Tips to Help Your Baby Fall Asleep
Because sleep matters - for everyone in your home.
You know the feeling. It's 2 am, and your baby just won't settle down. There has to be a better way, right?
Whether you're reading this before giving birth or are currently amidst a midnight scream session, we've got you covered. These sleeping techniques will help put your baby to sleep so you can both get some much-needed Zzzzzs.
How Much Should Your Baby Sleep?
We know infants need a lot of sleep, but it can be hard to ensure your baby is well-rested when you're up all night trying to calm them down.
On average, infants need to sleep 14 to 18 hours in 24 hours. It can take several weeks (or even months) for your baby to settle into a pattern. Never mind the clockwork feedings and diaper changes. Use the following tips to help you and your baby get into more of a rhythm.
Tried & Tested Techniques for Helping Your Baby Sleep
Try the 5 S's
The 5 S's are soothing techniques that have been lifesavers for many parents and caretakers. Here's what you need to know.
SwaddlingSwaddling mimics the womb to help your child feel safe and secure. All you need is a good swaddle blanket, and you're good to go!
Side or StomachSometimes, it can help calm your baby down if you hold them on their side or stomach. However, it's not a safe sleep position.
ShushingTry making a loud shushing sound or enlist the help of a sound machine if you're running out of breath.
SwingGently swinging your baby can help soothe them to sleep.
SuckConsider using a pacifier to help your tot self-soothe. Babies are comforted by the sucking reflex.
Bedtime fading is a gentle technique for re-aligning your baby's internal clock with the bedtime you want.
Essentially, this sleeping technique is based on the theory that if a baby isn't ready to sleep, they won't. For example, if bedtime is at 6:30 pm and your child cries for 30 minutes, their 'natural' bedtime could be closer to 7 pm. If you want to change your baby's natural bedtime, start bedtime when your child is sleepy and then gradually make their bedtime earlier by 15 minutes each night until you've reached the desired time.
Dim the Lights
How do you get your baby to take a nap during the day? Blocking out the sunlight will help keep your baby snoozing. You can also forgo the night light for young babies - most children are unlikely to develop a fear of the dark until at least 18 months.
No matter what method you try, getting your baby to fall asleep takes practice and patience. Some methods won't work for your little one – and that's OK. Once you find a technique you (and baby) are comfortable with, be consistent for at least a week to give your baby a chance to adjust.