There are many things that we worry about when becoming a parent for the first time, and one of those things is how to put a baby to sleep. What is the safest way to lay baby down? What is the best way to ensure that they sleep for as long as possible? How do you make sure that they don't cry? This article looks at the best way to help baby sleep comfortably and safely.
Firstly, you need to be sure that your little one stays safe in their crib, so make sure when you lay them down it is as near as possible to the end of the bed with the sheets and blankets securely tucked in at either side at at the foot. That means that if your baby wriggles, they will not be able to work their way down under the blankets and struggle to breathe.
When your baby is very small, he won't be able to roll over by himself so when you place him in his crib for sleep make sure that you put him down on his back. This has been proven by experts to be the safest way for baby to sleep and will prevent him from accidentally suffocating in the mattress or blankets. Later on, your child will be able to turn over independently and they may then choose to sleep on their stomach at night if they find this more comfortable. You should also avoid using a pillow for your infant until they have reached the age of one year as using a pillow also increases the risk of accidental suffocation.
Once safety is no longer an issue, sorting out a time to put baby to bed can be the next hurdle. The key is to watch for clues that your infant is tired. A newborn will yawn and stare off into the distance and this is the time to think about laying them down before they get cranky. An older baby may be better following a sleep schedule.
Your baby may not yet understand your words, but they will understand a simple routine that leads up to bedtime if you follow it every night. This prepares your little one for going to bed and helps them to become sleepy. Develop a routine to suit you, for example putting on pyjamas, closing the curtains, reading a book, goodnight kiss then sleep.
It is fine to soothe your baby before bed, but not until they have fallen asleep as this does not help them to fall asleep without you. Gentle walking, rocking or bouncing will relax your infant enough so that they are ready to be put down to sleep. You can also feed your baby to soothe them, but not until they actually fall asleep.
If you follow these simple steps, you should find that putting your baby down to sleep is not as difficult as you thought. The trick is consistency and eventually your little one will be able to sleep through the night.