Tips on Preparing Your Baby for Sleep

Every mother can resonate with the frustration of a wailing infant. This especially holds true in the middle of the night when your child refuses to cooperate. Most mothers equate motherhood with sleepless nights and exhaustion. 

An infant should have a lot of naps during the first year. However, some struggle to reach sweet dreams. The reason for this can be temporary development reasons such as routine changes, teething, vaccination, insufficient feeding, colic, and illness. 

Soothing babies to nap is a chore that parents with a tough sleeper may begin to dislike. Here are some proven tips to calm an infant enough to dream: 

Movement

Due to the time spent in the womb, babies are used to constant movement. By introducing some calming movements you’ll have a sleeping baby in no time. 

  • Take a walk or a drive: If the weather is favorable and the baby is big enough, you can take a walk or drive. The motion that a vehicle or walking creates will calm a fussy infant to sleep. 

  • Use vibrations: These may include a dryer, a washing machine, or vibrating bassinet. All you have to do is place the infant in a safe place, such as an infant seat,and put it on top of the source of vibration. Then, hold it tightly until the child lulls to a nap. This shouldn't be used too much though, as the baby will begin to rely on the vibrations to fall asleep.

  •  Rocking: You can use either a rocking chair or your arms to rock the baby. Those using their arms can hold the child firmly in their arms and sit or stand in a comfortable position. Sway back and forth gradually slowing down as your child drifts off. 

  • Get a swing: Buy a suitable swing for the infant. A bigger size will cause the child to slump and be uncomfortable. The swing will make a regular motion that will soothe the infant to nap after several rounds of movement. Make sure that the fastening is secure and safe. While this helps your child fall asleep, you need to make sure their head doesn't flop forward and obstruct breathing. After the child is asleep it should be moved to their crib. Never let the baby sleep in their swing unsupervised. 

Create Noise 

While in the womb, there’s constant noise from their mother’s heartbeat, blood flow, and digestion. Therefore, mimicking these noises can lull your baby to sleep. 

  • White noise 
  • Switch on your fan
  • Make calming sounds with your mouth 

Make the infant comfortable

The warmth of a mother’s womb is unmatched. Providing a safe environment will help babies sleep easily. 

  • Use a sling 
  • Swaddling
  • Kangaroo care: Where the infant lies across your chest on your naked body, while both of you are covered with a soft and warm blanket. While this technique can be used to help your baby fall asleep, make sure to avoid co-sleeping - as determined by the AAP - Safe Sleep and ultimately place the baby in its crib once it’s down. 

Long periods of sleepless nights will prompt any parent to research why their bundle of joy is struggling to nap. Some other reasons for restlessness include age, confusion between day and night, and sleep regression.