1. First and one of the most popular ways to help babies sleep is swaddling. As many of you probably already know, swaddling simulates the security of the mother’s womb. There are so many different types of swaddling techniques. Some techniques work for some babies but not others. You have to find out which type of swaddling your baby prefers. One general guideline though — it needs to be tight!! Your baby should not, I repeat, SHOULD NOT, be able to squeeze out of your swaddle. There is a very effective type of swaddling fold that can be found in the book “The Happiest Baby on the Block” by Dr. Harvey Karp. Although it is quite hard to do this swaddle while your baby is kicking and screaming, once you’ve mastered it, it is definitely quite effective. Personally though, I cannot seem to do this perfectly 100% of the time. So I recommended purchasing a “woombie” (www.thewoombie.com). If you are on a budget, you can make your own by taking a sleepsack and closing of the sleeves, either by tying or cutting and sewing. Sleepsacks can be bought at almost any baby retail store. These are very effective and very easy to put on, unlike swaddling with a blanket.
2. Babies hear constant noises in the womb. White noise has been proven to help your baby to sleep and helps not to awaken your baby with noises around him. A simple technique to do this is to repeatedly say “Shhh, shhh, shhh” to your baby. Of course it is virtually impossible for you to do this through the night though. There are several white noise machines in the market now that can serve the same purpose.
3. Rocking your baby to sleep is effective as well. However, I do recommend not to this if your baby is past 3 months old. They can tend to get accustomed to this activity before sleeping and you wouldn’t want to continue doing this until your baby is 3! Babies associate routines very well, and if you associated sleeping with rocking, then they will not sleep until they are rocked to sleep. Alternatively, you can use a swing to do this for you. Many moms have confessed that swings have been their life saver, especially for sleep-deprived and exhausted moms.
4. Sucking is very soothing for newborns. You can almost be certain to see a swaddled, sucking baby being rocked is a happy baby. Some parents like to use a pacifier, and some swears not to use them. Truthfully, a pacifier is fine to use, just as long as you only use them to help them sleep, and once they fall asleep, you need to immediately remove it. The reasoning behind this is that a baby wakes up several times for a few seconds every time they sleep. And if the pacifier is removed, when they wake up drowsy in their sleep, they can soothe themselves back to sleep without the pacifier’s help. This will greatly help babies learn how to put themselves back to sleep. For moms out there who do not want anything to do with a pacifier, you can take the babies knuckle on his thumb (they always keep their thumbs bent) and try to put them in their mouths. You can also use your finger for him to suck on. For breastfeeding moms, they can nurse their babies to sleep.
5. And yes, the cry it out method. It’s not as easy at it seems. This needs to be done in very specific ways. You cannot just let your baby cry it out, hoping that he will eventually get tired and fall asleep. That is one misconception about this method. This is a system with specific procedures, and you have to attack it with a definite plan. There are two methods that have worked very well in most babies explained step by step here.