Middle-of-the-Night Baby Sleep Solutions
You’ve fed him, changed him, and dressed him in comfy pajamas -- but your baby’s crying at 2 a.m. anyway. To minimize midnight meltdowns in the first six months and ensure a peaceful night’s sleep for the whole family, try these seven simple baby sleep solutions for getting your infant back to bed.
Baby sleep solution # 1: Hang back
Babies are loud sleepers: They wriggle, squirm and shift in their sleep. Don’t mistake these movements for periods of wakefulness, or you could end up disturbing (and waking up) your sleeping infant. Before you rush in to take care of your new baby, take a minute to make sure your little one is actually up.
Baby sleep solution # 2: Keep quiet
If your baby wakes up to feed or for a diaper change, dim the lights, move around calmly and avoid talking to him or making eye contact. If he wakes up out of habit, only change your baby’s diaper if it’s absolutely necessary. Having a consistent nighttime environment will signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep.
Baby sleep solution # 3: Consider a pacifier
A pacifier at bedtime to help your new baby settle down. It will most likely fall out at night, so keep a spare sucker by the crib. This way, you won’t have to search for missing binkies in the dark.
Baby sleep solution # 4: Soothe with sound
White noise helps create a consistent, calm environment for your sleeping baby. Look for sound machines that play continuously throughout the night rather than ones set on a timer that you have to turn back on when your new baby wakes up.
Baby sleep solution # 5: Let him cry it out
If your baby is old enough (between 3 and 5 months old), letting him cry himself back to sleep can be a fast and effective way to get him to snooze through the night. While it can be excruciating to sit on your hands while your baby’s crying, sleep training can help teach your new baby to soothe himself, which is a win for both of you.
Baby sleep solution # 6: Sneak out
If the cry it out method doesn’t appeal to you, try this instead: Leave the room for a few seconds, then return before your baby starts to cry. Continue doing this until your baby falls asleep -- knowing you’ll always return after an absence will comfort him. Then, as your baby becomes better at soothing himself back to sleep, make the duration of your absences longer.
Baby sleep solution # 7: Take a seat
If you’re still getting resistance from your new baby, even when you only exit the room for a few seconds, pull up a chair and sit by the crib. Try not to touch your tot or pay too much attention to him, as this may make him dependent on you to fall back asleep. Instead, read a book or look the other way as he dozes back off.
Your baby isn’t the only one who will benefit from sleeping through the night. New moms need a good night’s rest too. Helping your infant stay asleep until morning can be time-consuming, but remember that it’s always worth it in the end!
At the end of the day there is so much advice out there, remember that if it works for your baby it works!