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Get Your Baby to Bed!

sleepingbaby2.jpgTry these tips to get your darling babe to finally go. to. SLEEP! 

By Vincia Maloney

Want your baby to sleep through the night so you can too? Here are a few tips on how to get your baby to have sweet dreams at night — and you’ll be able to catch some Z’s as well. Read on:

· First thing you should do is play with your baby — let him get out all of that pent up energy out of his system before you try to settle him down for the night.

· Give her a bath. Sitting her in warm water is a soothing experience and will help your baby to relax. However, remember that its best not to do this every night because babies only need to bathe 2-3 times a week.

· Read a bedtime story. Reading a bedtime story rivaling the bath as an all-time favorite nighttime ritual. Not only will your baby learn to recognize new words — studies have shown that language skills and even intelligence can depend on a baby’s daily exposure to a large vocabulary — but she’ll also benefit from time spent with you.

· Sing a song. Singing a lullaby is a time-tested way to help a sleepy baby drift off. Your baby loves hearing her favorite sound — your voice — and the soft, soothing melody may calm her.

· Play some music. Playing a CD or tape of lullabies, classical music, or other kids’ favorites while you settle your baby to sleep — and then leaving it on at low volume after you leave — can help ease the transition from being awake to falling asleep. A sound machine may soothe her, too, with the added benefit of drowning out outside noise.

· Make sure the lights are low and dim. You want to make your baby recognizes that when it’s dark, it’s time to sleep.

· Warming the sheets with a warm water bottle, heating pad, or a warmer packet where his head will go can ease the transition from you to crib. Just be sure to remove them and check the temperature before you put your baby down. If your baby is asleep when you put him down, be sure he is fully asleep. His breathing will be very relaxed, he’ll have limp limbs and feel very heavy. Very gently place him in the crib, being careful to keep him close to your body the whole way down so he doesn’t feel suspended.

Try to do things in the same order at that same time each night so that you create a pattern that your baby will recognize as a pre-sleep routine. The sooner you establish a bedtime routine, the better. When your baby is approximately six or eight weeks old, start following a pattern every night — she’ll quickly come to appreciate the consistency and predictability. And remember that a bedtime ritual is often good for you too. It’s a special time set aside for you to spend with your baby, something you can look forward to at night.

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