The first 100 days of your new baby’s life is thrilling and exhausting for both of you. It’s often hard to decipher what exactly the baby wants and what each cry means and parents face struggles when it comes to how to put a baby down to sleep. Every baby has his or her own personality and cry in order to communicate because they have no other ways of telling others what they need.
As a new parent, understanding your baby could be a challenging experience. Most parents feel a sense of panic when the baby cries, thinking something could be terribly wrong. New parents scramble to find solutions to soothe a crying baby, but when nothing seems to work, parents are left feeling frustrated and defeated.
This is mostly experienced when parents are tasked to put their crying babies to sleep. It’s tough when the baby refuses to stop crying and sleep. It’s hard for parents to silence the worry that there could be something wrong with their child, that their parenting skills aren’t up to the job or that they will never understand and connect with their baby.
If this is what you are experiencing, read on for tips on how to soothe your baby and reduce bedtime battles.
When Your Baby Won’t Stop Crying: 3 Ways to Soothe Him!
How to put a baby down to sleep: Respond to your baby quickly and divert their attention
As baby expert Steven Shelov explains in Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, “In the few months after a baby is born, the best way to resolve their cries is to respond quickly." Contrary to what many parents think, this does not result in a spoiled brat! So, you should respond immediately whenever your baby cries.
Here’s how: Approach the crying baby immediately, hold him close to you, and gently rock or hug him as you move through different rooms in your home to distract his attention. Try talking to him while showing him fun and attention-grabbing items. This will ease his mood and he will soon forget to stop crying!
How to put a baby down to sleep: Contrary to what many parents think, responding to your baby quickly does not result in a spoilt brat! | Image source: iStock
How to put a baby down to sleep: Leave your baby alone… for a while
Sometimes it’s good to let them cry for a while. After all, crying has multiple functions for toddlers. As Steven Shelov further explains in Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5: “Crying helps babies relieve themselves from strong visuals, unpleasant sounds, and other sensory stimuli, and it also helps them release stress."
So, the next time your toddler refuses to stop crying, the best thing you can do is to leave the room for some fresh air. This gives YOU a chance to calm down so that your growing stress and anxiety does not affect your baby and cause their tempers to aggravate further! It also helps your baby unload stress and pent-up energy before bedtime, allowing him to enjoy a better night’s sleep.
Reminder: This does not mean that you should leave your baby to cry forever! As soon as you’ve calmed down, you should respond to your baby as soon as possible.
How to put a baby down to sleep: A good night’s sleep starts with a sleep buddy
Remember, cultivating good sleeping habits in your baby should start early. He must get used to sleeping on his own so that he won’t need your nursing every time he’s supposed to sleep. One way to achieve this? Give your toddler his own sleep buddy, so that he can get used to its company. Now, whenever your baby is drowsy and crying, placing the sleep buddy next to him while turning on soothing music and lights can be just as effective at getting your toddler to sleep in no time.
Image source: iStock
You might also want to prepare a soft, soothing toy for your baby like Fisher-Price Soothe & Glow Seahorse that is a favourite amongst parents. With a gentle squeeze, the cuddly Fisher-Price Soothe & Glow Seahorse glows and plays soft music, lullabies and soothing sounds of the ocean. After up to five minutes of continuous play, the music fades, light dims, and baby peacefully drifts to sleep.
Fisher-Price Soothe & Glow Seahorse | Image source: Fisher-Price
There are times when your baby just wouldn’t sleep or frequently wakes up in the night crying. In such situations, your best response is to find out whether he is suffering from physical discomforts, such as baby colic. Baby colic, also known as infantile colic, affects up to 1 in 5 infants during their first few months. Colic is characterised by long bouts of crying for no obvious reason that usually lasts weeks, for an otherwise healthy child. Some believe it is due to gastrointestinal discomfort like intestinal cramping. If he/she is, please consult your doctor immediately.
In summary, when babies cry and lose their temper, first-time parents are often lost at knowing what to do. But as the person who spends the longest time with your child, you will learn to understand why your baby is crying. In the meantime, consider the above solutions to soothe your baby. However, it is important to note that like us adults, every baby is unique and may respond differently to ways of soothing, so the tips given in this article should only be taken as a basic reference.
- Steven Shelov, Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5, Beijing Science and Technology Press.
All parenting advice in this article is only intended for reference. We recommend that you consult your healthcare provider for further help and advice.
This article is contributed by Fisher-Price and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
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