6 Tips to Make Baby Go to Sleep – And Stay Asleep
Before you were a mom, you were cranky if you didn’t get your required 7 to 9 hours of sleep that night. Now you feel like you don’t even get that much sleep in an entire week. Yawn.
You can’t figure out what you’re doing wrong. Your coworker’s baby, who is only a few weeks older than yours, has been sleeping through the night for months. You thought it was normal for babies to wake up every few hours until you realized she never falls asleep at her desk. Or during important meetings with your boss. Oops.
Save your job – and your sanity – by trying a few of the tips below. We’re not promising all – or even any of them – will work, but what do you have to lose? Besides another night of sleep, that is.
Don’t dump a scoop of cereal in your baby’s bottle when she’s only a few weeks old, unless the pediatrician okays it – but make sure she goes to bed with a full belly. If baby is old enough for solids, move dinner back an hour or two so that she eats right before bed. Choose foods that take a while to digest, such as proteins like ground chicken or beans. Just a warning: you might wake up to some pretty nasty diapers. It’s the price you pay for an uninterrupted night of sleep.
DEVELOP A ROUTINE
You’ve probably heard this a million times, but babies like predictable things. Each night, pick out an adorable pair of pajamas, give baby a warm bath, and nurse her or give her a bottle. Finish by singing her a song or reading her a story as you tuck her into bed. Do this for a few weeks, and she’ll start to equate the routine with sleeping.
SING HIM A SONG
Babies love music. Hold your little one close to you and softly sing him a song, kissing his face as you sing. This may not make him sleep through the night, but it should at least make him drowsy. Just make sure to save the rap and dance hits for another time – like earlier in the day.
MASSAGE YOUR BABY
Think you’re the only one who likes being pampered? While your baby isn’t quite ready for a day at the spa just yet, he does enjoy a soothing massage. After a busy day of crawling and playing, his tiny little muscles get a bit sore. Lightly run your fingers up and down his back, arms, and legs. Gently massage his entire body, using clockwise and counterclockwise motions. Tell your partner that it’s your turn next.
PUT HER IN A SWING
If your arms are about to fall off from rocking your new baby so much, stick her in the swing and call it a night. Sure, some parents frown upon this – but those parents also probably get at least 8 hours of sleep a night. Bouncy chairs and car seats are other options. Sometimes your baby just gets bored with her bed. Hey, whatever works, right?
SLEEP WITH YOUR BABY
Did you know that the United States is one of the only places where kids usually don’t sleep with their parents? Kids in other countries snuggle with mom and dad for years, sometimes until they are teenagers. Your baby loves to cuddle with you, and knowing you’re right there next to him will help him sleep better. Make sure to pad the floor with pillows or use a bed rail in case baby is a squirmer. One warning, though: Baby might like your bed so much that he will refuse to sleep in his own. For several years. Hey, at least you’ll finally both get the rest you need.