Baby Won’t Sleep? Or Just Won’t Sleep in Their Crib or Bassinet? Is your little one keeping you up at night? Will baby only sleep in your arms? Or anywhere but their crib? If these are questions you have, then read on because this blog will help you all get the sleep you need!
Every parent experiences some sleepless nights with their new baby, but if your baby is keeping you awake night after night, then here are some simple things you can do to get them to sleep better!
Of course, before anything, always check the basics to make sure baby is comfortable and ready to sleep. Is baby hungry? Does baby have a dirty diaper? Is the room (or baby) too hot or cold? Could baby be in pain or sick? To learn more, check out our other blog – Why baby won’t stop crying?
Once you’ve confirmed your baby is fed and comfortable, the below tips can ensure baby (and you) get some sleep tonight!
1.) Turn UP the volume on soothing
The room might actually be too quiet for baby to sleep well. Too quiet? Is there even such a thing? YES, actually!
Inside the womb, it is as loud as a vacuum cleaner or 80 to 90 decibels. The constant sounds in the womb are comforting to baby and out in the world, white noise helps to dim any and all other intermittent noises and lull baby to sleep.
Just think of how well you sleep with the whirling sounds of a fan or an Air Conditioner humming in the background. That’s the same constant white sound that babies crave and yet we put them in a quiet room and expect them to sleep.
The good news is, you can easily correct this lack of white sound in a variety of ways – a loud “Shhh” into babies ear, an app on your smartphone or tablet, or the revolutionary Tranquilo Mat which mimics the sounds of the womb.
And don’t worry too much about babies hearing. Just think that their cries (which are practically right in their own ears) are a whopping 100 – 130 decibels! Far higher than anything else you might be able to provide in the way of soothing white sounds. To learn more about white noise, check out our other blog here.
2. ) Get baby moving to help them fall asleep
While this might initially sound bizarre, many people instinctively rock or sway with a baby to help soothe them or get them to sleep. Some babies even like more movement than that – think bouncing on a yoga ball or taking baby on a car ride.
This is because in the womb, baby was suspended in amniotic fluid (similar to water) so anytime mom moved, baby moved too! That’s why when we try to put baby into a stationary crib or bassinet, they cry in protest.
So, when it comes to bedtime, especially for younger babies, it can be ok to give them the motion they crave. And if you can’t keep the vigorous motions up all night just so baby sleeps, try the Tranquilo Mat which mimics the motions of the womb that baby craves.
Learn more about adding motion to baby’s bedtime routine by visiting our other blog.
3.) Giving baby extra snuggles
This one seems obvious and yet, many parents don’t think letting baby fall asleep while cuddling is a great idea. Babies love to snuggle, because they feel secure in their parents’ arms, but also because they like to feel snug so their arms and legs (which they can’t yet control well), aren’t flailing about. In the womb, especially during those final weeks, they were in tight quarters with very little room to move around.
Once in the world, the vast amount of space can feel terrifying to a baby and it’s why swaddling your baby can be so effective to help them sleep! To learn more about how to swaddle baby safely, read our other blog.
4.) Let baby suck themselves to sleep
Not sleeping sucks and ironically, sometimes baby won’t sleep simply because they want something to suck on! Since babies get their food from sucking, the simple act of sucking can bring them comfort.
So, let baby suckle at the breast or bottle to get sleepy, just don’t let them sleep that way all night! Instead, transfer sleepy baby into their crib and then use a clean finger (for breastfeeding babies) or pacifier to suck a bit more while falling asleep there vs. your arms.
To learn more about how and why this works, check out our other blog here.
5.) Heat things up
One reason babies love falling asleep in parents’ arms is that it’s warm and cozy there. In fact, adults are like built-in baby warmers since our chest temperature actually fluctuates up or down just to keep baby comfortable!
To give your baby that warm snuggly feeling in their crib or bassinet, without the risk of overheating (which can increase SIDS risks), put a baby to bed with warm socks or swaddle blanket fresh from the dryer. Just be sure to test the temperature on your inner wrist to make sure they aren’t too hot for your little one!
While many babies don’t need complete darkness to sleep, keeping the room dark can improve sleep for many babies. Blackout curtains and dim lights (or no lights) are usually the best way to get baby sleepy. A dark room can also help baby fall back asleep by themselves should they wake up in the middle of the night.
It is important to know that night lights are usually for older children who are afraid of the dark but the flickering lights in them can actually disrupt a baby’s sleep. Forgo these or any other lights in baby’s room to help them sleep better!
Hopefully, these tips and tricks can help you get your little one to sleep so you can sleep! Getting baby to sleep in their own bassinet or crib can help everyone sleep better and wake up feeling ready to tackle the day!
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