Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Getting Baby To Sleep

For many new parents, getting baby to sleep can be a very daunting task.
Some parents take it in stride, but many
really lose sleep over it (literally). For those of you who are
stumped, sleep deprived and seeking advice, or for those who are
anticipating the long nights of fatigue and worry when their little
ones arrive, do not despair. There are a few simple things that you can
try. Although I cannot guarantee that our tips will solve your nightly
woes, they will definitely steer you toward nights of blissful silence.

1. Have a set bedtime and try to stick to it. Although we all have
nights where you do not get baby to bed on time, it is important that
it is not a different time every night.

2. Have a bedtime routine. Have bath, read a book, brush your teeth,
snuggle… Whatever it is, try to do it the same way every night. When
they know what to expect, they are happier. Even newborns can have an
established routine, with a little work on your part. This will take
some time and effort.

3. Snuggle material. Provide something soft and appropriately sized to snuggle with. For example,

a small baby blanket, a small stuffed animal (preferably without a rattle), or a soft baby burp cloth.

4. Swaddling – wrapping your baby tight in a baby blanket,
or swaddling, can help put him/her to sleep. Although not every baby
likes this, a good majority feel secure when wrapped this way.

5. Cuddle time – set aside some time every night when you can cuddle
before bed. This not only provides a bonding experience, but helps baby
relax and get ready for bed. This could be a good time to read a
little, sing a song, rock in a chair, or just sit quietly with one

6. Music. Music can be soothing for a baby. Of course you want to
find something soft and slow for bedtime. You can also find crib toys
that have music. This can give baby something to look at and listen to
while trying to get to sleep.

7. Find out what baby likes. Try patting gently, rubbing baby’s back
while he/she is lying on her side, rub his/her stomach, offer a pacifier
Every baby is unique, but you will eventually find what he/she likes.
Of course, always put baby to sleep on his/her back to help prevent

8. The car trick. I have to admit that my kids would not fall for
this one, but many parents find that a trip around the block in the
family car is all their little one needs to get him/her to sleep. The
bouncer seats with vibration are a good alternative if you want to save
on gas.

9. Try not to pick baby up too much after you put him/her to bed.
Although you don’t want baby to get hysterical, if he/she is fussing a
little, it won’t hurt him/her. This is more important when you get past
newborn stage and baby just wants mommy or daddy. Instead, try other
soothing techniques, such as patting, singing, etc.

10. Sneaking out of the room. I am not particularly proud of this
one, but I have crawled out of my children’s bedrooms when they finally
closed their eyes. Whether you have to, will depend on how lightly your
baby sleeps. Some will fall deeply quickly, where others seem to have
springs on their eyelids. Another trick is to take slow steps while
pausing in between. Again, this is only needed when baby is old enough
to notice you are gone.

11. When overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to walk away for a minute or
two. Baby will be safe in his/her crib, and when you are calm, you are
more likely to make baby calm.

12. Breathe. Be consistent and don’t give up. Although it may
seem like it is a lot of hard work, baby will eventually learn to get
to sleep on his/her own. And remember, hard work now turns into less
work later.

Find luxuriously soft baby blankets, baby blankies, and other soft baby gifts to cuddle at

Author: Ann Stoermer - Pitter Pattern Designs


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