Spending more time trying to put your baby to sleep rather than seeing them actually sleeping? You’re not alone! If you want to know how to put a baby to sleep fast, you are in the right place. This article will help you find some tried and tested methods about how to make a baby sleep easily.
How To Make A Baby Sleep: Handling Common Sleep Problems
If you consider yourself one in a million parents who struggle to put their baby to sleep fast, let us assure you that almost every parent goes through the phase you are in right now. Dealing with frequent wakeups is a common part of early parenthood.
From colic to feeling scared, developmental milestones, changes in routine, there can be endless reasons why your baby has a hard time sleeping. Hence, it is important to understand the reason why your baby can’t sleep more than finding how to put a baby to sleep fast. After all, understanding the root cause makes it a lot easier to tackle the situation and calm the baby.
While baby sleep issues are the highest in infanthood, they can still crop up frequently. Whether you are a parent to an infant or a toddler wanting to know how to make a baby sleep, we’ll try making things easier for you by sharing some paediatrician approved baby sleeping tips.
Reasons Why Your Baby Can’t Sleep Well
Before we share our expert tips on how to make a baby sleep fast, let us help you understand some of the most common reasons why your baby might have a hard time sleeping. Most of the time, baby sleep issues are normal and disappear within a few months.
However, if your baby has more or completely different symptoms than the ones listed below, or has difficulty sleeping for a longer time than usual, you must seek medical advice to ensure if everything’s okay.
0 to 3 Months Old
Ideally, newborns need around 14 to 17 hours of sleep a day whereas a three-months-old needs approximately 14 to 16 hours of sleep for healthy growth. Initially, most babies have challenges sleeping and some of the most common issues for the same may be as follows.
Since babies are habitual of being wrapped closely in their mother’s wombs for nine months, one of the biggest reasons they can’t sleep easily is because they miss that sleep environment.
2. Gas, Colic or Constipation
With a developing digestive system, babies can have frequent tummy troubles making it difficult for them to sleep comfortably.
3. Resistance to Back Sleeping
Some infants resist back sleeping no matter how hard you try and feel more secure when they sleep on their tummies. However, this increases the risks of SIDS and is not good for their spinal health as well.
4. Mixing Up Day & Night-Time
Your baby has just come into the world and is still getting adjusted to it. So, it is very common for babies to confuse daytime with night and fulfil their sleep quota in the day.
4 to 5 Months Old
By the time your baby reaches the 4 months benchmark, they should be sleeping 12 to 16 hours in a 24-hour period. However, here are some of the main reasons for difficulty sleeping at 4 to 5 months of age.
1. Sleep Regression
Your baby has now begun exploring the world and loves waking up, cooing and smiling. They hate being put to sleep because they want to play and talk more.
2. Require More Attention
With all the attention and cuddles you give, your baby probably wants more and doesn’t want to go to sleep.
3. Frequent Napping During the Day
While two to three naps are absolutely normal for babies at this age, it is too much for some babies making it challenging for them to sleep at night.
4. Too Tired
Although making a baby tired to fall asleep is one of the most common solutions for how to put a baby to sleep fast, sometimes babies have sleep issues because they are overtired and have aching bodies.
6 to 12 Months Old
At six months of age, your baby should sleep for around 10 to 12 hours a day. However, if your bub is not getting enough sleep, here are some possible reasons for the same.
1. Difficulty Falling Asleep Independently
One of the biggest reasons why 6 months and older babies can’t sleep easily is because they are habitual of you putting them to sleep. They need to be fed, soothed, or rocked to bed. However, this is the right age to sleep train!
2. Frequent Late-Night Feedings
When babies cry at night, what most mommies do is pick them up, rock and calm them down, feed them until they are drowsy, and put them back to bed. While this might seem like a good thing to do, it might be one of the major reasons why your child is motivated to wake up frequently. Your baby probably loves being picked up and get close to you frequently.
1 Year to 2 Years Old
If your child is past the one year age benchmark, they should be able to sleep well. However, if they are not sleeping as they should, here are some major reasons they might not sleep.
Teething is another main reason why toddlers can have a hard time sleeping. Teething not only gives physical pain but also provokes feeding fussiness and irritable behavior. These factors can contribute to a bad sleep routine.
2. Separation Anxiety
If your toddler has recently transitioned to their crib from a pack n play or has recently started sleeping in a different room, they might be missing their bed or have difficulty separating with you.
3. Being Overtired
During this age, your toddler might walk, run and play a lot – and hence, be overtired to sleep. They might also have leg pain and restlessness during the night.
While sleep issues are not very common at this age, an illness can also be the reason why your toddler cannot sleep comfortably during the night. This might include anything as simple as a fever, cold, or ear infection.
Baby Crying at Night/Awake at Night
How To Put A Baby To Sleep Fast: Find The Perfect Baby Sleeping Solution
Although you can’t put your baby to sleep forcefully or magically, there are still many effective ways to get babies to sleep.
- Try creating a familiar sleeping environment for your newborn just like the womb.
- Swaddling your baby is often considered the fastest way to put a baby to sleep by helping them feel more secure.
- Swaddling also helps while transitioning your baby from bassinet to crib.
- If your baby doesn’t feel comfortable sleeping on their back, give them a pacifier and gradually encourage back-sleeping.
- Pacifiers are closely related to reducing the risks of SIDS as they require forward positioning of the tongue and decrease the risk of oropharyngeal obstruction.
- If your baby sleeps well during the try, try limiting their sleep hours by frequently waking them up and make the room darker at night to help them sleep easily.
4 to 6 Months
- Start the bedtime routine early and be consistent with it.
