If your little one is suffering from baby sleep problems, life can be very exhausting indeed. Sometimes it seems that baby just will not go to sleep, or not at any time when you can benefit from it. Try these tactics to help your baby to drop off to sleep quickly and peacefully.
Some babies will fall asleep to music. You could experiment with playing peaceful music quietly in the room. Many babies love being sung to, and a lullaby often works. You can also try reading repetitive stories or poems to the baby in a very calm voice, even if he or she is way too young to understand them.
Many babies feel secure when they are being rocked and you know how it can calm a baby to be walked around the room in your arms. Many babies will also fall asleep when they are walked in their stroller or driven in the car. It can be very frustrating to have baby sleep at these moments when you have no chance of sleeping yourself! But you could try putting baby in the stroller or the car and going for a very short trip.
You could also use a rocking crib for a newborn but look for one that can be fixed so it will not rock and only use the rocking facility when you need to. You do not want your baby to get used to it always moving when he or she moves. This would cause problems later when you want to transfer your growing child to a bed that does not rock.
Try not to transfer your anxiety about sleep to the baby. This can be hard to do when you are desperate for your child to doze off, but it is very important. The baby will feel your anxiety and associate it with sleep or nighttime, so that he or she becomes afraid to fall asleep or scared of the dark. This could cause sleep problems that continue long into childhood and even adulthood. Try to create the feeling that sleep is a pleasant and happy state to fall into and stay in, by keeping yourself as calm and happy as possible while you are trying to get your baby to sleep. Chill-out music may help you with your own emotional state.
If the current sleep routine that you are using is simply not working, consider making some changes either to the routine or to your lifestyle. You can try alternative times, have both parents put baby to bed together, change the baby’s feeding routine, walks, daytime naps or the time that you get up in the morning. Do not try to force your baby into a routine that only suits you – you may have a baby with a very different temperament to your own.
Finally, if these tips do not help, seek professional advice. It is important to know what is normal and what is not, and to get some help for serious baby sleep problems so that they do not affect your ability to care for your baby.