The ever too common crying child has woken up parents since the beginning of time.  “Why can’t they just sleep?” is usually the words that follow.  Babies themselves can make it hard to get the required sleep it takes to function on a daily basis.  There is no sure-fire way for them to always sleep as we would like– it comes as part of life.  However, there are techniques that can be used to help make this process easier.  This article walks through 5 tips that can be used to make this sleeping process easier for the babies and others involved.

What can I do about it?

  1. Routine - The most important thing for sleep is to develop a routine.  Ensure that the baby goes to sleep at a consistent time between each day.  This includes not only at bed time, but any naps throughout the day.  By keeping a routine going the baby’s body is able to adjust and realize a given time is when they should go down for a snooze. 
  2. Rocking – One of the most valuable pieces of furniture I have invested in is a guilder for our baby.  Some nights it is difficult to be get the baby to self-soothe.  Sometimes the rocking motion is just the trick.  Being able to rock/glide with the baby can do just this.
  3. Singing – One technique that I found works is to sing to a baby.  While most parents sing the lullabies they learned growing up, I had more luck with songs from the 70’s.  One of the most successful for my son was “American Pie” by Don McLean and “Piano Man” by Elton John.  I’m not sure if it was the length of the song, the words, or other factors.  Trying several different types of music can lead to the sweet song that brings music to your baby’s ears and yours.
  4. Music – Going along with singing is finding a CD that you can play for your baby.  Once again, this is not always the lullabies that we feel they will like.  Much like the previous example, my son did not follow convention.  We actually found a Bach CD worked best.  Every night when we put him to bed, we popped in Bach and within minutes he would be asleep.  This is also great because you can load it on a portable music device and take it when traveling (either in the car or at night).
  5. Car – This has always been a last resort, but very effective.  If you are running out of options and still have no luck getting the little one to settle in, strap them in the car.  I hesitate to use this as first resort because it is a bad and time consuming habit to get into.  My rule of thumb is that if I’m driving them around I need to drive at least 30 minutes AFTER they fall asleep in the car to ensure that the transition back to their crib/bed doesn’t wake them up. 

Getting a baby to consistently sleep is never easy.  There are many pieces of advice floating around about how to keep a baby sleeping well.  These techniques mentioned above are some of the more effective pieces of advice available about getting a baby some zzzzz’s.