How many times, when you saw your child sleeping, did you dream of becoming a baby again, of spending most of your day eating and sleeping?
But for some of them, napping or bedtime can be particularly difficult. In this article, we give you all the tips to put your baby to sleep easier and faster. So you can use this long time to take care of yourself or the house.
There is no miracle method, and babies’ sleep is not controlled, but there are conditions conducive to its arrival. For your baby to dive into the arms of Morpheus in complete serenity, here are some tips and tricks. They will help you put your baby to sleep.
Put him to sleep in Arms
In the first few weeks of life, your baby often falls asleep in your arms. First of all, because he sleeps a lot (a newborn sleeps about 20 hours a day), which explains why to enjoy him and cuddle him, you kept him asleep in your arms!
On the other hand, toddlers fall asleep most of the time at the end of the feeding, breast or bottle. Because the effort it requires has exhausted them: barely full, they fall asleep.
Swaddling recreates this feeling of space limitation, of a protective screen, which will calm the child. And what could be better than the arms of a caring, attentive and lively mother or dad to indulge in the well-being of a sleepy life?
For the first 6 months, your baby is in the so-called attachment period: the bonds he builds during this period with his “attachment figures”, that is, you, his parents, are crucial for his development.
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He needs to feel safe, constantly carried, cradled, cuddled. The more stable and strong the baby develops a bond, the better he will be able to manage the difficult situations inherent in a social life throughout his life.
Quickly, the baby’s sleep changes and the periods of awakening multiply and lengthen. Depending on your baby’s needs as he grows up, try to put him in bed so that he becomes familiar with, feels safe and well.
Over time, he will have less and less need to be carried or cradled to find sleep and will be able to fall asleep on his own.
Make your child’s bed a welcoming, sleep-friendly space. Don’t place it there to play, it’s not a park, and it would blur the message you’re sending him. Avoid overly distracting mobiles, which your child will find difficult to get his attention. Instead, reserve them for waking moments.
Importance of the Bedtime Ritual
Just as you will accompany your child in his learning to eat well, you will accompany him in his acquisitions to fall asleep well. To do this, set up a sleep routine, that is, one or more bedtime rituals that you will follow with each bedtime.
This routine will have the effect of securing your child and putting him in a condition to accept the separation from you to regain strength in sleep.
Avoid anything that would excite him (tickles, laughter, hide-and-seek, but also any exposure to screens), and focus on what will allow you to leave him with a smile on his face, relaxed and serene.
Some ideas for bedtime rituals:
- The massage of the legs and feet, accompanied by a sweet song.
- A nursery rhyme in baby sign language to say “good night.”
- Reading a small book, pointing at the images and repeating the words;
- Adopting a position related to falling asleep in the bed, the head at an angle, the hand under the cheek, or other.
- A small sentence of separation, different depending on whether it is a nap or a night. For a nap, it can be: “I’ll pick you up later, after a little rest, to play with you.” For the evening, say, “I wish you a good night. I’m going to go to bed too to find you in great shape tomorrow!”
- A big hug with kisses in different places, including closed eyelids.
Just as an adult has trouble getting to sleep after an agonizing movie, an argument with his or her spouse or an intensive workout. A baby cannot be asked to fall asleep in a context that is too stimulating, tense or excitement. So it’s up to you, his parents, to make sure that he has the best possible conditions so that he sleeps.
This means that during the day, it is advisable to avoid over-soliciting it. Indeed, even if we are all committed to awakening our children. It is important to give him time to dream, to refocus on him, to withdraw into his interiority. You don’t have to show them toys or offer them activities all the time.
Try as much as possible to leave your own worries at the door of his room and focus only on him. Your baby feels all your tensions and perceives the world through your moods. If you are tense, irritated, anxious, he will feel it and will probably have a hard time giving himself up to sleep.
The best thing, in this case, is to verbalize your moods and de-dramatize them: “I’m upset by what happened to me today, but it has nothing to do with you, and I’m very happy to be there to put you to bed.”
Some parents are afraid that their child will be disturbed by the surrounding noise (the television they are watching, traffic, conversations, etc.). And place white noise transmitters in their child’s room to cover the parasites.
Many other who want to get their child used to sleeping in all circumstances, are deliberately setting a background. This may, in some children, become problematic by making the baby depend on specific music or noises to get into sleep. You might as well not generate too restrictive a child.
