How can I teach my baby to sleep?

Do you have a new little one in the house who is wreaking havoc on everyone’s sleep? Here’s some good news — by around 2 months old, your baby will begin to sleep for longer periods at a time, hopefully in those night hours. I am a big believer that better sleep during the day leads to better sleeping at night, and ultimately more sleep for you! That is why teaching your baby to fall asleep at this age is so important.

Timing is everything 

Catching your little one in that window period before she becomes overtired is key. In fact, if your baby is already starting to get fussy and cranky, you have missed that perfect time to help her sleep. Next time, begin soothing her back to sleep at the very first sign of drowsiness, perhaps, by rocking, nursing, or with a white noise machine. If you catch her at just the right time before she gets too fussy, she will begin to learn to soothe herself to sleep at naptime and bedtime.

Stop moving

Did you know that motion during sleep forces your baby’s brain to a lighter sleep state so she is not as well rested when she wakes up? It’s ok to use the swing or stroller to soothe your baby to sleep, but be sure to stop moving once they fall asleep. Think about it, how well do you sleep in a moving plane or car compared to your own bed?

Be consistent 

Babies learn how to fall asleep, and they learn best if you are consistent when putting them down. You will hear many different opinions on the best way to put your baby to sleep, but the real key is consistency. You may nurse him, rock him, or listen to music before putting him down. You can put him down while he is still awake and let him soothe himself to sleep. Or you can soothe him yourself until he falls asleep in your arms and then lay him down. Your method really doesn’t matter, you just need to be consistent.

Be patient

These tips are not magic and it will take time and patience for you to train your baby. But in the end, your efforts will pay off as your baby learns healthy sleep patterns.

Comments

  1. I think you are spot on with hitting the window when they are ready for sleep but not overtired. I’ve noticed it is so easy when I’ve caught my kids when they are ready for sleep, and a scream-fest otherwise! I never thought about the movement disrupting their sleep though, that is really a good point.

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