If you’re having a hard time getting baby to sleep, the first thing you should know is that you are not alone! Welcome to the club ?. We are a group of tired mamas just trying to make it through another day.
With that said, I want to be very clear up-front. There are no cry-it-out methods here. So if you’re looking for these types of tips, sorry Charlie, but they won’t be found within this page.
And before implementing any of the below, you should always make sure there aren’t any other underlining reasons your baby is crying.
If they are hungry, wet or need to be changed, these should always be addressed. And of course, if you ever have any questions always consult your pediatrician.
Below are the seven things we did, on the regular, to help our baby sleep when nothing else worked.
*This post contains affiliate links. This means that I make a small commission should you chose to make a purchase through my links. These funds help support our family and allow me to continue operating this blog.
1. Use a Baby Swing/ Glider
If you do not have a baby swing or glider, then it’s time to hop on that right now. Seriously, the baby swings and gliders are probably one of the best inventions for babies … ever!
Now, a word of caution. Never ever leave a baby unattended in a baby swing or glider. They can be great for a cat nap when baby is supervised. But do not use them for bed time.
Always make sure that baby’s head is positioned correctly. Newborns have no control of their necks.
This means that their head can slump, which can lead to their airways being closed off. Which essentially means baby can not breathe.
I really really loved our Graco Glider when our daughter was real small. It reclined and had vibration and back and forth movement.
The baby swing we used was a hand-me-down and did the job well. It seems to be a popular choice amongst moms.
2. Sing to Them
Who up in here likes FREE?! ?♀️
Alright, so maybe your singing voice resembles that of wolves howling at the moon. But I promise your baby doesn’t think that. To them, you have the most beautiful voice ever.
And would you know that your voice could just have magical powers? On a whim (way before that Facebook video went viral), I put our daughter to my chest and sang “Rock a Bye Baby” to her.
I couldn’t believe it when it calmed her down almost instantly. And then not much later she fell right asleep.
I’d really like to give credit to my wonderful soothing singing voice. However, it is much more likely to be the vibration coming from our chests that help soothe baby.
Either way, this was one of our go-to methods for many many months.
3. Go on a Car Ride
The old wives tales you’ve heard about car rides are true. If push comes to shove, try taking a bumpy car ride to help baby get to sleep.
Keep in mind that you will need to take baby out of the carseat when you get home. A baby should never be left in their carseat to sleep. So, if you’ve got a light sleeper on your hands, this may not be the best method for you.
4. Use a White Noise Machine or Play Lullabies
White noise and lullabies can help mask household noise and provide a soothing environment for baby. You can purchase white noise machines, utilize your Alexa or Google Home or even use your phone.
White noise and lullabies work wonderfully for some children. However there is a word of caution.
The American Academy of Pediatrics warns that these machines can contribute to infant hearing loss.
In a study, 14 infant white noise machines were tested. It was concluded that all, but one, were above the recommended noise limits for infants. It also mentions that regular use could affect hearing, speech and language development.
The recommendation is to keep noise machines set to a low volume and move the machine over 200cm (or 79in) away from baby’s crib.
5. Use Soft Touches
Babies are just like most adults. They like those soft touches just as much as we do. Some things you could do help baby sleep include:
- Gently rubbing forehead to bridge of nose
- Very lightly rubbing their head
- Softly patting back and bottom
6. When baby won’t sleep, try rocking.
It’s no secret that babies love to be rocked. If you don’t have a rocking chair, don’t fret! Simply put baby in your lap, facing you and rock back and forth. It’s a little more exhausting, but has a similar affect.
During those real tough nights, try using a trifecta while rocking. For example, rock, sing and pat bottom. And, yes, this trifecta does work for some babies. Ask me how I know!
7. Establish a Routine
While routines won’t work for babies in their newest newborn stage, you can begin to establish a routine within the following few months or so. Parents.com even states to start as early as 6-8 weeks old.
Babies will come to appreciate the predicability of their bedtime routine. You could, for example, at the time of bedtime, bathe, read a book and then lay down to bed. The biggest thing to remember is to stay consistent with whatever you choose.
It’s important to remember that all babies are different. What worked for us may not work for you. It was a lot of trial and error on our end and soon enough you will figure out what comforts your baby, as well.
How to Help Baby Sleep in a Nutshell
- Use a baby swing and or glider (only when adult is awake, present and can monitor baby)
- Sing to baby
- Go on a slightly bumpy car ride
- Play white noise or lullabies
- Gentle, soft touches.
- Establish Bedtime Routine
I’d love to know. Do you have any tips or tricks on how you have helped your baby sleep? Leave a comment below and let’s help out our fellow mamas!