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How Do You Get Your Baby to Sleep?

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baby sleeping on her back

When a new baby arrives, the entire family's sleep can be disrupted. However, these problems often aren't solved when the baby approaches her first birthday. If you're not having a good time with your baby and sleep, see what you can do to help your child develop healthy sleep habits.

Develop a Bedtime Routine

A bedtime routine should start soon after your baby comes home from the hospital. However, if you didn't start it sooner, it's never too late to learn how babies sleep. Routines are a part of how babies sleep, but if you're not sure what should be a part of your bedtime routine, here are a few things.

  • Start your baby and sleep routine with a bath and put her into her pajamas.
  • Turn the lights down and turn the television off or down to a very low volume. Make sure the area is quiet and calm.
  • Read a story, sing a song, give her a kiss, and say goodnight.

If you follow this routine on a regular basis, your baby will soon realize that it means bedtime is near. Do it every night and it will help your baby to calm herself down if she wakes up at night. Eventually your baby will realize this is how babies sleep and be able put herself to sleep.

Putting herself to sleep is a valuable skill for your baby to have. It can help you feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning because you won't be spending hours trying to get your baby to sleep after a long day. Additionally, if your baby can settle herself when she wakes up at night, you won't have to wake up multiple times throughout the night.

Baby and Sleep, an Easy Method

If you're not sure how babies sleep alone, use these steps.

  1. Sit near your baby's crib and hold her hand or pat her back until she falls asleep. This could take some time at first and you will probably need to repeat this step for a few nights and at naptime.
  2. Next, move your chair, but stay near your baby. Stay here until your baby falls asleep.
  3. Each night after that, move your chair a little further away. Eventually you will be in the doorway, but make sure your baby can still see you easily.
  4. Next, stay on the other side of the door, but where you can talk to your baby. If she cries, talk or sing to her.
  5. Eventually, your baby will be able to fall asleep without you.

Surviving Your Baby and Sleep Problems

Going without sleep can make anyone cranky, and parents of new babies are no exception. Save your sanity by remembering these things:

  • A new baby can be exhausting, but moms need to take care of themselves too. If you can, nap when your baby sleeps, eat healthily and drink lots of water.
  • Don't feel discouraged if your baby seems more high-need than a friend's baby. Babies are individuals too and everyone is different.
  • Ask your partner for help. If you're breastfeeding, your partner can help by changing the baby and bringing her to you so you have help in those early days. When your baby gets older, try to trade off nights with your partner so you can both get a good night's sleep a couple times a week. When it's your turn to sleep, consider using ear plugs and resist the temptation to barge in if the baby is crying.
  • If you're working on your figure, make sure that you're eating enough and getting enough rest for the extra work that you're doing at the gym.
  • Don't feel badly if you can't remember things. Keep a list of things you need from the store and don't worry if you need to write things down in order to remember them. Eventually your memory will return, especially when you start getting enough rest.
 
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