As parents, we’ve all been there, the no sleep zone.
It’s brutal, especially when you are new to the whole parenting scene. Insomnia is definitely something that one needs to build up a tolerance to. But what can you do to get them to sleep so that you can get some shut eye and function like a normal human being, which is really in the best interest of everyone involved?
Here are a few suggestions to try before delirium sets in from sleep deprivation.
Develop realistic expectations about bedtime. Sleeping is not something you can force a baby to do and anyone who has had small children already knows that. You can build a routine and help your child become tired by expending energy but you cannot force sleep. Put your child to bed drowsy but awake.
Go with the flow. Develop a bedtime routine that works for you and your child. Don’t expect every sleep method to work for your child.
Decide where your baby will sleep the best. Does your child prefer to be in their own room, in a bassinet in your bedroom, or snuggled with you in your bed?
Don’t get them wound up during the day. A peaceful daytime is likely to lead to a restful night.
Develop a consistent nap routine. Pick out the times of the day that work best for them and lie down with your baby for about a week to get your baby used to a daytime nap routine.
Consistent bedtime rituals. Babies who enjoy familiar bedtime rituals usually go to sleep easier and stay asleep longer.
Calm down. Giving your baby a warm bath followed by a soothing massage to relax tense muscles and busy minds may help relax him enough to drift off into slumber.
The Daddy special. Place baby in the neck nestle position and rock your baby to sleep. The deep vibrations from Daddy’s voice will lull the baby to sleep.
Dress for success. Make sure that your child is comfortable. Try various ways of swaddling your baby at night. As kids get bigger, some don’t like to be contained to blankets while others want to be covered head to toe.
Quiet and dark bedrooms. Kids can sleep through some noise, but try to keep unnecessary startling noises from happening; dog barking, doorbell ringing, etc. Install room darkening shades if your child awakes early or has trouble going down for a nap during the day, use a white noise machine or fan if you live in a noisy home or neighborhood
Leave a little bit of mommy with them. If you have a separation-sensitive baby, leave a blanket or piece of clothing that smells of mommy or play a continuous tape recording of yourself singing a bedtime lullaby.
A full tummy. Don’t over feed, but make sure your child doesn’t go down hungry.
Creature comforts. Clear the noses, relieve teething pain, change wet or soiled diapers, and remove irritating sleepwear. Keep the room a comfortable 70 degrees.
A warm bed. Placing a warm baby onto cold sheets can cause trouble, especially in cold weather. Use flannel sheets.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. If you’ve tried everything and your baby still won’t fall asleep, place baby in a car seat and drive around until she falls asleep.
These are a few tips to help develop successful sleeping patterns for your child.
What are your tricks for putting your baby down for a peaceful slumber? Share in the comments below.