies.
19 Stick To A Schedule
According to The Bump, babies enter the world as blank slates and need their moms to show them what routine is. So, it's your job to put your baby to sleep at the same time each night. When you try to put the baby down right on time each evening, your baby will begin to learn the routine and will also start to anticipate what's going to happen next. Babies thrive on this sort of familiarity.
Another bonus of sticking to a bedtime schedule is that it will make your own life easier. Once a schedule is established, it'll be easier to plan out your days and nights.
18 Read To Your Baby
Babies love to hear the voices of their mommies. According to Read to Your Baby, babies respond to voices of loved ones with eye, leg and hand movements. Even sleeping babies have brain cells which register language. This is why you should make a habit of reading to your baby before bed. Use a soothing tone of voice so as not to overstimulate your baby.
Choose a fun story that is meant for little ones and then read it in your calmest voice, as you baby lies with you or lies in his or her crib. If you don't have a book handy, talk to your baby about anything at all.
17 Nurse Your Child Before Bed
According to Kelly Mom, the practice of nursing your child right before bed is called, "comfort nursing". When you nurse before bed, your baby will de-stress, because the act of sucking causes the release of the hormone, CCK (cholecystokinin). This hormone induces feelings of sleepiness.
One bonus is that moms will also access this anti-stress hormone when they nurse. This is why nursing your infant at the baby's bedtime will be a good way to unwind before you go to bed yourself, or prepare to relax in your home once the baby falls asleep.
Also, you should know that breastmilk contains nucleotides, hormones and amino acids that induce sleep in babies.
16 Give Your Baby Alone Time In The Crib
You may be tempted to run to your baby and pick the infant up whenever he or she makes a noise...especially in the evening when you want your baby to fall asleep. Some experts recommend holding back. Babies who get picked up, and then fall asleep in the arms of their mothers, may have trouble falling asleep in their cribs.
According to Parents.com, Moms should encourage crib sleeping by outfitting cribs with mom-like features. For example, swaddling a baby three months of age or younger will make the baby feel like it's still being held. Sleep sacks are good choices for older babies.
15 Use Light Strategically
According to Sarah Hockwell Smith, using a nightlight to soothe a baby to sleep is a smart decision. However, you should choose the right color of light. Using light strategically is a great way to help your baby relax and doze off.
Stay away from green, blue or white nightlights. They may make it harder for your baby to produce melatonin, which makes falling asleep easier. A red nightlight will be a good choice, as it won't interfere with the production and release of melatonin. If you're not currently using a nightlight in the nursery, it may be a quick fix that works wonders.
14 Avoid Eye Contact
According to Pregnancy Magazine, keeping eye contact with your baby minimal when you're trying to put your infant to sleep will be a wise course of action. Eye contact with you will stimulate your baby and this is not what you want at bedtime.
While it may be hard to tear your eyes away from your baby's face, try to get into the habit of looking away as you soothe your baby to sleep. Eye contact with you will serve as a distraction that keeps your baby alert. There'll be plenty of time for eye contact that helps you to bond with the baby during the daytime hours.
13 Use Night-time Diapers
According to Healthy Baby Happy Earth, night-time diapers offer benefits to moms who are having trouble getting their babies to fall asleep. Night-time diapers have better absorbency, so babies feel dry all night long, even when they aren't. This means that they're able to stay asleep, rather than waking up because their diapers are soaked.
It's vital to choose high-quality night-time diapers, so look for styles and brands that earn five-star ratings online, from lots of real-life Moms. Then, experiment with these practical, high-absorbency diapers to see if they allow your baby to sleep peacefully for longer periods of time.
12 Start Sleep Training at 4 Months
According to BabyCenter, sleep training an infant should start around the four-month mark. The best way to begin sleep training is to create a routine at bedtime, which might include a relaxing baby bath, a story and a song that you sing to your infant. Bedtime should always be the same and your daytime schedule should also be similar from day to day.
You'll need to go with a particular parenting style when you sleep train. Some moms use the "cry it out" parenting style, while others offer comfort to their babies as soon as they start to fuss. The best approach may be gradually offering less comfort as a baby gets older.
11 Prepare For Sleep Disturbances Around 4 Months
Four months of age is "peak time" for sleep disturbances, according to Baby Sleep Site. This is a time when "sleep regression" is commonplace. So, prepare for baby sleep issues around this time. It's the same time that sleep training should start.
When babies are newborns, they have different sleep patterns than adults. As their brains mature, they begin to sleep more like adults do. For example, a four-month-old baby may not go into a deep sleep immediately. If you lay down a baby before deep sleep happens, the infant may wake up. When you're putting the baby to sleep, make sure that the baby is deeply asleep before moving him or her to a crib.
10 Restrict Sleeping To The Nursery
To create a schedule that ensures decent rest for everyone, make sure that your baby is sleeping in a crib, rather than with you, according to Sleepadvisor.org. Bear in mind that your baby may balk at being alone in the crib at first. The transition from co-sleeping, or sleeping within a bassinet, to sleeping alone in a crib may take time.
Sometimes, it's best to wait things out. This means listening to your baby cry in the crib sometimes. Yes, it's going to hurt you, but it may be for the best. You'll be surprised at just how quickly babies adjust when they are given a little time to cry it out.