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One of the secrets of peaceful sleep in children is the regularity of rhythms during the day. Be sure to respect, as much as possible, fixed meal and bedtime hours. Whether at naps or bedtime, so as not to disturb your child’s habits.
Putting your baby to bed may require a little firmness at some point. Even a child who has no sleep problems and who has always fallen asleep easily will, one day or another tell you that he does not want to go to bed. What could be more normal?
He’d rather keep playing or spend more time with you reading stories! Once you feel that your child is finished and in need of sleep (and there are no disruptive elements such as illness, for example). Then be firm and follow the established framework by reminding them of the rules with kindness.
Place the child in bed and explain gently, but with conviction, that it is time to sleep. Also tell him in a reassuring tone that you are nearby. But that you will leave him in bed so that he sleeps serenely and safely. It’s so cool: tomorrow, once everyone’s rested, you can get together to do activities together!
Nighttime awakenings are very difficult if they are numerous. We parents, stunned with fatigue, sometimes find it difficult to have clear ideas. Impatient to go back to bed, we might be clumsy in the messages sent to our child, offering to eat. For example, when waking up is not a matter of hunger, or by getting upset while taking the child in our arms.
The causes of these nocturnal awakenings should be analyzed, depending on the age of the child. Some awakenings are due to night terrors or nightmares. Baby can also have a restless sleep because he is feverish. But from the moment you have the conviction that your little tip can sleep a full night.
Tips for Nighttime awakenings
- Did your baby starts crying in the middle of the night and doesn’t go to sleep. Then go to him and make sure he’s not sick. If all goes well, reassure him, speaking to him in a low voice, without turning on the light in his room. Tell him he’s safe in bed, stroke his back or head to calm him down. If necessary, take him in your arms to hug him and help him calm down. Then gently tell him that you will rest him in his bed so that he can sleep and go back to bed yourself.
- Lie down your baby in bed and then go back to bed.
- If your child starts crying again, let them try to calm down on their own for a few minutes. Depending on the intensity of their crying and your ability to let them express themselves. In the same way, if he fails to go back to sleep alone, go back to his room to help him calm down. Without light, without noise, with firmness and benevolence. So go back to his room as many times as necessary. Gradually, if you accompany him with patience and kindness, your child will gain confidence in his ability to plunge back into sleep alone and will succeed.
Telling a story
Just like bathing time, napping, or going to bed is a good time to tell your baby a story (Like “Go the F**k to Sleep book“). Of course, don’t venture into reading whole paragraphs. Just read a small paragraph of only a few lines with your head rested and calmly.
Anyway, you need to establish a ritual and make this one of the best in the baby’s day. Also think that you are spending a special time with him, which you will remember for a long time.
Cuddling is definitely part of the parent-baby relationship, especially at bedtime. It is a gesture that will continue for much more of the child’s (and parents’) life.
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Before you put it in your bed or cradle (we remind you that it’s best to put it on your side and not on your back), you can rock him by humming a song so that your baby can fall asleep gently.
You can also, why not, put on soft music to help him fall asleep and get him used to having some noise around him. Music (preferably classical!) will cause your baby to dream, like music boxes, that can be a good way to achieve this.
You can also try the portable speaker and white noise machine, which is the best choice and fun companion for your little one.
If the baby wakes up during the night, don’t lift him. You have to stroke it in the back as if you were rubbing it and cradle it a little until it goes to sleep. Don’t hesitate to talk to your baby, and even if he doesn’t answer you because he can’t speak yet, explain that it’s time to sleep. This will help him forge his future habits.
The ambient temperature is a fundamental aspect for the baby’s good rest, not to be overlooked, especially when falling asleep, your baby.
Although the ideal temperature during the day should be between 22 and 24 degrees, it should be between 18 and 20 degrees at night in the baby room. Naturally, we want to prevent it from getting cold during the night.
That’s why we tend to overprotect and cover him too much, which is not necessarily good for him because he’s going to sweat a lot more than he needs. Maintain the same temperature, regardless of the season.
You can also check the ThermoPro TP50 Digital Hygrometer Indoor Thermometer which will help you to check the room temperature more easily and accurately.
Each baby is unique and reacts differently. Something that works with one child may be completely ineffective with another, even if it is two brothers and/or sisters. It is, therefore, necessary to get to know your child and know his preferences, his fears, his techniques.
Keep in mind, however, that by creating certain sleep-related habits, he adopts them. I hope you like this article about How to Get a Baby to Sleep; if you like this, then also share with friends who are looking for a complete guide about baby sleeping.