There is some excitement that comes with having a child. But there is also the trouble that comes with it, especially for new parents: the almost numbing smell of baby powder, the cries at night, the poop and hyperactive babies whose goals are to stay awake all night. A sleeping baby is the parent’s reward; a moment of respite, for a day of tending.
In the first months — say, three months — of a baby’s life, the most essential of a baby’s needs are feeding and sleeping. Feeding a baby is one thing — hungry babies are going to ‘beg’ for food — but putting them to sleep is another ‘bowl of cereal’.
Putting babies to sleep is an art of some sorts. Some parents go for the lullaby style. While this is effective, not many can do this as not all parents have soothing voices. Many people opt for cultural methods — some of which have been proven to be counterproductive. Methods like rocking the baby, feeding the baby to ‘stupor’, or even keeping things extremely quiet have little to no effect on the baby.
Some parents also try to maintain eye contact with the baby. This is actually a very beautiful thing to do, but you shouldn’t be doing that if your goal is to make the baby sleep. The simple trick to making babies sleep is to not do any thing that will catch the baby’s eyes — be it motion, unnecessary jingling of bells or maintaining eye contact.
Babies find eye contact stimulating and they interpret it as a call to play. If your baby suddenly wakes up in the middle of the night, you could just gently rub its back with your eyes focused on its belly.
To make the job of getting your baby to sleep easier, you can slowly work out a sleep schedule once they get become about 3 months old (after you must have observed their sleep tendencies).
Infuse sweet bedtime rituals like a bath and a massage into the mix too. This will help your baby naturally fall asleep at the scheduled time.
Do you have a World Best Parent mug on your office desk already? Make sure you earn the title.