As rewarding as parenthood is, there are certain situations one cannot prepare enough for. The first few weeks can be a challenge to say the least. But nothing can be more trying on one’s nerves as a new parent than when your little bundle of joy is unable to get to sleep. We understand as adults how awful we feel when we’re tired. We are able to communicate to others our frustration. A newborn simply has no other form of communication than their cry. Here are a few tips to help your baby get to sleep so you can, too. Try one or a few together to see which one your baby likes best.
1) Sometimes a baby may not be able to get to sleep because something is keeping her from falling asleep. Is the diaper too tight or pinching? Is it soiled? Is she too cold or warm? Perhaps a little gas bubble needs to be burped out. Is clothing twisted or bunched up? Sometimes after a busy day, she may be overstimulated by visitors or noise. Have you ever tried to sleep and your mind is still thinking while just lying in bed? She may feel the same. The first step in getting your baby to sleep is eliminating something that may be preventing her from falling asleep.
2) Rocking your baby may sound easy enough, but how many times have you seen a parent in public jiggling their baby? This type of motion is usually done to wake up someone. Instead, try softly swaying as if in a hammock. You can either cradle him in your arms or a sling type of carrier. Sway your body as if slow dancing. The easy motion soothes and calms. You would be surprised how easily it calms you too.
3) Holding your baby close to your chest. This way, she can feel your heartbeat. This reminds her of not so long ago when she was in the womb and could hear your heartbeat all the time. Holding baby close to the chest works great for dads and grandparents as well.
4) Try softly humming or singing to your baby to help ease him into sleep. Soft music on a CD or radio works as well. New Age music, Native American flute and monk chants are very relaxing and can do wonders for the two of you when you may be feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed.
5) Try lowering the lighting or closing the shades. Sometimes too much light can also prevent her from falling asleep as it does a lot of people.
Any combination of the above suggestions may help your new baby get to sleep. Try to remember that this new period is a time when everyone is getting to know each other. Once you learn what helps your baby fall asleep, you will be able to get your rest as well.