All parents know the struggle of getting an upset little one to calm down enough to go to sleep. This isn’t only exhausting for the baby, but it’s also pretty exhausting for the parents, too. Both mommy/daddy and child need rest in order to kick-start the next day, but there are some nights when the babies just aren’t having it. After cradling them and rocking them and singing them lullabies, it might be time to try out some of these proven tips and tricks. We guarantee you at least one of these will end with both you and your little one finally getting some shut-eye.
1. White Noise
If you find that your child is having a hard time getting to rest, try using some soft, soothing white noise to help them along. It can be hard for babies to fall asleep if there are too many other sounds coming from around the house. Use the noise to help filter all that out and keep your child focused on staying asleep. This white noise could be anything from a soft fan to a sound machine. There are even white noise videos on YouTube.
For newborns aged no more than five months, swaddling can prove to be an effective strategy for getting them to relax. At such a young age, these children have what’s called a startle reflex that makes them feel as though they’re falling and wake up.
To prevent that from happening, make sure that you wrap your child in a tight swaddle. Doing so will help your baby sleep better and longer. Once your baby is old enough that they’re able to wiggle their way free, it may be time to try another technique.
Some babies consistently wake up for feedings between their dreams. If this sounds like your little one, co-sleeping might be the best option for you. This is especially useful if your child is too young to learn how to self-soothe.
Co-sleeping requires both parent and child to share a bed, or for the child to be close by in a bassinet or on a cot. Co-sleeping with a newborn can be very effective if done the right way. Do be sure that if you do decide that this is the best strategy for your family that you do it safely. There are a lot of risks associated with sharing a bed with your newborn so make sure that you’re both in a safe environment before trying it out.
4. Mess with Lighting
Lighting can be a strong indicator for our bodies. The different kinds of light tell our brains to release specific hormones that either wake us up or make us want to sleep.
During the day, make sure your child is exposed to plenty of sunlight. When it comes time for your baby to rest for the night, try to have the lights in the nursery dimmed. Lower the lights about 2 hours before bedtime to give the brain time to react to the change.
Even if your child wakes up in the middle of the night, avoid using bright lights. Stick to dimly lit areas and keep your baby from being exposed to lights that will wake them up.
5. Put Them to Bed When They’re Drowsy
Though this may seem like a weird one, it’s an important one to try. Rather than wait until your child is asleep to place them in their crib, try to get them in there a little earlier. Watch for the signs that your child is getting tired, and gently rest them in their crib.
It’s been shown that babies who drift off to sleep on their own are better able to self-soothe later on. The timing will be different for every child, so get to know your baby’s expressions and temperaments. You’ll know when they’re about to shut their eyes for the night.
These are only five of the most common tricks parents use to quiet their little ones. There are plenty of others you can try if these don’t seem to work for you and your baby.