Hush, little baby: tips to get your little one to sleep

Getting a baby to sleep is no simple task. Certain methods, though, are effective. Follow these tips and don't cave, even if your baby cries. After all, your little one needs to sleep, and you do, too.

Hush, little baby: tips to get your little one to sleep

Play during the day

Letting your baby sleep all afternoon can be tempting—especially if you were up all night with them. However, it's vital that your baby understands daytime is for play and nighttime is for sleep. Keep your baby active and engaged during the day and feed them often. Parents should have no qualms about waking their baby for a feed when it's light outside. This ensures the newborn is tired and full when the evening arrives.

Stay calm at night

Even if you feel like watching your favourite show or listening to music, keep quiet at night. Dim the lights, talk softly and keep other noises to a minimum. When it comes to getting your baby to sleep, nighttime is no time for humour or other such stimulation. Try to act more dull than usual, and avoid eye contact and making funny faces. Let your child know that the games are over for the day, and sleep will suddenly seem like the preferable and natural option for him or her.

Maintain a routine

Like adults, newborns are creatures of habit, so have a bedtime routine each night. This can include a range of activities, such as bathing, listening to lullabies, storytelling and more. Just make sure that the activity relaxes your child.

Provide security and comfort

Ensuring your newborn feels safe goes a long way toward a good night's rest. From birth to three months old, swaddling a baby helps them feel warm and secure since it resembles the feeling of being inside their mother's womb. From three to six months, babies may enjoy sucking on a pacifier as they drift to sleep, as it simulates the mother's breast.

Once they begin teething, massaging their cheeks and gums can help. Pay attention to your baby's needs and respond accordingly. Babies older than six months may experience separation anxiety at night, but it's important that you say goodbye while they're looking (not when they have their backs turned). In time, your child will learn to deal with your absence for more prolonged periods of time.

Independence is key

If you repeatedly use a certain method to get your baby to sleep, such as gentle rocking, they will grow dependent on that activity to sleep. Instead, put your baby in their bassinet or crib and let them fall asleep on their own. If your child cries, reenter the bedroom and reassure your little one that you are here and aren't going to run away. If the baby cries again, let him or her continue for five to 10 minutes, and then reenter the room. Sooner or later, the newborn should sleep.

There's no magical formula for getting your baby to sleep, but these simple tips can help your baby rest at the proper times and build positive associations with sleep.

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