Making the transition from being awake to being asleep is a hard transition for a baby to make at first. Your baby’s natural inclination is to just sort of go and go until she passes out. Part of your job as a parent is being able to help transition your baby to sleep.
Here are several methods you can use to try to help your baby make that change from being awake and active to being restful and asleep:
- Feeding. One of the most common ways to put a baby to sleep is with feeding. Nestle your baby close to your body, and breastfeed or bottle feed him as he falls asleep. Move your baby from a warm bath to warm arms to a warm breast or bottle to a warm bed.
- Fathering. Another way to help your baby transition is for the father to nestle your baby’s head against the front of his neck, gently resting his chin on the top of the baby’s head. The deep vibrations of a male voice, combined with gentle rocking, will help your baby make the transition to dreamland.
- Wearing down. Some babies are just extremely active. They get so excited and full of energy during the day that they have trouble slowing down at night. You can help your baby wear down by putting him in a sling and bringing him with you around the house for about half an hour before it’s time for bed. When he’s asleep, ease him out of the baby sling into his bed.
- Swinging. Wind-up swings have been around for decades, and today’s wind-up swings are more friendly than ever. Many even operate on their own power so that you don’t even have to crank it. In some cases, the gentle moving of the seat will help your baby transition to sleep even better than your arms, because the swing is more perfectly rhythmic and, ultimately, less stimulating.
- Driving. Some babies can’t stay awake in a car seat no matter what. If your baby is one of those, put her in her carseat and driver her around until she falls asleep. Make sure to take her out with a clean diaper and pajamas. You can let her sleep in her carseat until her first waking in the night, after which you can transition her to her bed.