Every baby will have preferred methods of falling asleep so it may be that you need to try a few different techniques to find what works best for your baby. The following are some suggestions.
- Sleep-inducing movement: During pregnancy, the embryo was lulled by the motion created when his mother moved around. After birth, babies still find movement soothing and sleep-inducing. So, in order, to help the baby sleep, try to rock or sway the baby, or even patting him gently on the back, or massaging him.
- Keeping the baby cozy: After spending nine months in his/her mother’s womb, new born babies prefer a cozy and more contained space to sleep in the outside world, which could be offered by a bassinet, cradle, or baby carriage. In addition, swaddling the new born with a blanket will offer him/her more comfort and security and may help the baby sleep for longer stretches.
- Adjusting the nursery’s temperature: The right climate for a baby’s room would be not too hot and not too cold as babies sleep best when the temperature is consistent and cool. Overheating may make the baby too sweaty to sleep, and it increases the risk of SIDS. As for cold rooms, infants get chilled easily, and will likely wake up if they’re uncomfortable. A nursery thermometer is a good way to assess the correct temperature.
- Select a location for the crib that isn’t in the direct pathway of the air conditioning or heating vents and away from windows, to protect baby from blasts and outside noise. To figure out if the temperature is right for the baby, check his neck: if it’s sweaty, baby is too hot; if it’s cold to the touch, baby needs more covers or to be dressed more warmly.
- Dimming the lights: Babies sleep soundly in just about any level of lit room, however, creating a dark atmosphere by dimming the lights helps the baby learn to sleep when it is dark (night time and naps) and to awake when it’s daytime. Learning this helps the baby sleep through the night. Therefore, using blackout curtains could help set a sleep-inducing atmosphere during the day when baby is napping.
- Monitoring the noise level: When putting the baby to sleep, use some background noise to help him/her to sleep faster. These include: the hum of a fan, soft music, or using white noise machines that imitate uterine sounds. Although your baby’s respond to sounds should be considered, as some new born babies are sound sensitive while others may sleep in noise. In case your baby is sound sensitive, you should switch off or turn down all the gears that might disturb his/her sleep.
- Clearing the clutter: It is essential to keep the area around the crib free of toys and distractions so that the baby could associate the bedroom with sleeping and other rooms with playing and understand when it is time to sleep or to play.
Put the baby down on his back or sideways to help prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Remove all unnecessary blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, bumpers, and other soft things from baby’s crib or bassinet. Never put the baby to nap with other children or pets.