- Stimulate their sleep by doing soothing activities such as breastfeeding, bathing, lullaby, storytime, rocking, swimming or cuddling.
- Look for wet or soiled diapers as they may make the baby more uncomfortable while sleeping.
6 to 12 Months Old
- Although your baby deserves their special nighttime with you, lower your attention one hour before bedtime and try to help them sleep independently.
- Massage them about two hours before bedtime to make them relaxed and ready for bed. According to baby sleep experts, massaging is one of the best ways to get babies to sleep.
- Dim the lights and try to make the sleep environment more favourable as per your baby’s preference.
- Limit their daytime naps if you feel like that is one of the major reasons.
- Start semi-solid foods, especially before baby’s bedtime to make their tummy full so that they don’t wake up for feeding frequently.
- Ensure that your toddler is well-fed with nutritious food to avoid midnight sleep disturbances.
- Make sure your baby’s naptime, as well as nighttime sleep schedule, is regular.
- Make sure your toddler feels safe throughout the night by checking the noise as well as the lighting.
- Follow a regular massage schedule to help your toddler feel relaxed and drifted towards sleep.
- Under authentic guidance from a licensed acupuncturist, target the baby’s acupressure points for inducing sleep. Generally, gentle strokes right between the eyebrows and a relaxing massage on a baby’s foot can help a baby fall asleep.
- Be consistent to ease your baby’s separation anxiety and reward your child for sleeping by themselves. These rewards can be as simple as a hug or additional 10 minutes of playtime the next day.
- Ensure that the baby’s room has the right temperature and air quality to avoid your baby feeling uncomfortable while sleeping.
While teething can take place anywhere between 6 to 24 months of age, we’d like to expand on teething related baby sleeping solutions separately.
- Let your baby suck a pacifier or chew a teether before bedtime to soothe their teething pain at night.
- Giving a cooling treat can also soothe paining gums and help a baby fall asleep. You can either put the baby’s chew toy in the freezer or simply use a cool washcloth.
- Gently rub and massage your baby’s gums to relax their teething pain.
- If you have a white noise machine, try distracting the baby from their pain towards the noise.
- Under medical guidance, use some over-the-counter medicine to soothe the pain if home remedies won’t work.
- If you don’t have a white noise machine, you can also use some relaxing music to make baby sleep.
Mother Relaxing Baby at Night/Putting Baby to Sleep
Do’s & Don’ts Of How To Put A Baby To Sleep Fast
Here are a few more do’s and don’ts of how to make a baby sleep easily and independently.
- Do not wait for your child to sleep train at a certain age. Sleep training can begin right from birth and doesn’t mean being or leaving your child to cry alone.
- Your baby might not be sleeping well if you are trying to switch them from their bassinet to a crib too early. Determine when to move your baby to the crib
- Sleep training is a basic discipline that helps your child’s body clock to adjust with the same sleep and rise times daily.
- Follow a calming bedtime routine and be consistent with your baby’s sleep training.
- Do not expect your baby to sleep well within a few days. Give them time to learn the skill of sleeping well independently and be prepared for unexpected nights. Moreover, respect their preferences and be patient.
- Do not rely on just one baby sleep method and try mixing and matching different ways to figure out what your baby is most comfortable with.
- Although a pacifier helps a lot of babies, it is completely normal for your babies to reject it. The same might happen for massage or white noise for that matter. Do not force it if your baby is not comfortable or else, they’ll resist sleeping even more.
- If your baby is crying and you need to pick them up to make them feel secure and comfortable, use the soothing technique they love but do not make eye contact.
- If you think your baby is napping more during the day, limit their naps from three to just one or two or try making them awake within just 30 – 45 minutes but do not keep your baby awake all day long. This might overtire your baby and give them aching muscles.
- Understand your baby’s sleep needs but do not make your baby habitual of cuddling or hugging you to sleep every night.
Frequently Asked Questions About How To Get A Baby To Sleep
Have questions related to how to put a baby to sleep fast on your mind? Here are our answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about what helps babies sleep.
How do you put a baby to sleep?
Here are some effective ways to put your baby to sleep:
- Make your baby’s room a distraction-free zone.
- Follow a specific age-appropriate sleep schedule for your child.
- Make sure your baby is completely relaxed and not overtired.
- Keep the nap time early and short but do not skip it completely.
- From lighting to the temperature, make sure your baby is comfortable and feels secure at night.
How do you put a crying baby to sleep?
To calm down a crying baby, talk quietly and cuddle them until they stop crying. Slowly, put them back into the bassinet or crib and use some music to make baby sleep.
When can babies put themselves to sleep?
Most babies can sleep independently by six months of age if you sleep train them appropriately and patiently. However, they can still awake once or twice in the first few weeks.
Why is my baby fighting sleep?
Here are some of the most common reasons why your baby doesn’t want to sleep:
- Separation anxiety
- Over energetic
Were You Able to Understand How To Get A Baby To Sleep?
We hope this article helped you understand what helps babies sleep and how to make a baby sleep fast. Always remember that sleep issues with babies are quite common and can settle down gradually if you are patient and consistent.
Moreover, the fastest way to put a baby to sleep depends on the baby’s diurnal cycle, comfort index, preferences and mood. Although you might be slightly puzzled in the first few days or weeks, let us assure you that you will slowly figure out what works for your baby the most. Please do not consider using sedatives to put your child to sleep unless recommended by a doctor in case of an illness.
Also, it is important to realise that your baby’s not falling asleep easily is not just problematic for you but can be frustrating for your little one too. So, they deserve to be treated with love and patience to learn to sleep peacefully.