One of the worst sounds that you will ever hear as a parent is the sound of your child crying endlessly in the middle of the night. A crying baby is stressful to everyone living in your home, including your spouse and any other children that you have. No matter what you do, little Jane or John just will not go to sleep. Before you start ripping your hair out in frustration, you should try a few ways to get your baby to sleep. Those tried and true methods that your mother swears by just won’t cut it for today’s children.
Make a Comfortable Environment
Believe it or not, your baby sleeps best when she feels comfortable. That might sound simple enough, but you have no way of knowing what a baby finds comfortable unless you are in that same situation. Look around your nursery, paying particular attention to anything that seems distracting. The reason your baby might not go down at night is because of some stimuli in the room. You might find that lights from the street shine through the windows, the mobile above her crib keeps rotating and scaring her or that loud noises from other kids in the house keep her interrupt her sleep patterns. The only way to get her to fall asleep easily and quickly is by making her nursery comfortable. She might even dislike the feel of the sheets or bedding against her skin.
Associate Nighttime with Sleep
Your baby must learn that nighttime is when he sleeps. When he first comes into the world, you work around his schedule. When he cries in the middle of the night, you wake up and feed him. When he sleeps during the day and stays up all night, you pattern your schedule around his schedule. You cannot get your child to sleep at night if he still associates sleeping with day time. No matter what you do, he will still follow his own schedule and you find yourself forced to follow it too.
Find a way to associate sleeping with a particular activity such as rocking. Sit down in the rocking chair and gently rock your baby to sleep. You can also use a particular stuffed animal or another toy, which the baby begins associating with sleeping. Some parents find it helpful to use a bottle when putting the baby to sleep, playing music or singing. Within a few days or weeks, the baby learns that falling asleep to that motion, sound or feeling is a relaxing and enjoyable experience. When you start doing the same thing at night, you help your baby fall asleep faster. The baby can drift off because he feels the same comfort that he feels during the day.
White Noise and Sleep Trainers
White noise might be a godsend for getting your baby to sleep. Electronic devices give off white noise, including fans and air conditioners. The white noise gently puts your baby to sleep by soothing him into slumber. You can also try using sleep trainers. These devices mimic the sound of your heartbeat, play soft music or make another noise that helps the baby fall asleep. The sleep trainers do not work for all children, but you might find one that helps your baby get to sleep. When the baby sleeps, so do you and everyone else in your home.