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5 emergency ways to help your baby sleep

Updated on September 4, 2014

In an ideal world newborns are born knowing how to sleep. Unfortunately, this is not the case and we need to teach a baby how to sleep by establishing good sleeping habits that do not rely on props. However, every baby has a bad day and sometimes we just need to get them to sleep in whichever way we can. Here are 5 emergency ways that are guaranteed to make your baby sleep.

Washing Machine

Babies love vibrations, even the most weird ones. Most babies will be soothed by a ride on the washing machine. Just strap into the carseat, place on top of the washing machine and turn on the spin cycle making sure you hold the carseat handle the whole time. I found that the fastest spin normally works best (1000 revs on my machine). By the time the 10 minute spin is over the baby is usually asleep.

Exercise Ball

If you have one of those huge exercise balls also used during pregnancy and labour, you are in luck! When the going gets tough, hold the baby in your arms and sit and bounce on the ball. The movement will calm down the baby and put him/her to sleep in no time. If you do not have an exercise ball you may try mimicking the movement by bouncing on the sofa or running up and down the stairs with the baby in hand (no I'm not joking, we have actually one this).


Rocking soothes a baby. If you have a pram, try moving this back and forth until the baby calms down. A few babies may even need a little thump to help them relax so you may want to push the pram over the edge of a carpet to create the little bump. For those who tire out with this movement, I recently saw a handy little gadget. Its a mat that you plug into the socket. You place the pram on the mat and it moves the pram back and forth for you! Neat!


When all else fails, the car never does. Take a break from calming your baby and take him/her for a drive. The movement and vibrations in the car will put your child to sleep. Try to avoid roads known for traffic because some babies need to feel the contstant movement in order to relax. One of my babies used to scream what I stopped at the traffic lights so I used to slow down when I see a red light to avoid having to come to a complete stop!


I discovered this by accident. One day my baby would not sleep and I passed her on the my husband and turned on the hairdryer to dry my hair. Within minutes this baby that had been awake for hours feel asleep without effort. Needless to say my husband tried to take credit for this but I realised that the baby liked the white noise created by the dryer!

When you and your baby are having a bad day, and you feel the frustration mounting, keep in mind that sleep issues are temporary problems and eventually your baby will learn how to sleep. Here is a video explaining how to swaddle a baby which usually works to calm down a baby because it reminds them of the restricted conditions in the womb.

Finally, if nothing else works, the last video will provide you with 8 hours worth of looped lullabies that are sure to calm baby and you down!

8 hour lullabies


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    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 5 years ago from Europe

      Crying babies on planes usually have blocked ears which can be relieved by suckling!

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I wonder if these will work for those crying babies on airplanes. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • hoteltravel profile image

      hoteltravel 6 years ago from Thailand

      No wonder Dr Benjamin Spock described mother as the invention of necessity! I found having long-drawn-out conversations in the same monotonous tone helps baby calm down and sleep. Or you can find a similar recording and play it whenever you want the baby to sleep!

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      Oh yes the car is fantastic. Several times I found myself taking the long way home just to get the kids to fall asleep. My babies hated swaddles and would freak out in them. Or maybe I didn't know how to do them properly.

    • sarahgaden profile image

      sarahgaden 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      The white noise never works for my son when he was a baby. The car definitely did. Also, if the baby is under 4 months, swaddles are really helpful!

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Driving was always a good one for us....for our oldest(he is now 23 and a father himself)...he seemed to fall asleep while I was playing I would suffer and play video games until Mario and I helped him fell was a rough job but somebody had to do

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      lol cogerson with 6 kids I suppose you have your own set of emergency tips. Care to share?

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      Thankfully the last of our 6 kids has passed the baby stage....but I still enjoyed reading your 5 emergency ways to help your baby sleep. We have tried the driving and rocking.....but we never tried the washing machine, exercise ball or hairdryer(that was a very funny way). Maybe we will try those when the grandbabies arrive....voted up useful and funny.

    • kikalina profile image

      kikalina 6 years ago from Europe

      thanks its my first. Im experimenting here :)

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 6 years ago from new jersey

      What great ideas! I wish I'd read this 12 years ago!

      great hub