How to get your baby to sleep is quite possibly the eternal question of motherhood. Given that the answer to this is so desperately sought by so many mums it is no surprise that there are so many solutions on offer. However, and unfortunately, there is no single solution. The best way to get your baby to sleep is as unique as the little one themselves. A few basics exist that you can look to in order to make sleep come as easily as possible.
Your baby is unlikely to go to sleep if hungry. This may sound obvious but it is nevertheless one step to get right. There are several reasons why it needs to be reinforced. Just when you get into a feeding pattern, your baby may go through a growth spurt which turns your entire routine upside down. Even if you just fed your little one twenty minutes ago, it is not surprising that they may be hungry again when going through a growth spurt. Three feeds an hour are not unheard of. Also, babies may fall asleep on the bottle or breast and parents may be reluctant to disturb a sleeping babe by burping them. This is still essential as otherwise the tranquillity may be short-lived.
The temperature of the room is another often-overlooked but basic cause. Being too hot or too cold is so much more uncomfortable for your little one than for you. A nursery thermometer is really useful in letting you know exactly how warm or cool is the room. Baby may kick off sheets not because they are too warm, but just because they are restless, and wake from becoming too cold. Lightweight sleep sacks for the summer and warmer sleeping bags for the winter are fabulously helpful in keeping your one sleeping soundly. Whilst fresh air is great, ensure that there is not too much breeze caused by fans or open windows. Your baby’s skin is much more sensitive than yours.
Other aspects of baby’s sleeping environment are also important. Noise in the background can certainly disturb. Tips that parents have found useful in the past are to use a ticking clock, white noise CD, classical music, or lullabies to ensure that nothing interrupts your little one falling or staying asleep. Mums have even noticed that early-morning birdsong can wake up a sleeping baby, so being flexible about where baby sleeps may help.
Realising that babies do self-soothe is helpful. Rocking, cradling and comforting your baby to sleep is fine, but letting them soothe themselves to sleep is an eventual goal. There may be some tears along the way, yours as well as theirs, but this will be useful.
Above all remember that eventually, all babies sleep so there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel. In the meantime, there is still nothing wrong with putting your baby in their car seat and driving around a bit if all else fails.