One of the joys of any parent is when they see their little bundle of, well, joy. There's no feeling quite like seeing your baby playing, giggling, or sleeping. But wait, what if the latter is something that's beginning to give you sleepless nights because your little one doesn't seem to have any plans of sleeping early every evening? This is actually one of the most difficult tasks in baby care – putting him to sleep. Many parents literally lose a lot of shuteye time because they have to wait until their infant drifts off to dreamland. As a consequence, they wake up late the next day and end up reporting late for their work.
As a parent, you've probably experienced having to wait for hours for your baby to close his eyes and get into a slumber. Sleeping is important both for you and your baby, so losing even an hour (let alone two or more) of sleep can have disastrous consequences.
So how do you get your little one to sleep? The following are steps you can follow so your baby gets his share of dreamtime and you can end your waking hours as well:
Give them something to get busy with before bedtime – If the baby doesn't feel like sleeping, he won't sleep. So one thing you can do is give him something to play with so he can expend his energy on something. When that energy starts to dwindle, his body's natural reaction would be to take a break. Once he gets tired, the probability of him falling asleep becomes higher.
Give him a warm bath – Sometimes, you notice that even though your baby's tired from playing all day, he still won't close his eyes and sleep. This is probably because he's not feeling comfortable. One of the most common causes of discomfort is when he does not feel clean. Give your baby a warm bath as most babies find warm water very relaxing. Use a baby bath soap that has a mild scent that can help your baby relax.
Do something to relax him – Sometimes, a simple storytelling can get your baby to give up his waking hours. If this doesn't work, you can rock him gently in your arms or in a rocker while singing a song. Make sure you sing in a low, soothing voice. If you think that your singing will cause irritation instead of relaxation, you can just play soothing music in the background. Also, be sure to shut him off from ambient noises in and around your house.
Turn off or dim the lights – What works for adults also sometimes works for infants. Most people drift off to sleep when the lights are either turned off or dimmed. Do the same with your baby. The glare coming from your ceiling lights may be the only factor that's preventing him from sleeping.
Lastly, get creative. There are also creative ways on how to put your little darling to sleep if all the steps mentioned earlier don't work. You can check baby sleep method at Mamamia.com.au for some nifty ways on how to 'knock out' your baby so he can get forty winks (or more).