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How to Get Your Baby to Fall Asleep: 5 Natural Sleep Remedies for Babies
Wondering how to get your baby to fall asleep faster? Here are five natural sleep remedies for babies that work every time
My son is going on five months and has a fairly regular sleep pattern. Some nights though, he still struggles to fall asleep and these times a little aid is all he needs to push over to la-la land.
It wasn’t always this easy. The first eight weeks were tough as he was cranky and would refuse to sleep for any long stretches.
I should say desperation (borne out of trying to handle a high-need newborn) and years of experience, seeing as he isn’t my first, helped me through those weeks.
Now when I see anyone ask how to get your baby to fall asleep, I can say with all confidence that I have five of the most effective natural sleep remedies for babies.
Here they are
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How to Get Your Baby to Fall Asleep: 5 Natural Sleep Remedies for Babies
1) Be Sure Your Baby Isn’t Hungry
It would be hard, if not impossible to get your baby to fall asleep when he is hungry. Like in adults, hunger is a strong primal need – strong enough to keep your baby awake, not to mention cranky.
What you want to do is ensure he has a full tank.
How can you tell when a baby is hungry?
The most obvious sign a baby is hungry is the clenched fist. There would also be the incessant crying and likely a few other signs that are unique to your baby.
Once you notice this, you want to correct this before trying to get him to sleep or your efforts would be futile – if you do manage to get him to sleep w he would only be out for just a few minutes
2) Check for Soiled Diapers
You also should check for soiled diapers.
How often should you change a baby’s diaper?
You likely already have a schedule that works just fine for you. However, a soiled diaper has to be at the top of the list of things that can interfere with a baby’s ability to fall asleep.
If you want to know how a baby feels with a soiled diaper, imagine having a period and being so full you need to change. While this example is a little graphic, it is only to paint a clearer picture of how your baby would be unable to fall asleep in this state.
3) Is He Uncomfortable
Like a soiled diaper, if your baby is uncomfortable in any other way, he would also have a harder time falling asleep.
For instance, if he’s cold or too hot or has one or more outfits that aren’t comfortable.
You want don’t these checked out and make whatever adjustments are needed.
4) Let Him Tire Himself Out
With everything else checked out, you want to start looking at actual sleep remedies and one of the best natural sleep remedies for babies is letting them tire out.
Tired babies will fall asleep a lot easier, especially when one or two aids are used.
Moms all over have discovered ways to achieve this easily. From rocking your baby to going for a drive, different methods work for different babies.
For me, strapping my baby firmly to my back and gently pacing around the room for a few minutes always worked wonders.
5) Get on a Sleep Schedule
This is one of the best natural sleep remedies and works just fine.
According to pediatrician Maureen Ahmann, babies love consistency and respond positively to it.
“Nothing works better than keeping kids on a schedule,” she says. “It’s not always possible with so many demands on today’s parents — and life can throw curveballs — but keep nap and night sleep times consistent the best you can.”
Your baby should fall asleep faster and more easily once you get him on a schedule, I know this worked for me. However, if you still struggle with his sleep pattern after this, you might need to adjust his sleep schedule slightly – or a lot – until you get the desired result.
6) Ensure He Doesn’t Get Too Much Shut Eye During the Day
Most babies can sleep for long hours during the day and still sleep all through the night, especially during the first few weeks of their lives.
Not all moms will be this lucky though. Some babies could also be this way but have this one day where they switch things up to stay awake that night.
Keeping your baby awake for longer during the day is another trick that will get him to fall asleep faster at night.
It won’t be easy starting though and you can expect him to cry at the disruption of his regular daytime sleep.
His being awake also might not be convenient for you especially if you are a work-at-home mom and need to get stuff done.
However, there are a few ways to keep your baby entertained during the day. Plus he would be awake the entire daytime anyways.
The idea is just to cut down on his daytime napping so he gets sleepy at night.
7) Rock Him
Rocking works like magic, or so some moms claim. However, for some reason, I can’t explain why it never worked for me.
Whenever I placed my baby on my lap to be rocked, he would choose that exact moment to be more alert and playful, leaving me frustrated.
Surprisingly, he fell asleep within five minutes when my mom did the rocking. She was over at mine for two weeks when he was born and her charm, as I chose to call it, saved me hours of stress.
I always encourage mothers to try this natural sleep remedy, even if it didn’t work for me. I think I must be one of the very few moms it didn’t work for, so you don’t want to miss out on an easy way to get your baby to sleep.
8) Strap Him to Your Person
What worked for me every single time instead, was strapping him to my person and pacing for a few minutes.
I always strapped him to my back in the traditional way using a wrapper, but a baby wrap produces the same results.
My kids found this position super comfortable and were in la-la land within minutes.
9) Make Use of Sleep Aids
If none of the above sleep methods work, you could always turn to good old-fashioned sleep aids to get the desired results.
These sleep aids have been tested and certified effective over time.
You might have to try out a few before finding the exact one that doesn’t just get your baby to fall asleep but does so really fast.
For instance, using a white noise machine got my daughter asleep within a few minutes but never worked for my son.
Other sleep aids examples to try out include:
10) Dim the Lights
Dimming the lights at night also works. In a dark room, your baby is less stimulated. He settles a lot quicker and will fall asleep faster.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What to do when baby won t fall asleep?
What do you do when your baby refuses to fall asleep?
There are a few things you can use including rocking him, ensuring he isn’t hungry or uncomfortable, and using sleep aids.
- How to get your baby to fall asleep faster?
Beyond just falling asleep, you can get your little one to fall asleep by ensuring he gets on a schedule and is also sufficiently tired closer to his bedtime.
- Why is my baby fighting sleep?
A baby can be sleepy but refuses to sleep. Why do babies fight sleep? For a few reasons, including when he’s overtired, overstimulated, uncomfortable, or under the weather.
So while getting your baby tired can induce him to fall asleep, you don’t want to overdo it. You also want to dim the lights and remove all other such objects that light leaves him stimulated.
- What age do babies fight sleep the most?
While a baby can fight sleep at any age, you can expect to see more of this when he is 8 months to 18 months.
- Should I let my baby cry until he falls asleep?
Although it can be hard watching your baby cry as a parent, experts recommend this not going to console a baby if they wake from sleep.
So long as your baby isn’t uncomfortable, ill, or has a soiled diaper, letting them cry till they fall back asleep can be a way for them to build a sort of independence.
This practice is termed ‘controlled crying’ or ‘cry it out’ and is believed will teach a baby to learn to fall asleep on their own.
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