How to put a child to sleep without tears, without performing a feat of patience and endurance? There are scattered tips and complex author’s methods. But each parent creates his own ritual, watching the newborn, getting to know his temperament. Consider all the components of sleep and important details so that you enjoy spending the evening hours with your baby and fall asleep quickly and peacefully every time.
How much sleep does a child need?
In the first six months of life, children sleep most of the day – from 16 to 18 hours. Further, the total number of hours of sleep is gradually reduced (at the age of one to three years – about 13 hours), and the number of daytime hours (already at the age of three, the baby sleeps only once during the day). The longest and most important is night sleep. And its guarantee is peace and a sense of security. Therefore, all tips on how to quickly put a child to sleep come down to creating a harmonious and warm atmosphere. What is needed for this and what can help?
Pay close attention to how your child behaves
When the baby is tired and wants to sleep, he involuntarily gives signs to his parents. Over time, they become permanent habits: some rub their ears, others twist their hair. Noticing this signal, parents should immediately start laying. It’s better to postpone things: having missed this moment in the baby’s biorhythm, you can wait a few more hours for the next one, suitable for falling asleep. As usual, children signal that they want to sleep:
- They become slow, want to lie down on the floor or on a pillow.
- They rub their eyes and start to yawn.
- Rub your ear or nose.
- They act up, refuse food and games, cry because of trifles.
- They do not want to communicate with others, they are drawn to their parents.
- They become overexcited, even aggressive.
Ventilate the room
Start preparing a place to sleep by ventilating the room. In a stuffy room, it will be difficult for a child to fall asleep. It is for this reason that babies fall asleep in the air – when it is easy to breathe.
Teach your baby: the bed is a place to sleep
The bed, of course, must be well equipped. A comfortable mattress and pillow, soft ironed bed linen will make your sleep comfortable. But it is even more important to teach a child from an early age: you need to sleep in bed. You should not start playing with a small child in the crib or leave the baby here for most of the day when he is awake so that sleep is not confused with activity.
Align your daily schedule
An important tip with a cumulative effect: in order for the daily routine to work for you, you need to strictly observe it for 3-4 weeks. Even if the baby will be capricious and resist. Gradually, a habit will be formed, the sleep and wakefulness regime will simply be maintained. The day of the baby should be eventful. Choose different activities: walks, games, communication with mom and dad. Put your baby to bed at the same time during the day. Do not be afraid to wake the child after a midday nap: if fatigue does not accumulate by the evening, it will not be easy to quickly put the baby to sleep. Babies up to 6 months old should have at least three hours from evening sleep to night sleep. Older children have at least four.
Create an evening ritual
Every action before sleep can be a signal bell for the baby’s subconscious. You want your bedtime ritual to be pleasant and soothing. For the child, the familiar environment and the sequence of actions are important: feeding, bathing, massage and communication with the mother. The system of rituals works if the age and characteristics of the child’s nervous system are taken into account. What works for other children may not necessarily work for your son or daughter. When a stable sequence of actions “for the night” has developed, try to follow it and very carefully, carefully introduce new activities, other actions.
Here are five rituals that can help get your baby to sleep quickly:
- Farewell to toys: Gather all your favorite friends, wish everyone a good night.
- Turn off the illumination: go around all the rooms together and turn off the lights – this way you will let the baby know that the whole house is getting ready for bed.
- Watching the fish: If you have a home aquarium, watching the fish slowly cut through the water is very calming.
- Sing a lullaby: Choose a song that will soothe and lull your baby.
- Read a fairy tale: Hearing a good story before you go to bed is a great option.
Have a warm bath
Bathing itself will help prepare your baby for sleep. Your allies in this matter: warm water (the optimum temperature is 37 degrees), lush foam, caring hands of mom and a relaxing massage after bathing. The aroma of the foam you use is important. In the line of bathing products “My Sun” there is a foam “Bayu-bayushki” with a proven combination of aromas that help set the child to sleep. It contains natural extracts of lavender and rose oil. Thanks to them, the foam not only gently cleanses and moisturizes the skin, but also soothes and relaxes the baby. Hypoallergenic foam is recommended by pediatricians for daily use, so its aroma can become an additional “bell” – a signal to sleep. After the bath, use the cream “Bayu-bayushki”. Thanks to its light texture, it is instantly absorbed. Many mothers note that after light strokes and application of the “Bayu-bayushki” cream, the children themselves easily fall asleep.
