Do you have a non-napper? A baby who just won’t rest? If it seems like your baby has trouble falling asleep (or staying asleep), try some of these steps for better sleep time.
1. Let Go of Expectations. Other parents may tell you how well their babies sleep, but try not to compare. Find the sleep schedule that works for you. My son stopped napping at 18 months, and I couldn’t change that. But he went to bed early and slept through the night, so I had to accept that this was just his body’s preference.
2. Look for Signs. Not all babies rub their eyes when they’re tired. Look for other signs of sleepiness- hugging a blanket, fussiness, resting a head against your shoulder. You know your baby best!
3. Stop Sleep Interruptions. If you do actually get your baby to sleep, watch carefully. My son napped in his swing, but would wake up after 10-15 minutes. One day I sat and watched him sleep; when 10 minutes passed, he began to stir. I quickly ran over, rearranged his blankets and pacifier, and he slept for another 30 minutes.
4. Make Some Noise. Try some soothing lullabies or choose the best white noise machine to help drown out anything that might be interfering with sleep. I’ve even tried leaving a vacuum cleaner running in another room!
5. Nap on the Go. Not all naps have to be at home. Maybe a walk in the stroller or a drive around the block will lull your little one to sleep.
6. Change of Scenery. My friends often take their babies to the mall. The sound and movement is enough to tire their babies out while they shop.
7. Make a Move. Maybe your baby prefers movement. Try letting your baby nap safely in a swing or infant glider.
8. Mix Up Mealtime. Hunger might be waking your baby, or likewise, excess gas from food or milk might be preventing him from sleeping. Switch around your feeding schedule to see if this helps.
9. Temperature Troubles. Check your room temperature. Too warm? Turn down the heat or change baby’s nap clothes.
10. Call it Quits. When all else fails, give yourself a break. If you’ve checked with your health-care professional and your baby is otherwise healthy, don’t stress. Ask someone to babysit so you can nap or take a walk. You’ll be glad you did.