Babies are cute, cuddly, and oh-so-lovable. But when it comes to getting them to sleep, they can be downright stubborn! Indeed, one of the most difficult things about being a parent is learning how to get your baby to settle down for the night (especially if they are being fussy about it). So, what is the fastest way to make a baby (be it a newborn or an older baby) sleep? Let's find out!
Here are 5 easy ways to get your baby to sleep:
1. Establish a bedtime routine for your baby and stick to it as closely as possible
A very common sleep-related mistake parents make is that of not establishing a bedtime routine for the little one! Creating a bedtime routine for your baby is crucial in getting them to sleep soundly and consistently. This can involve a series of soothing activities such as a warm bath, reading a bedtime story, dimming the lights, and singing a lullaby.
You can also try using lavender-scented organic products, as the calming fragrance has been shown to promote sleep. For example, Nature's Baby Organics' Lovely Lavender Oil Spray can be spritzed onto your little one's blanket, mattress, and soft toys to lull them to sleep.
It's important to establish this routine and stick to it as closely as possible so that your baby begins to associate those activities with falling asleep. Even if they resist going to bed at first, sticking to the routine will eventually train their mind and body to know it's time for sleep.
Additionally, having a consistent bedtime routine can help your baby sleep for longer stretches during the night, leading to well-rested babies (and parents!). So don't be afraid to establish a bedtime routine and stick to it. It might be difficult in the beginning, but it will be worth it in the end.
2. Put your baby to bed drowsy but awake
Once you have established a bedtime routine, it's important to put your baby down to sleep when they are drowsy but still awake. This might seem counterintuitive, but letting your baby fall asleep on their own is an important skill for them to learn. It allows them to develop the ability to self-soothe, which is essential for falling asleep and staying asleep through the night.
If you put your baby down when they are already asleep, they will likely wake up when they transition from light sleep to deeper sleep (which happens several times throughout the night). This can cause them to become agitated and have difficulty falling back asleep. However, if you put your baby down when they are drowsy but still awake, they will likely drift off to sleep on their own without any fuss. Of course, this isn't always easy to do (especially if your baby is fighting sleep), but it's important to try your best.
3. Swaddle your baby in a light blanket
One way to encourage a sense of security and calm for your little one is through swaddling with a light blanket. This age-old practice mimics the snug feeling of being in the womb and helps prevent them from startling themselves awake with their own movements.
When used as part of a bedtime routine, swaddling can also signal to babies that it’s time to sleep. However, it’s important to make sure the swaddle is not too tight, as this can restrict their movement and potentially impede development. If it's summertime or too hot in general, you can always use a lightweight and breathable muslin cloth instead to keep your baby cool.
So go ahead and give your baby some extra comfort by lightly wrapping them up before bedtime – it will do wonders for their sleep (and yours!).
4. Lie down next to and cuddle with your baby to help them fall asleep
If your baby is having difficulty falling asleep, one thing you can do is lie down next to them and cuddle them until they drift off. Holding your baby will help them feel safe and secure, and close physical contact will likely have a calming effect. You can even gently stroke their hair or back until they drift off.
Further, cuddling with your baby is a great way to bond with them. So even if they don't fall asleep right away, it's still quality time spent together. And who knows, you might just end up falling asleep yourself! Of course, this works best when you and your baby are sharing a bed. If your baby sleeps in a crib, you can lie down next to them and cuddle them on your sofa or bed and then transfer them to their crib when they are very close to falling asleep.
If you're wondering "How do I get my baby to sleep without being held?", then refer to points 1, 2, and 3, which will help your baby learn to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own.
5. Massage your baby before bedtime to improve their sleep
Another way to help your baby sleep better is through massage. This can be done as part of their bedtime routine, or even earlier in the evening if you have some extra time. Massage has a number of benefits for babies — both physical and emotional — and can help improve their quality of sleep drastically.
For one, massage can help relieve any pain or discomfort that your baby might be feeling. It can also help relax them and ease tension, both of which can lead to a better night's sleep. And finally, massage can be a great way to bond with your baby and promote a sense of security and calm. Remember how we said cuddling with your baby is great for their sleep? Massage too works the same way, with skin-to-skin touch promoting a feeling of closeness and peace.
To give your baby a massage, you can use coconut oil, olive oil, or organic baby massage oil. There are many different ways to massage your baby, but a good place to start is by gently stroking their limbs with your hands that have been coated generously with the oil. You can also try lightly stroking their face and head. If you're not sure what you're doing, there are plenty of resources (including books and online videos) that can teach you how to give your baby a massage.
We hope that these 5 tips will help you create a bedtime routine for your little one that leads to peaceful slumbers night after night. Of course, every baby is different, so feel free to experiment until you find what works best for your family. And if you have any questions or concerns, it's always a good idea to talk to your little one's pediatrician.
How much sleep do babies need?
Newborn babies need a lot of sleep — around 16 to 18 hours per day. But as they get older, they need less and less sleep. By the time they're 3 or 4 months old, they usually only need about 14 hours of sleep per day. And by the time they're 1 year old, most babies will sleep for around 12 hours a day.
However, know that each baby is different and will have their own sleep patterns and needs. Some babies may need more or less sleep than others. And as your baby grows, their sleep needs will change too. For example, they may take longer naps during the day when they're younger but need shorter naps (or no naps at all) as they get older.
It's also important to keep in mind that babies' sleep patterns will change as they go through different stages and milestones. For example, teething can disrupt their sleep, and separation anxiety may cause your baby to wake more frequently at night. So if you notice a sudden change in your baby's sleep habits, it's usually nothing to worry about and will likely resolve itself over time. However, it's always a good idea to keep your pediatrician in the loop.
Give Your Baby the Gift of Comfort and Sleep with Nature's Baby Organics
Now that you know how to create a bedtime routine for your baby, it's time to stock up on the supplies that will make it a success. That's right, what you put on your baby's skin is just as important as what you do with them during their bedtime routine, because a holistic approach is what works the best! Babies that have skin issues tend to sleep less and also encounter poor quality of sleep. Ordinary baby products often exacerbate these problems since they contain unnecessary harsh chemicals, and that is why we recommend using only natural and organic products on your baby's skin.
Nature's Baby Organics has a range of USDA-certified organic products that are EU approved to be free from over 1500 chemicals, cruelty-free, minimally processed, hypoallergenic, and dermatologist-approved. Since 2004, our products have been a staple in many American households and have benefited babies as well as adults with problem-prone skin!Our line of organic baby skincare includes everything from shampoo and lotion to diaper cream and massage oil. In particular, our Organic Massage & Baby Oil (Mandarin Coconut), Shampoo & Body Wash Lavender Chamomile, and Lovely Lavender Oil Spray are perfect for babies and toddlers with sensitive skin who need a calming touch and soothing fragrance before bedtime. Here's to a good night's sleep for you and your baby!