Feed your baby shortly before bed
After a hearty dinner, the child relaxes and falls asleep easily. But some children, on the contrary, become active after eating, and it may not be so easy to put them to bed after feeding. Therefore, you need to adjust the feeding time. If the baby calms down after eating, then you can feed him an hour before bedtime and immediately take a bath. Then he will feel comfortable in the water. Don’t be alarmed if your baby has a hard time getting to bed and falls asleep for a long time while you feed him at night. Once you outgrow this period, his sleep will return to normal. If a baby at 2-4 weeks of life is disturbed by colic after eating, and because of this he cannot fall asleep, then it is worth shaking him in his arms for 10-15 minutes immediately after feeding, laying his tummy down.
Perform a distraction
But what if the baby can not calm down and continues to frolic? Strictly give the command “to bed!” definitely not worth it. Try to accept the mood of the baby. Switch his attention from the currently impossible task of “falling asleep” to a new one. Show something interesting or play a quiet game. Wait a little when he starts rubbing his eyes. And tomorrow I will try to adjust my daily routine.
Try the old method – motion sickness
Measured movements soothe and even out the baby’s heart rate. The child relaxes and falls asleep. But pediatricians advise not to abuse this method: the baby can get used to falling asleep only in the arms of his mother. We will have to form new rituals of falling asleep through tears at an older age.
Swaddle your baby
Babies up to four months old are easily reminded of the time spent in the warm mother’s tummy. Swaddle not too tight, shake the baby a little, and he will fall asleep soon. Baby will be more comfortable sleeping in a diaper. The movements are not yet clearly synchronized with the reactions of the brain, the baby may begin to move in a dream and experience discomfort from this. Swaddling will save you from this. After four months, it will be more correct to find another method to put the baby to sleep.
Sing a lullaby
The child relaxes and sleeps peacefully. But pediatricians advise not to abuse this method: the baby can get used to falling asleep only with a lullaby.
Turn on relaxing music
Pediatricians recommend not to lull babies into silence. Otherwise, their sleep will be very sensitive, the baby will startle at every rustle. Turn on a calm melody: instrumental classics or sounds of nature will do. Another excellent auditory sedative is white noise.
Let me suck on a pacifier
Up to a year, the sucking reflex in children is one of the main ones. Therefore, the pacifier calms: a newborn with a pacifier is enough to shake a little, and he will quickly fall asleep. But do not forget to take out the pacifier from the sleeping baby.
Make up a dream story
The advice is suitable for children who already speak well. Kids love fairy tales and easily “read” the right messages that parents put in the story. The heroes of your fairy tale should definitely be rewarded for falling asleep peacefully every night. For this, glory and universal approval await them. Even better, if the hero of the fairy tale is an “authority” – a favorite character from a book or cartoon. After all, most likely, the baby really wants to be like him.
Let the baby fall asleep on his own
There are author’s methods on how to gradually accustom a child to fall asleep on their own. One method is called Entry/Exit: the mother puts the baby in the crib and goes to another room. The first time she leaves the baby alone for 5 minutes. At this time, it is important not to give in, even if the baby starts to whine. Then you can return to the room and calm the baby, and then leave again for 10 minutes. Gradually, the interval increases, on the 5th-7th day the child will begin to fall asleep on his own. How does it works? Children realize that whims and tears do not work, and stop resisting. Given the previous advice (own bed, ventilated room, bathing, etc.), they reflexively fall asleep.
Briefly about the author’s methods
American pediatrician Harvey Karp offered parents a five-point algorithm, which, in his opinion, would quickly send the child to sleep. Here they are:
- give a pacifier;
- lay on its side;
- turn on soothing white noise.
And the method of a pediatrician from Spain, Eduard Estiville, is suitable for children over one and a half years old. During the day, mom and dad should set up the baby for the fact that in the evening he will fall asleep on his own. You need to repeat this attitude several times. When it comes to bedtime, parents again need to be warned that now they will leave him alone with them and will come to visit in a minute. Then they really get up and close the door behind them. Estiville believed that it was imperative to endure these 60 seconds, even if the baby cries. Day by day, the period of time needs to be increased – gradually the child will get used to falling asleep on his own. This approach is ambiguous: he has as many followers as opponents.
An ordinary father from Australia, Nathan Dylo, shared his own life hack online: he showed how he can put his son to sleep in less than a minute using a paper napkin. For some time, the man gently strokes the baby’s cheeks, and he really quickly falls asleep. Experts explain: this is not know-how, it’s just that children are sensitive to tactile contact – soft strokes soothe them.
Show your child love and affection
The easiest way to calm your baby is to pet him for a few minutes when he is already settled in the crib. Observe which touches your baby likes the most. Some sleep easily after massaging the ears, eyebrows and palms. Others prefer stroking the tummy and back. Therefore, in many cases, the question of how to properly lay the baby finds a simple solution – spend more time on tactile contact with the child.