How do you make baby sleep?
There have been many nights where I have been so delirious from exhaustion that I would try just about anything to make my screaming child fall asleep. I am sure you have been there too. This post is for the newbies out there and for those parents who have forgotten and are desperate.
OK – so besides hiring a professional sleep trainer – which is probably the wisest yet, more expensive solution – I have compiled a list of things to try to get your baby to fall asleep. I would love for you to comment below and add to the list. We have to help each other out – it takes a village right?
The White Noise machine or shhing. This often works to get the baby to calm down and if the stars are aligned, the kid will fall asleep. It’s not a slam dunk but worth a shot. Shhh softly in your baby’s ear, use a white noise machine or try YouTube.
2. Bum Pat
If you are lucky enough to put your baby back into the crib without mass hysteria, try patting your baby lightly on the bum repeatedly. Your baby will feel reassured from your touch. Warning: you may be doing this for a while. You can also try the bum pat with babe in your arms.
3. Rocking side to side
Babies like motion. Rocking side to side usually works, but again you may be doing this for a long time. The good news: you will get a big time arm workout. The bad news: stop the rocking, the baby may wake up. Rocking side to side and the bum pat is a good combination that often works. I sometimes do a combination of squats with a series of rocking to get my work out in at 4AM . Might as well multitask when you are deliriously tired – right?
4. Car ride or stroller ride
Back to point 3. Kids love motion. The success of this technique really depends on how tired you are and if you are able to actually leave the house. If you have more than one child, it may prove difficult unless your spouse or partner is around to man the fort. If you are too tired – do not – I repeat – do not drive a car. The car ride usually does the trick however.
5. Turn on the fan in the bathroom with the lights out
This is my favorite go-to fall asleep method and 9 times of out 10 it works – yippee. I do have to say that this technique is really a combination of 1, 2, and 3. The white noise comes from the sound of the fan. I then add the bum pat and rocking. I may be in the bathroom for 20 minutes or more – sitting uncomfortably on a closed toilet seat lid, but this method usually gets to kid to konk out. So worth the pain. My favourite go to method besides number 6.
6. Milk coma?
Try giving your baby a bottle of milk or the boob. I know sleep trainers probably really don’t like this. But dark room, sucking and soothing, full belly = sleeping baby (again 9 times out of 10). It’s my other go-to. I know dentists out there wouldn’t approve either, but when you have to sleep, you have to sleep.
Now if your kid is teething or sick – you know most of these techniques will not work or will take a lot longer to work. You may have to administer Tylenol or Advil to ease the unexplained pain and then start with the techniques.
So now that your baby is finally asleep and you are totally wired – go pour yourself a glass of wine, do some yoga breathing and listen to some Enya. For me, that’s all too complicated. I actually use a melatonin spray called Rescue Sleep that does the trick – until baby wakes again. Ear plugs?
Good luck. xo