Authors: Penny Warner
Give your baby a chance to wind down by stopping vigorous activity fifteen to twenty minutes before you want her to fall asleep. Switch to quiet activities, such as singing to, bathing, or rocking her.
Let It Be
Some babies wake up in the night, wiggle and squirm and make noise, then miraculously return to sleep. So don't react too quickly âgive your baby a chance to settle down on his own.
Keep It Calm
When your baby awakens in the middle of the night for a feeding, keep the lights dim, and use a soft voice and slow movements, so your baby will not be roused during nursing.
Baby Knows Best
Sometimes you just need to adjust your routine to fit your baby's needs, simply to make life easier for everyone.
The most common reasons are:
â¢ Hunger, especially during growth spurts
â¢ Teething, usually accompanied by a lot of drooling
â¢ Developmental steps, such as crawling, walking, etc., which may cause changes in their sleep due to excessive energy or tiredness
â¢ Illness, such as a cold or flu, that causes congestion
â¢ Discomfort due to allergy, diaper rash, or eczema
â¢ Loneliness âbaby wants to be with Mom or Dad
â¢ Reversal of day and night cycles âbaby is used to sleeping in the womb while being rocked during the daytime and waking up while Mom's asleep at night
â¢ Being startled by a dream, a noise, or a sudden twitch
â¢ Extreme temperatureâthe room is too warm or too cool
Here's a short list of the leading sleep experts and their varying approaches
“People who say they sleep like babies usually don't have them.”
âLeo J. Burke
In this chapter you'll find the most popular ways to get baby to sleep, passed on from parent to parent over the years. Although not all babies are the same, the tips in this chapter seem to work for most. They're standards for a reasonâthey've helped generations of parents and, in turn, will most likely work for you. As I mentioned, some of these ideas may be new to you, while others will seem like common knowledgeâbut it's always good to be reminded and to try the techniques again. They're especially handy if you're just beginning to play the sleep game with your first child.
Change your baby into the same pajamas as a cue that it's time for sleep. Then, each time you put on Baby's pajamas, he will know what to expect. (Don't forget to wash them often!)
Give your baby a warm, soothing bath to relax her and she'll be more apt to nod off afterward.
Put lotion on your hands to warm it up, then give your baby a gentle massage to help relax his muscles.
Sing Baby to Sleep
Sing a lullaby or hum a simple tune to lull and comfort your baby to sleep. (
For my favorite lullabies, see “Sweet Sounds,” page 129.)
Sound of Music
Turn on classical music or a quiet song for Baby to listen to while she goes to sleep.