New parents will do just about anything they can to get their little one to fall asleep at times. This is especially true in the middle of the night, when your baby seems to think it’s party time rather than time to kick back and relax into dreamland. Over the years, parents have come up with all sorts of ways to help their babies fall asleep faster, and to stay asleep longer. Some of these techniques might work very well with your baby, while others might not work well at all. Every baby is different, and so the tools you use to help develop a healthy sleep schedule are going to be different as well.
One of the tricks many parents use in order to get their little one to take a rest is motion. We’ve even developed automatically swinging seats designed to rock our babies to sleep. Some people will put the baby in the car seat and drive around the block four or five times each night just before bedtime in order to tire their little one out.
In and of itself, using motion to help your baby fall asleep isn’t a bad thing. However, when it comes to developing overall good sleeping habits, it is possible to rely too much on motion.
For example, if a good portion of your baby’s sleep takes place with motion – such as in a baby stroller or in a car – your baby isn’t as likely to get the kind of deep sleep that he needs in order to really grown and develop and be healthy.
Does this mean that you have to give up that musical swing, or that you should never take your baby out at bedtime to get her nice and tired? Of course not. It’s completely acceptable to use motion to help soothe your child if they’re a bit fussy.
The key is to be able to cut off the motion once the child falls asleep. Allow your child the opportunity to have some deeper, high-quality sleep, and she’ll be more likely to stay asleep longer and be generally more rested over the long haul.