Your baby needs an adequate amount of sleep to grow and develop properly. Unfortunately, for many parents, getting their baby to sleep is quite a challenge. The good news is that there are specific things you can do to help your baby fall asleep and get the rest he needs.
Establish a Bedtime Routine
Establishing a consistent, structured bedtime routine can help your baby fall asleep easier. A solid bedtime routine may consist of a bath, a bottle or time of nursing and a short story, followed by putting your baby into his crib or bassinet. When putting your baby into his crib, it’s important that he is drowsy but still awake, so he can learn to fall asleep on his own. Babies who are rocked to sleep regularly will come to depend on being rocked to fall asleep. A consistent bedtime routine will help your baby develop self-soothing skills and help to set his biological clock, according to TinyLove.com.
Swaddle Your Baby
Swaddling your baby can be calming and soothing and help to facilitate falling asleep. The snug wrap of a swaddle offers a sense of familiarity as your baby spent lots of time sleeping in the tight quarters of your uterus. Since young babies still have their startle reflex, a reflex that causes them to suddenly jerk their arms away from their body in response to loud noises, swaddling can prevent your baby from hitting herself in the face as she is drifting off to sleep.
Use a White-Noise Machine
In addition to masking unwanted noise, white-noise or sound machines create soothing sounds to help your baby fall asleep. While in the womb, your baby constantly heard sounds that were twice as loud as a vacuum, according to Parents.com. For that reason, it should be no surprise that consistent, rhythmic noise is familiar to your baby and can provide him with a sense of comfort and security that can help him to fall asleep.
Keep the Room Dark
Keeping your baby’s room dark can help your baby drift off to sleep. If your baby’s room is too light, she may be distracted by the things she can see around her and it may be difficult for her to settle down and fall asleep. Keeping the room dark also helps your baby to form an association between darkness and sleep. If your baby’s room is kept consistently dark for sleeping, each time she goes into her room to sleep she’ll form a deeper association between darkness and sleep time. Room-darkening shades or blinds can help to block out sunlight and keep her room dark.