Tips To Get Your Baby On A Regular Sleeping Schedule
You know what the experts say: Establish a regular bedtime routine and teach your baby to fall asleep on her own. Then, within a few days or weeks, you too will have a baby who sleeps through the night. Sounds great, but does it really work?
Establishing a consistent bedtime ritual — one that includes some variation on a bath, book, and bed — is the number one way parents help their infants drift off to sleep.
The following are more sleep strategies that worked for other members of the BabyCenter community. Whatever route you choose, remember this: What worked for one family might not work for you, so do what’s best for you and your baby.
“One day I noticed that my 3-month-old fell asleep every time I blow-dried my hair. Then I discovered that turning the radio to static also worked like a charm. We just crank the radio up and it soothes her to sleep. It’s more convenient than the blow dryer. And it’s a lifesaver when we’re traveling and she gets tired and fussy. She’ll cry sometimes for a few minutes, but it always works!”
“I cried a lot when I was a baby, and my mom ran the vacuum to get me to fall asleep. When my parents worried about wearing out the carpet, they set the vacuum up on a board while it ran. Then when they worried about wearing out the vacuum, they made a tape of the vacuum noise. It’s a family joke now, but it worked!”
“The fan in the bathroom works wonders when our baby is tired and restless but won’t sleep. At first, we put her in her bouncer and left her in there to take a nap, but now she falls asleep in her crib after just a few minutes in the bathroom. We use a small fan in her bedroom to help ‘white out’ noises.”
“I bought a sound machine that has about eight sounds, such as white noise, heartbeats, rain, ocean, and streams. I use it for every nap to help drown out the noises of the day and at night, too.”
“We keep a bucket of pacifiers by his crib so one is always handy.”
“I put a heating pad in my baby’s crib to warm it up and take it out when I lay him down. I also put a nightshirt that I’ve worn over him. He has slept all night since I started those tricks.”
Separate day from night
“From the day we brought our son Zachary home, we started to treat daytime differently from nighttime. During the day we would be very playful and speak in normal tones. At night, we spoke less and more softly to him while feeding, and kept his room dimly lit and quiet.”
“My husband and I established a routine while still in the hospital to differentiate night from day for our little girl. During the day, our daughter is always in the light (even when she naps) and never swaddled. At night it’s dark and she gets wrapped up in her swaddling blanket (she loves it). The only thing the same between night and day is the quiet public radio station playing in the background.”
— Luckiest mom on earth!
Watch for sleepy signs
“My best advice is to watch your baby’s cues, i.e., rubbing his eyes, fussing, sucking fingers or a thumb. The minute we see him do any of the above, we just put him down in his crib and he goes right to sleep.”
Flexible bedtime hour
“Don’t make bedtime a fight. Not all babies go to sleep at 7 p.m. and wake up at 5 a.m. Our son Ian sleeps from 9 p.m. until 7:30 am. This schedule is rarely changed and he sleeps without a hassle.”
— Dan and Christine
Modified crying it out
“After weeks of repeated night wakings, we decided to try the technique where you let your baby cry for 15 minutes and then go in and verbally soothe him. Nicholas cried for 15 minutes, and we went in there and ‘talked’ him down. The next night he did it again, but only cried for ten minutes and he was out. It didn’t happen the next night.”
“When my daughter was 2 1/2 months, I started the bedtime routine of bottle, bath, and bed. I put her in bed tired but awake and let her cry for five minutes, then went in and calmed her down without picking her up — every five minutes the first and second nights, then every ten minutes, and so on. It worked great. One week and she was sleeping eight to ten hours a night.”
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