How to make a baby sleep
There maybe a multitude of reasons as to why your baby is struggling to sleep at night.
Trying to work out why they are struggling is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do, and can be extremely stressful and tiring for parents and baby.
The most important thing to try to figure out is whether or not baby is feeling poorly. One of the first things you should do is take their temperature with a reliable thermometer. If baby has a high temperature and they’re under 3 months, be sure to call a doctor as soon as possible so that anything more serious can be ruled out and proper treatment administered.
If they appear to have signs of a cold, it may be worth taking extra measures to ensure comfort for them before putting them down to sleep.Try offering your baby a drink to ensure they are suitably hydrated. If they have nasal mucus, suctioning their nose may really help them to breathe much better.
Establishing and sticking to a clear bedtime routine will really help your baby to settle into sleep. An example of a good routine would be; late afternoon calming bath followed by the last feed of the day in a quiet, darkened room. Avoid playing with your baby at bedtime, as this might liven them up a bit too much to sleep. Keep a calm, soothing voice.
When you see signs that your baby is starting to get sleepy, try lowering them into their cot. They should soon start to associate this with part of the going to sleep process. You may want to try swaddling your baby to help them to feel more secure. If your baby is struggling to go to sleep and still seems unsettled, a pacifier (dummy if you’re in the UK) may be just the thing to help settle them. Research suggests that using a pacifier/dummy also helps to reduce the risk of SIDS - Sudden infant death syndrome.
It may take some time for your baby to settle into a good night time routine. This is normal, try not to let it dissuade you from keeping up with it. It will still form part of your ‘every day' and the familiarity of a good routine brings feelings of security and stability. You’re sure to have a pretty well established routine for your baby before long, so try not to fret too much. If you can, take some time to relax before bedtime so that you're calm and prepared. You're doing great, Mama!