30 Sep 2015 — 5 Tips to putting your baby to sleep
It doesn’t have to be a mission, try these 5 quick tricks
Getting ready for bedtime with a baby is like preparing for a sports match; you come equipped with all your tools and the mindset of a winner. It’s hard to believe that something so small and precious has the ability to win that match night in and night out. Follow these 5 easy tips to putting your baby to sleep and you’ll start winning too.
- Make some noise
Contrary to popular belief, a silent room is not a great environment to put a baby to sleep in – as getting them used to sleeping in a quiet environment will set a precedent. Did you know that while a baby is in the womb, the sounds they hear from the outside world are amplified? So they are accustomed to loud noises. Rhythmic sounds allow a baby to focus in a similar way that meditation allows for adults. This focused attention will make your baby sleepy, fast. Try putting an Audio/MP3/CD player in the nursery and play some white noise or nature noises at a soft volume. Before you know it, dreamland will grace your baby with its presence.
- Swinging works
The swing motion is a winner for all parents. By placing your baby on your forearm – on either the tummy or back – swing him/her back and forth in a swift motion, while using your free hand to keep the baby secure. The soothing motion will create a rhythm for your baby, similar to noise, and he/she will be swayed to sleep in no time. The conventional bobbing up and down motion is ineffective, usually because your baby’s neck and head are not stable; it’s a shaky motion in comparison to the smooth swinging manoeuvre.
- Use a bottle for feeding, and skip the caffeine
It’s a great idea to express your milk into a bottle early in the evening for night time feeds. This will allow you to switch feeding duties with your spouse when necessary, and you’ll be able to plan your eating accordingly. Avoid caffeine heavy drinks before you pump because milk that contains heavy dosages of caffeine will affect your baby and result in the baby struggling to fall asleep or a disrupted sleep. You want neither, which is why it’s best to fill a bottle earlier in the evening before you grab that cup of coffee or glass of wine.
- Don’t look!
As hard as it is, try not to make eye contact with your baby. This may sound cruel, and while you probably can’t stop staring at your baby, when it comes to sleep time you have to call it a day on the staring. If it’s getting late or your baby is drowsy, the simplest interaction with him/her like eye contact can stimulate their minds, and they will want to start playing with toys or try to get your attention.
- Move them over to the dark side
Darkness doesn’t seem appropriate for a cute baby but when it comes to sleep time, it is more beneficial to you and your child to gradually dim the lights from the early evening. From about 6:30 pm, start moving your baby into areas with duller lights – if you don’t have dimmers, close a few blinds or curtains as the evening progresses. By 8pm, it won’t feel unusual to turn the light completely off in the nursery, and your baby will fall asleep easier. You can incorporate some light in the room by means of a nightlight but ensure it is situated away from the baby’s cot, or leave the hallway light on but make sure that the light doesn’t hit the cot directly.