5 SIMPLE BABY BEDTIME TIPS
When I had Lucas there was a time when all I searched on Google was how to get a baby to sleep. He was a great sleeper, I really don’t know what I was so worried about.. Maybe all the vetran moms saying "Say good bye to sleep!". So, I decided to add to the hundreds of posts on baby bedtime tips In case you wanted another one to read. I did previously make one about Lucas's transition when he was a wee wee baby. You can read that here.
One thing may work for one, that doesn’t work for the other & one may just coo themselves to sleep every time (yes those babies do exist!). My son soothes himself with his thumb and a his other hand rested on his neck.
A typical running joke for parents is the lack of sleep we get. Though, I will admit, with Lucas we had it SO easy when he was a wee wee baby! I did feed him to sleep a lot which I paid for later kind of.. but I could still put him down drowsy & he would slightly whimper for a little but go right to sleep. Though that sweet little angel of mine went through some serious sleep regression at 9 months.
Simple Baby Bedtime Tips
1. NOISE MACHINE
Ollie the Owl has been our godsend for noise. I highly highly recommend Ollie! We have made him our go to baby shower gift to our expecting friends because he has a cry sensor so whenever baby lets our a small cry if they wake a little it will turn on & put baby back to sleep. It also has a nightlight! You can control with left foot on how bright you want it.
2. HOLD YOUR BABY + SING TO THEM
If you ask me, when your little one is new, no, you can’t spoil them + if you can, it’s okay! Do as much skin-to-skin as you can + hold them as close as you possibly can. The newborn time is so short, and this habit is not spoiling them, it’s comforting them. I never listened to anyone who said the newborn stage is short. It truly is. I wish I could have held onto it a little longer.
Holding + rocking your little one isn’t their only comfort, hearing + feeling your voice is as well. I am a not a great singer by any stretch of the imagination, but your little won’t care! Whether you can sing or not, it will calm them down. I don’t suggest holding + singing to them until they are asleep though.
3. SWADDLE THEM
There is some debate whether swaddling is good or not – For Lucas, he was very content sprawling in his crib as soon as possible. I would say right out of the womb he didnt like to be swaddled but many babies do! Lucas finds comfort in his sleep sacks though.
4. PUT THEM DOWN DROWSY
This is key. At the beginning, I didn’t do this with Luke and he created really bad habits that we have just broken now. I know when you are exhausted and you finally get your babe to sleep after feeding or rocking him, it’s so tempting to put them down, but they will expect that every time they need to sleep! A few nights of tears and unhappiness of not being rocked to sleep is worth it in the end! You also aren’t giving them a chance to learn how to soothe themselves which is crucial when they wake through the night – which they will, a lot.
That being said, I will be the first to admit that when our little guy falls asleep in my arms I put him down and call it a win…sometimes I’m tired + I’m not perfect. Lucas is also 27 pounds so my arms tend to HURT. He loves to be held in the recliner as well. He is really good at self soothing.
5. LET THEM CRY
I know, this baby bedtime tip isn’t a popular one. Yes, I let my little one cry it out sometimes. When I say cry it out, I mean if he lets a small cry out for a couple of minutes. Not on & on going for 30 mins. If Lucas cries for a long period or what seems like its reaching that 5-10min mark I will go in and soothe him. Yes, I love him dearly. Before I say anything more it’s important to note, you must be able to distinguish if your little one has the “I’m mad / tired cry” or the “I’m hungry / something is wrong cry”…not knowing the difference will cause much stress and heartache.
When my little one is overtired, he will start crying the moment one little hair on his head touches the mattress…if I let him cry it out for a little bit, he quickly falls asleep + actually sleeps better than any other time. Of course, this isn’t a sure-fire tip for all babies, but it is for my two little ones!
…a few things to consider
Distinguish between day + night
If you want your baby to know when it’s nighttime and daytime, I wouldn’t suggest putting up the blackout curtains during daytime naps. Your little one needs good naps during the day, but it’s more acceptable for them to periodically wake + play. You don’t want this happening at night! We started this right from the get-go & we haven’t had issues with Lucas thinking it's play time. However, we recently put blackout blinds up during nap time and it hasnt changed anything.
Keep things similar each night, but not regimented.
Babies need schedules, definitely not as much as toddlers, but babies still need consistencies. I don’t necessarily think you need to bathe them, give them a massage, put on essential oils, read to them & sing to them every single night… but a couple of those each night doesn’t hurt. You don’t want to live and die by a schedule because life happens and sometimes schedules change. It will be hard on them + you, if they can’t cope because the routine is different.
What are some of your go-to habits at bedtime to help your little babies sleep?
Or anything you are currently struggling with?
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