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Ways To Put Babies To Sleep

Updated on March 10, 2014

Gaining Ground

Nothing worries a new parent more than a baby who won’t sleep. Hours spent walking the hallways while trying to get a crying baby to sleep can be lonesome and frustrating. It’s not unusual, so don’t feel alone if you are experiencing this bout of sleeplessness for the first time.

As babies grow, their stomachs are able to hold more food. So they are able to sleep for longer periods of time, but until this stage passes, here are some things you can try so you and baby can both get some sleep.

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Pass Time & Give Baby a Bath

Create a night time ritual. After feeding baby dinner, play with her for a while. Let her stretch her legs and kick and grow tired while having fun.

Then, you can give her a lavender bath. Lavender is known to calm and soothe babies and help them sleep. Many baby soaps now come with lavender infused in them, and a lot of times they come in baby bath gift baskets made just for that reason. Once she’s had her bath, wrap her in a warm, but not overly hot, outfit. You want her to be comfortably toasty, but not overheated.


Make a Bedtime Ritual

Create a bedtime ritual such as reading to her while she lies in her crib watching and listening. Or maybe you’d like her to sit on your lap while you read. That’s great too for cuddling, but if baby does start to nod off, it’s going to be harder to pick her up and place her in the crib without waking her.

Make sure there are no distracting toys or baby blankets she could get tangled in. Place her on her back and turn the lights in her room down to just a nightlight. Play soothing music or if you have a sound machine, turn it on to the heart or ocean sounds. Sing to her as she lies in the crib. You might want to sit next to the crib and rock in a rocking chair. She can still see you, but you’re not holding her (so you can make a gentle exit when her eyes close).

Older babies will need a set bed time. This helps their bodies naturally fall off to sleep at the same time every night. And setting this schedule now will help you get a toddler off to sleep more easily.


Soothing Tones & Music

Talk to baby in soothing tones. Keep the room quiet except for your voice and lulling music. Then, start fading off slowly into silence. She’ll only hear the sounds of the sound machine or the music.

Close your own eyes while you rock in the chair and she will begin to mimic you. It will be hard for her to keep her eyes open for long. After she has fallen asleep, slowly rise and tip toe out of the room.


Meet Physical Needs

That ritual will start to become a time that baby looks forward to. As long as she’s well fed and dry and clean, she’ll be a happy little girl at bedtime. Make sure all her physical needs are met, and she’ll have no reason to cry.

The time you decide to put baby to bed will depend a lot on your schedule. Very young babies sleep away most of the day and have no concept of day or night. So it really doesn’t matter what time you put her to bed. She’s still going to wake up in a few hours if she’s hungry.

Typical Sleep Chart for Babies

Age of Child
Nighttime (Hours)
Daytime (Hours)
1 month
3 months
6 months
9 months
12 months
18 months
2 years
This information was gathered from


If all else fails, place baby in her stroller and wheel her around the rooms of the house. You certainly don’t want to be out strolling the neighborhood during one of baby’s crying fits during the night. So, indoor works just as well.

Wheel her from room to room with the lights low and she will begin to nod back off again. If you don’t want to move her, let her sleep in the stroller next to you while you sleep on the couch.

Any tricks you can use to get you through the up all night years will help you and baby both get more rest. Use what works for you and stick with it. Every baby is different, so experiment.


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    • janices7 profile image

      Janice S 6 years ago

      Wow - so much great information in this hub! Love the sleep chart.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, this is great info, I remember it well! my son loved the sound of the hoover, it always made him nod off! but a routine is very important, cheers nell

    • jkvkdailey4 profile image

      jkvkdailey4 6 years ago from Minnesota

      Luckily we never had issues with our boys falling asleep. But my neighbor did, and she would walk the halls for hours with her baby fighting to keep his eyes open. A ritual is great for baby and for parents!