How to Put Your Baby to Sleep?
Crying and fussing keep your baby from falling asleep. The tensions of the evening and night disrupt his sleep as much as yours. Finding the right balance is not always easy between calming baby with your presence and staying firm. This step-by-step guide will teach you how to put a baby to sleep.
Step 1. Understand your baby’s sleep patterns
These steps describe a baby’s sleep pattern, but sometimes they deviate from the outline. Babies sleep differently at different ages. Every day or night will not be the same, and some milestones may be questioned later.
The first trimester
From birth until the end of the first three months, baby’s sleep is regulated by physiological needs. The alternation of day and night does not matter to your baby, who will not fail to wake you up every 3 hours on average to drink.
From the second month onwards, he begins to distinguish between day and night periods: his meals are gradually spaced out at night.
The second trimester
From the third to the sixth month, your baby’s nights get longer and longer. Your baby can now sleep 5 to 9 hours at night and reduce his naps during the day.
After the sixth month
Baby’s nights are longer (up to 12 hours) and more stable after the sixth month. Gradually, two naps during the day are necessary: one in the morning and one in the afternoon. The night-time bottle feeding typically disappears after the sixth month.
Step 2. Create a ritual to put baby to sleep
At bedtime, never get excited: calm and regularity are the keywords for putting your baby to sleep.
Always stay calm.
It may seem obvious, but staying calm is not always easy when your baby demands your attention and you are exhausted. Remember, however, that only calmness can help your baby fall asleep.
This advice is also valid for the medium term since baby will have a better night, and for the long term, since the night must not become a source of anxiety for your child. Staying calm when putting your baby to sleep benefits the whole family.
Stick to a bedtime schedule.
Sleep is a cycle, and falling asleep is part of it. Consistency is key to establishing a sleep pattern for your child. Be consistent with napping and sleeping schedules. Shifting sleep times can disrupt your baby’s nights.
Try keeping the same schedule when you’re away with your family or traveling.
Put him to bed one step at a time.
The step-by-step bedtime ritual helps you get your baby to sleep. It’s about reassuring him with pre-nighttime routines that don’t last too long. Teeth cleaning, putting on pajamas, the lullaby, the little story told in a soft voice: each step helps your baby slide further into sleep.
Respect the order in which you do them.
Important: the bottle just before going to sleep is a mistake not to be made, as this habit will be harmful afterward. In addition, consider that feeding milk at night is essential during the first trimester and possibly until the sixth month. After that, you should stop feeding your baby at night!
Step 3. Take care of your baby’s bed to put him to sleep
If the moment of falling asleep is important, the place of sleep is also crucial to putting a baby to sleep.
Keep the same place to put baby to sleep. Whether he has his own room or just part of it, baby should fall asleep and wake up in the same place every time. Routines are one of the secrets to getting your child to sleep peacefully.
His bed should dispel any anxieties that may arise at night. It should be reassuring and remain in the same position.
Reassure him with dedicated objects.
Reassuring objects are also welcome near your baby’s bed. Mobile, nightlight, soft blanket: these objects should not leave the bed since they are linked to sleep.
Their presence contributes to the cocoon you create to put your child to sleep. Their shape, smell, and texture should help your child fall asleep.
Step 4. Stay firm in putting baby to sleep
Your presence is essential to reassure your child during bedtime. However, baby needs to learn to sleep alone.
Don’t drag out bedtime.
Bedtime is a ritual for finding calm. It should not last too long. Otherwise, your baby will not be able to stand your absence and will ask for you again and again.
A cuddle or a massage, then reassuring words are enough. Then leave your baby and let him fall asleep alone.
Please note: when it’s time to go to sleep, your child may move around, grabbing his bed or blankets. These reactions are completely normal. Don’t interfere: your child must fall asleep on his own.
Don’t give in to the slightest cry.
If baby cries for a bottle after 6 months, don’t give in. These requests are more a matter of habit than need.
If you are breastfeeding, know that your baby is sensitive to the smell of milk coming from you. Therefore, the father must also get up to reassure baby and hold on before he falls asleep again.
In any case, don’t give in to every request if it turns out to be unfounded: your child will get tired and fall asleep more naturally.