This is a guest post by Gabriella Diesendorf.

 

As a parent, you want to do everything you can to allow your baby to be safe, healthy, and happy. If your baby isn’t getting enough sleep, it can become a real problem later on. It has been shown that sleep plays an important role in maturation of infants’ brains. Babies who sleep better at night have higher cognitive scores (and their parents get to keep their sanity as well).

1. Use the Magic of Your Touch

Try massaging your baby gently before you put him or her down to sleep. Use special baby lotion and slowly massage the limbs until your baby is relaxed. Once you put your baby down in the crib, hold her hand and rub their stomach while softly humming to assure her that you are there.

2. Sense of Smell

Your baby's delicate sense of smell will help you calm her down and let her fall asleep faster. Put a few drops of lavender oil on her feet; the smell is calming, and babies usually react well to it. You could also put your shirt in the crib when you put her to sleep. That way she will feel that you're near, and relax more easily. Just remember to not leave her unattended with the shirt, and to remove it once she's asleep.

3. Swaddling

Babies love being swaddled, that’s for sure. Their arms don’t have to be free when they’re really young (but later on they will like it), so baby swaddling is the perfect solution for the tired moms. Keep your baby swaddled snugly and she will sleep better and longer.

4. Don’t Panic, Be Patient

Babies have this strange habit of babbling and even crying while they are still asleep. So, try to stay calm and give yourself some time before you rush to comfort your baby. Check if the baby is really awake or actually still asleep because she may just keep sleeping like nothing happened.

5. Make Her Drowsy

This is a skill which takes some time to master, so don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first couple of times. Watch closely for the right moment and gently put your baby down to sleep. Once she gets used to this, she will easily fall asleep, and eventually, when she wakes up in the middle of the night, she'll be able to go back to sleep on her own.

6. Bouncing

Babies love bouncing - anyone could have told you that. So, use this to your advantage. Place your hands on the crib mattress and gently bounce the bed; your baby will fall asleep soon. In case your hands get too tired, you can also use a baby swing or even walk around with your baby in their baby carrier until she falls asleep.

7. Use the Noise

Calming sounds and music will help both you and your baby to relax. Download some calming music on your iPod, buy a baby music CD, or find videos with calming music on YouTube. Your baby will even love the white noise, and you'll be able to relax a bit. On the other hand, some children love the loud and heavy sound of rock ’n’ roll. In that case, whatever drives your neighbors crazy will calm your child down.

8. Darken the Room

Before they grow up a bit and start being afraid of it, babies love the dark since it reminds them of the womb. Use black-out curtains to darken the room no matter how light it is outside.

9. Mommy's Workout

Snuggle your baby in the baby carrier and bounce on your bouncing ball. Baby will love the movement and the fact that you're close. 

10. Trick Them

Pat your baby slowly on the back until you almost come to a stop. Keep your hand on their back until they are asleep.

Even if your baby has trouble going to sleep, it doesn’t mean that you can’t do anything about it. Be creative and pay close attention to the subtle signs and clues to learn what your baby likes the most. 

Gabriella Diesendorf is a freelance writer from Australia and a devoted mother. She loves badgering about beauty, green lifestyle choices, and parenting techniques. If you mention attachment parenting or natural makeup, she will bore you to death. She got inspiration for this article from Bubbaroo while she was researching baby blankets for her baby girl. You can find more of her articles here.