It’s late and you’re ready for bed but your baby has other plans.
Your baby slept all day and has now decided that your bedtime would make the perfect waking time.
Baby is sad, then baby is glad. Baby pretends to sleep and then begins to weep. He/she wants to be held and then makes a smell!
Your precious baby seems like it would do anything to stand in between you and your comfy sheets. How can you get baby to just go to bed?
If you’re like me then your sleep is very valuable. Unfortunately, your child doesn’t share your passion because they can sleep whenever they choose.
Here are my best tips to help you get your baby to fall and stay asleep.
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The best frugal tips for how to get baby to sleep
Put your baby to sleep when drowsy
The best time to put your child to sleep in their bassinet is when they are drowsy. This seems odd because you would think when they sleep is the best time to lay them down.
Imagine falling asleep in your own bed (nice thought, huh?). Your sleeping and then you feel something cold touch your backside. Jolting up, you realize you’ve somehow have woken up on the kitchen tile.
How in the world did you get there? You’re not in college anymore so this sort of thing shouldn’t be happening anymore! You might start to panic until you realize what’s happening.
By putting your baby into the bassinet after they’ve fallen asleep is like you waking up in the kitchen. The only difference is that babies don’t recognize what’s going on and have awoken to an unfamiliar place.
If your baby looks wide awake there is no use in trying to put them to bed. You will be fighting an uphill battle which will only cause you frustration. Watch another show on Netflix and watch your baby, putting them to bed when their eyes get heavy.
Babies tend to stir when they sleep and unfortunately, means they will wake up periodically. Don’t confuse your baby. Put them to sleep when they’re drowsy.
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Adjust your nightly routine
Before baby, I could drop what I was doing, crawl into bed, turn lights out, and sleep no problem. I was on my own schedule and falling asleep is easy when it’s just you and your significant other.
Trying to go to bed with an infant is a different story. If I tried my “before baby” routine, I would be up for another hour (at least) past my bed time trying to get baby ready.
You should try and start your bedtime routine an hour earlier. You might get an extra half hour of sleep should the baby fall asleep early. However, chances are that you’ll end up going to bed past your bedtime still.
Your goal is to adjust your nightly routine to try and prepare for a difficult baby.
Dim the lights
Your baby needs as few stimulants as possible in order to fall asleep. Limiting their stimulants is something that is hard to do when the world is completely new.
The lighting in your house is one of the biggest stimulants for a baby. They probably think it’s time to play if they aren’t sleeping and the lights are on.
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Play soothing music
My iPad is one of my favorite tools that I have as an adult. I charge it on my nightstand and it works great for playing bedtime music to fall asleep to.
I usually go on YouTube and search for children friendly bedtime music. You don’t need to play the music loud, just enough that baby can hear it. The music continues to play all night and I turn it off in the morning.
You can also buy a white noise machine if you would like an alternative to an iPad. I’ve used white noise machines in the past and they work wonderfully.
White noise and bedtime music are both great ways to soothe your baby to bed.
My wife brought home an exercise ball one day and I kind of giggled. I’ve never known anyone to use an exercise ball for exercise before.
I’ll refrain on commenting about how much the exercise ball is used, but it does have usefulness. The ball makes a great chair when we have extra company and is also perfect for soothing your baby.
While holding your baby sit on the exercise ball and slowly bounce. Don’t bounce too hard.
Refrain from looking into your babies eyes. Babies can take this as a sign that it’s time to play rather than sleep.
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Set your baby in a swing
Babies love the gentle rocking motion of a swing. The back and forth motion soothes them to sleep
I’ll admit, the swing is probably one of my favorite baby items. The swing gives them a place to nap close to mom or dad. It gives us a place to set them down when needed so we can work on things around the house (or relax).
The swing has proven to be invaluable. I couldn’t imagine parenting without the swing!
Go for a car ride
I know the last thing you want to do when it’s bed time is take your baby on a car ride. However, car rides are usually very successful in helping your child fall asleep.
Babies fall asleep in cars because it reminds them of the womb. They might be cocooned under a car seat cover, tare secured, and hear white noise from the tires.
A car ride might be the best solution if you are really struggling to get your baby to sleep.
One of your babies worst enemies isn’t the boogeyman (at least not yet), it’s gas.
Your baby is still struggling to figure out how to get rid of gas and it’s uncomfortable. Some babies won’t sleep because they are fighting a gas buildup.
One of the best ways to release your babies gas is “windi” by nosefrida. Windi is easy to use and relieves the gas instantly.
Windi is the perfect solution to help your baby sleep if they are struggling with gas.
Gripe water has been an absolute blessing for my family and trying to get baby to sleep.
Gripe water, like Windi, is another gas reliever. Windi is a physical device that gets inserted into your babies bottom, which some parents might find unpleasant. Gripe water is a droplet bottle that your baby will happily drink.
Within one minute of using Gripe water, my child felt significantly better and was able to go to sleep. I would recommend all parents keep Gripe water on hand for the occasional gas.
Babies love to be swaddled. For 9 months babies were tightly confined with warmth. Now your baby is free and doesn’t know what to do with all the space.
Swaddling is a good way to make your baby feel more at home. Swaddling blankets are fairly inexpensive and will help your baby have a solid night of sleep.
My absolute favorite swaddle blanket is the Muslin swaddle blankets by Swaddle Designs. These blankets are super soft and my baby absolutely loves them.
If you end up purchasing the Muslin swaddle blankets make sure you wash them first. My wife and I received these blankets and they showed up feeling rough. We thought about trying to take them back, but we washed one and we were pleasantly surprised with its softness.
My routine for getting baby to sleep
Every parent will learn how to best get their child to bed. Here is an example of what I do to troubleshoot why my child isn’t sleeping.
- Pick a bedtime – This bedtime is arbitrary. Your child will go to bed either a half hour before or a half hour after the chosen bedtime. We have chosen a bedtime of 7:30 p.m.
- Pajama time – Half hour before the chosen bedtime, we get baby ready for bed because sleep can happen at any time. Diapers are changed and pajamas are put on.
- Heavy Eyes – Heavy eyes are a sign that baby is drowsy and might be ready for bed. If it’s within our one hour window, we will try and put them to bed.
- Swaddle – If your baby isn’t in sleep sacks yet, swaddle your baby to make them comfortable. If you are in sleep sacks, you should have put them in during pajama time.
- Put them to bed – Success! If not, baby is fussy, keep reading the next steps.
- Check the diaper – The diaper is the easiest thing to fix and I’ve spent an hour trying to get baby to sleep only to find out it was just a poopy or wet diaper causing the issue.
- Hungry baby – Sometimes your baby just didn’t get enough to eat for dinner. They may have sucked down four to six oz, but they didn’t get enough. Think back to the last feeding, did they stop eating on their own or did you get impatient? If you got impatient, feed your baby.
- Pacifier – Try using a pacifier. I like the MAM pacifiers because they support proper oral development. Sometimes all your baby needs is a pacifier.
- Relieve the gas – Gas is a large problem but is usually the last to be deduced. Use Windi or Gripe water to relieve your babies gas.
I can usually get my baby to get to bed using that process. If you still have issues, you might consider watching another show on Netflix and try again after 15-30 minutes.
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