6 Helpful Techniques to Guide Your Baby to Good Sleep
Babies. Why does sleep seem to elude them so, especially those who are adorable newborns? Is it because they get joy from shrieking like tiny banshees wandering around the Irish countryside, keeping you wide awake at 3:30 AM? Or does it have to do with the fact that they’re still developing their physiology and building their precious sleep architecture?
Hmm. For the purposes of this article, let’s go with the latter excuse. Sounds more scientific, right? Of course it does.
So how does a parent like you get their little baby to get adequate sleep at night, anyway? What are the steps that one must take to get their baby to pass out at a time that’s convenient for you and healthy for them?
Good questions. We’re glad you asked them - although, technically speaking, we’re the ones who did.
Allow us to give you some insight into the matter. Here are six techniques on how to get your little one to have deeper, more restful slumber on a regular basis.
1. No Eye Contact
Be like J Lo in the green room: have a no eye contact rule with your baby when putting them to sleep. This will communicate to them that it is, in fact, time for beddy bye.
Here’s the thing: babies are stimulated little monkeys. They have endless amounts of energy and are looking for to unleash it upon the world whenever the opportunity arises. If your look your baby in the eye, you might signal to them that it’s play time instead, which will be counterproductive to your mission that (at the moment) feels decidedly imposible.
Instead, start using your body language to tell the little one that it’s time to pack their bags and take a bus to snooze-lanta. Gaze at their belly, use a soft voice and a very soothing touch when dealing with them. This approach will be more effective than running in and belting out showtunes while staring them directly in the eye like you usually do.
2. Use White Noise
Believe it or not, white noise really does help most babies fall asleep faster. Look online and you’ll find a smorgasbord of smartphone apps that will help provide soothing and relaxing sounds that fall into this category.
Babies can fall asleep to weird sound effects, too. Like the sound of hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, and cars. We’re not sure about television static...that might be too ‘90s.
The next time your baby is up at night and making sure you are too, why not download an app or two that will play these? Alternatively, there are plenty of insanely long white noise videos of all kinds found on YouTube. Why not take advantage of those?
3. Develop a Stable Routine for Them
Developing healthy sleep patterns begins early. If they don’t have a consistent sleep ritual in place that signals to their instinctual selves that it’s time to get sleepy with it, then their nocturnal behaviors will be more disruptive than usual.
Start putting down your baby when their drowsy, make the room comfortably dark, rock them, sing to them, or freestyle rap - anything that you can do on a regular basis like clockwork that will tell them to go to sleep on a time that you choose (the earlier the better, by the way), do it.
4. Swaddle or Pacify
Newborn babies have a startle reflex that will make them feel as though they’re falling. If this kicks in while they’re sleeping, they’ll wake up instantly - and so will you.
To prevent this from happening, some expert mothers recommend swaddling newborn infants snugly to keep them from startling themselves awake. Others still will advise using a pacifier to get them to sleep. Yet both swaddling and pacifying at night is a hot topic of debate in parenting circles, so if you choose to look into these options, be sure to do your research first.
5. Introduce a Security Object
Go on. Give your baby a binky or a stuffed animal. You know you want to.
Security objects like these are incredibly helpful when getting infants to sleep. If you decide to go this route, make sure it doesn’t leave the house. This way, your baby can associate the item with comfort and safety, two essential ingredients in sufficient (and timely) sleep.
While you’re at it, the more you can make your binky smell like the parent, the better. This will further help them find their way on a direct course to hit the hay.
6. Sleep Next to Them or Nearby If Possible
Co-sleeping has its pros and cons - and is also a hot topic to debate in online parenting forums - but it’s another popular strategy to use to help improve the quality and duration of your little monster’s sleep.
Not only does it provide a sense of security and trust that can’t be put into words, it also comes in handy when preventing nighttime accidents from happening, which establishes even safer atmospheric conditions your your newborn.
Obviously, each and every one of these tips we just provided you are based on your child’s individual tastes and preferences. Only you know what your baby is like and how they will react to changes in conditions. If you’re not quite sure yet, start finding out now.
Good luck, and my the Z’s be with you and your family!