9 Realize That Every Baby is Different
According to Happiest Baby, babies may have one of four personality types and the type of personality that your baby has may impact how well your infant sleeps. The four personality types are challenging, easy, intense and sensitive.
As you may imagine, the easy type will be simpler to get to sleep than the other three types.
The lesson in this is that all babies are different. They are wired in particular ways. Parents who have challenging, intense or sensitive babies need to be patient when it comes to sleep issues. They may need to try more life hacks on the list to soothe their babies to sleep.
8 Regulate The Nursery Temperature
Overheating a nursery is a bad idea for many reasons, one of which is that a room that is too hot will make it harder for a baby to fall asleep and stay asleep. Of course, a nursery that's too cold is also going to keep a baby awake.
According to Very Well Family, regulating the temp in the nursery is important and the ideal nursery temperature for a newborn is between 68 to 72 F. Also, you should know that a room that is too hot will raise the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). When you keep the temp within the normal range, it may be easier for your infant to snooze.
7 Choose Comfy Sleepwear For The Baby
According to Sleeporg, choosing the right sleep outfits for your baby will also help your little one to sleep. Newborns do best in onesies that have feet built right in. Make sure that no element of the sleep clothing will ride up onto the face and make it hard for your infant to breathe. Sleep sacks without hoods and sleep blankets of the wearable type are also good choices for very young babies.
At age one, sleep clothing rules for a baby become more relaxed. However, clothing should never be very loose-fitting and it should keep the baby's body temperature within a normal range. It should also be fire-retardant.
6 A White Noise Machine May Help
When it comes to sleeping, a lot of babies do respond positively to white noise. It helps them to sleep. There are some adorable white noise machines out there, which resemble cute little animals, such as bunnies or owls. You may choose one of them for the nursery, or go for a more basic model.
According to Healthline, a study which was featured in a scientific journal, Archives of Disease in Childhood, showed that white noise helped eighty percent of infants to fall asleep within just five minutes. Be sure that the machine isn't too loud - follow the volume recommendations.
5 Try A Baby Swing Before Baby Bedtime
Baby swings are cute and they're fun for infants, and they may also help babies to drift off to sleep, according to Childrensmd. If your baby seems overtired, you're probably exhausted also. Putting your baby into a safe baby swing for a few minutes before bedtime may be enough to put your infant to sleep.
Another tip is that taking a baby for a short drive is often helpful. Babies do tend to drift off when they are in car seats. However, you shouldn't let your infant sleep in a car seat. Take the baby out and transfer him or her to a crib once the baby is asleep.
4 Don't Forget to Burp the Baby After Feedings
According to Livestrong, babies sleep more comfortably once they've been burped, so don't forget to do some gentle burping after the last pre-bedtime feeding. When you burp your baby, he or she will expel gas. If this gas isn't expelled, the baby may remain alert because he or she is uncomfortable.
Burping may stimulate your baby, so expect to spend some extra time soothing your infant after you burp. If you're not a burping expert, look for tips from friends and family, or ask your pediatrician how to do it right. Once you master it, your baby won't experience gas-related discomfort while trying to sleep.
3 Use Blackout Shades In The Nursery
This tip is basic but so helpful. Blackout shades will keep light from outside from seeping into the nursery and keeping your baby awake. Most drape manufacturers offer high-quality blackout shades for decent prices. Adding these shades or curtains to the nursery may boost the odds of getting the baby to sleep peacefully in record time.
According to Baby Sleep Site, these shades are awesome choices for naptime during the day, too. They really do keep light out, in a way that most regular drapes just can't. You may want to grab some of these curtains for your own bedroom, too.
2 Calm Your Own Breathing
Your baby is acutely sensitive to your breathing, as well as your movements and voice. If you're tense and breathing harder than usual, your infant will feel it and your stress may transfer to your baby, which won't help you to put the infant to sleep.
According to Zerotothree, times when your baby just won't sleep are times when you need to dig deep and remain calm. It's not easy to deal with a crying or fussy baby, or easy to stay awake, trying to put an infant to bed, when you're tired. Pay attention to breathing evenly. Your baby may begin to breathe more evenly, too, and then fall asleep.
1 Expose Baby to Bright Light in the A.M.
Teach your baby to rise and shine (and stay on a normal sleep schedule) by exposing your little one to sunlight in the morning, day in and day out. According to Tinystep, exposing your infant to direct sunlight will help your baby's body to produce more melatonin, which assists with good sleep.
So, take your baby out and let the infant feel the sun on his or her face. Make sure that your baby is dressed right for the weather. A few minutes of exposure to direct sunlight should be enough to do the trick. It may make you feel better, too.
References: Sciencenordic.com, Thebump.com, Readtoyourbaby.com, Kellymom.com, Parents.com, Sarahhockwell-smith.com, Pregnancymagazine.com, Healthybabyhappyearth.com, Babycenter.com, Babysleepsite.com, Sleepadvisor.org, Happiestbaby.com, Verywellfamily.com, Sleeporg.com, Healthline.com, Childrensmd.com, Livestrong.com, Babysleepsite.com, Zerotothree.com