How to put a baby to sleep (in case your having trouble).

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As all new mothers know (or will soon find out) getting a baby to sleep when and how you want can be terribly difficult. Newborns can be unbelievably fussy about sleep and well everything else. If every day, bedtime is a battle of wits between you and your bundle of joy; check out the sleep training methods and the consumer products listed below.

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Method #1: Self-Soothing

PROS:

-In the long run, you might be able to indirectly coax your baby to sleep.

CONS:

-Your own personal sleep schedule will probably be messed up for a while.

How it works:

Starting at the same time every night, follow a 20-40 minute sleep routine for your baby or toddler. This sleep routine can include a variety of things such as a warm bath, dimmed lighting, a comforting bedtime story,soft music or anything that signals to a child that it is about time to go to sleep. Most experts agree that it will take anywhere from 1 to 2 weeks for your baby to get used to this routine and follow it. However, once they do, putting them to sleep might be a little bit easier.

Method #2: The Drawn-Out Goodbye

pros:

-Helps your baby to not depend on your physical presence in order for them to sleep.

Cons:

-Does not address your child's fits of hysterical crying.

-May be difficult if your child only tends to fall asleep while nursing or soon after nursing.

how it Works:

Every night, at bedtime, you should gradually sit farther and farther away from you infant as they go to sleep. Eventually, they will learn to go to sleep by themselves without your immediate presence at their bedside.

Method #3: Master Your Timing

PROS:

-Increases the chances that your infant will go to sleep and stay asleep.

CONS:

-You really have to pay attention to that space of time between when you child gets drowsy and when they finally fall asleep. Can't miss you window of opportunity.

How it works:

According to sleep experts, you should not put your baby to bed (in their crib or otherwise) when they are already fast asleep. The act of moving your baby is likely to rouse them awake faster than anything else. Instead, lay your baby down to sleep when you sense that they are really drowsy and are about to drift off. The reasoning behind this method is that is simple. Babies who drift off to sleep by themselves (uninterrupted) are more likely to sleep for longer periods of time than babies who are moved into bed.

Father puts his child to sleep in 40 seconds

Let's take a moment to pause and enjoy a little hopeful little video of a father who managed to do the seemingly impossible. He managed to get his newborn to sleep in under 40 seconds using thin cloth and stroking it across his face repeatedly until his quietly drifted off.

I'm not saying that this method works for everyone (every child is different). But who knows, you might be lucky.

Safe Baby Products / Sleep Aides

Here are two products that I have found to be lifesavers when it comes to getting your infant or toddler to sleep (even for brief periods of time). The first one is the Graco Gliding Swing (Graco LX). This swing is specially designed to mimic the swinging motion that your baby experienced while in the womb. The swinging motion in the womb is what usually puts the fetus to sleep (which is why pregnant women report their baby moving around a lot while they are sitting or resting). In addition to the swinging motion, you can also set the glider to vibrate (very slightly) or play very soft music.

The second product is the simple but very effective pacifier. This particularly comes in handy if your infant is the type that falls asleep while nursing. These pacifiers by Avent come in a variety of sizes and colors. The size varies according to how old your infant is, with the first pacifier available for children between 0 and 3 months old.


Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing, Peyton
Graco Glider LX Gliding Swing, Peyton

The first one is the Graco Gliding Swing (Graco LX). This swing is specially designed to mimic the swinging motion that your baby experienced while in the womb. The swinging motion in the womb is what usually puts the fetus to sleep (which is why pregnant women report their baby moving around a lot while they are sitting or resting). In addition to the swinging motion, you can also set the glider to vibrate (very slightly) or play very soft music.

 
Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, Pink/Purple, 0-3 Months, 2 Count
Philips Avent Soothie Pacifier, Pink/Purple, 0-3 Months, 2 Count

The second product is the simple but very effective pacifier. This particularly comes in handy if your infant is the type that falls asleep while nursing. These pacifiers by Avent come in a variety of sizes and colors. The size varies according to how old your infant is, with the first pacifier available for children between 0 and 3 months old.

 
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Method #4: Teach the difference between night and day

pros:

-You are training your baby to start life with an appropriate daily biological clock.

cons:

-You may have to cut back on nighttime lighting and or bright electronics / appliances.

how it works:

In the womb, your baby did not know the difference between day and night. Therefore, it is up to you to establish their biological clock from a young age. Of course one of the best ways to do this is to manage your baby's light exposure. Basically, in the mornings and throughout the day it is okay to expose your child to lots of light and activity. However, as the evening approaches you should switch gears and cut down on all light sources or turn them off altogehter.

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Method #5: Use sound to your advantage.

pros:

-Probably the easiest investment in getting your child to sleep better. A white noise machine or white noise app is very cheaply obtained.

cons:

-Almost no downsides.

how it works:

Keep in mind that while in the womb, your baby's ears had to contend with your heartbeat and the combined sound of all your organs for 24 hours, 7 days a week. Therefore, when you expect a baby to fall asleep in a completely silent room; understand that silence is a very weird experience for them. Infants are used to having noise in the background. Therefore, it is often helpful to have low-pitched white noise in the background while you're trying to get them to sleep. Often low rumbling sounds from nature work best.

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2 comments

The P-31 Mom profile image

The P-31 Mom 15 months ago from North Charleston, South Carolina

I find it hysterical that I came across this post since my one-year-old is refusing to sleep! Great ideas... now to find one that will work! :)


Justin Muir profile image

Justin Muir 15 months ago from New York Author

Good luck to you. I am dealing with a three-month-old myself. Hang in there, something's gotta give. :)

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