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Challenge: Sleep Solutions

The ABCs of Putting a Baby to Sleep

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Here are 26 ideas for helping baby fall to sleep easier, stay asleep and sleep better:

abc baby sleep

A roma: Place something with a familiar smell near baby. Something that smells like mom or dad or a favorite cuddle item that smells familiar to baby is comforting

B reast/Bottle: Not always ideal, but generally a feed will help calm an extremely fussy baby

C uddle: Babies love to be close to someone they love so snuggle or cuddle up with baby.

D iaper: If baby won’t settle, double check they didn’t wet or mess their diaper since you started trying to put them to sleep.

E yes: Gently stroking around a baby’s eyes will often make them drowsy. You can try on the temples, across the forehead, down the bridge of their nose or on the cheek, right under their eye. Some babies love this and settle quickly others HATE it!

F ingers: Let baby suck on his/her fingers or a pacifier to help self soothe.

G low: A gentle projected image can distract baby and help calm them or help them drift off to sleep.

H eat: A baby who is too hot or too cold won't settle. Use a dress baby appropriately for the temperature and use a fan to provide cool air or if the room won’t stay warm enough for a baby who’s too small for blankets, try a space heater.

I gnore: Not the best choice for everyone and not good for real young babies, the “cry it out” method works for some parent/baby pairs.

J aunt: A completely inconsolable baby will often gently drift off if taken for a ride in the buggy/stroller or car.
nead: A gentle baby massage will often calm a fussy baby.

L ight: Keep the lights as low as possible. Some babies sleep best in complete darkness, even for naps (in which case blackout curtains can be a lifesaver!)

M otion: Babies love to be moving. Swaying, rocking, gentle bouncing can all help calm a restless baby.

N oise: Once baby is asleep I find background noise (music or TV) is good for drowning out the normal household noises that may wake baby up.

O cean: Ocean, water, rain noise is very calming and getting baby used to the noise when settling for sleep is helpful in helping them learn to put themselves to sleep in the future.

P at: Patting the baby’s but if a tummy sleeper or very gently on the chest can help lull a baby to sleep.

Q uiet: Keep the environment as quiet as possible while baby is trying to go to sleep with the exception of a noise machine if you choose to use one.

R hythm: Any rhythmic motion such as rocking, swaying or patting can be soothing.

S hhhh: Quietly “shhhhing” in baby’s ear provides a familiar noise similar to the water noises and mimics the bloodflow noises baby heard in utero (apparently…).

T ime: Ignore the clock and just focus on baby. Don’t worry about how long it’s taking, just keep working at it.

U p: Try putting baby up on your shoulder. This position will ease stomach discomfort and allow them to snuggle close to places where you are warmest and your familiar smell is strongest.

V alidate: Let your baby know you understand s/he is upset because s/he is tired and you’re trying to help him/her go to sleep and what your expectations are (might sound crazy but babies understand more than we think!)

W ear: If you have a restless baby who won’t sleep when you have something you really need to get done, put baby in a sling or carrier while you go about your tasks, the motion and closeness will often lull baby to sleep.

X-out stress: Clear out all stress and worry from your body by remaining calm and doing deep, cleansing breaths and sending the calm feelings to your baby when you start to feel overwhelmed.

Y awn: When baby yawns it means you’re almost there, keep doing what is working!

Z zzzz: Success, you have a sleeping baby!

This post was previously published on Beyond Mommying.

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