Help! My Baby Won’t Sleep Alone.
New parents are often exhausted because taking care of a newborn is a lot of work, although very rewarding. Most of the time parents are exhausted because it’s hard to get enough rest if your baby won’t sleep alone. If this is a problem that you’re having, the tips below provide information and techniques that you’ll find helpful.
1. Develop a Regular Routine
Most adults come to understand at some point in life that routines are beneficial. While they aren’t necessarily fun, a routine can help to ensure you get things done, which makes life a lot more enjoyable. It just so happens that babies are comforted by routines because they feel better when there are no surprises. Generally speaking, when a baby is resisting something it’s often because it’s new or unfamiliar. In fact, babies can get confused when things are not familiar. This can lead to resistance, which is a possible reason why your baby won’t sleep alone.
When your baby won’t sleep alone, develop a regular routine that works well within your schedule. For instance, if you have a certain time of the day when you clean the house or do laundry, this can be a consistent time when your baby is put to bed. If it happens at the same time everyday, your baby will feel comforted and safe by the familiarity of the routine.
2. Foster Self-Soothing Practices
In the event that your baby won’t sleep alone, there’s a good chance that your little one has gotten use to being rocked to sleep. Without a doubt, babies are precious and parents love to cuddle them throughout the day. It’s often the reason why a baby won’t sleep alone. They have become accustomed to being held and rocked to sleep. It’s common for parents to start out rocking their baby before bedtime. After a while, it’s no longer practical because you must find a way to get some sleep yourself. This is usually when parents grasp the importance of letting their baby self-soothe.
Self-soothing is when a child is able to comfort themselves when they feel unhappy. In other words, it’s possible for a fussy baby to self-soothe until they fall asleep. Fostering this practice will enable you to get rest because you won’t spend so much time rocking your baby to sleep. Self-soothing is taught by not picking up your little one whenever there is the slightest whimper or when you think your baby won’t sleep alone.
3. Have a Designated Time for Meals
It’s not uncommon for a baby to get sleepy after a meal. It’s the reason why feeding is used by some parents when they want their baby to fall asleep. This is not a recommended practice because the two events should be separate. This can be accomplished by having a designated time for meals. Like clockwork, you should know what time your baby will be fed instead of choosing the feeding time based on when you have something important that needs to get done.
If you find yourself using a bottle when your baby won’t sleep alone, you will have a difficult time breaking this habit down the road. The way to make sure this does not become an issue is by having a space between meal time and sleep time where some other activity occurs.
4. Recognize Signs of Sleepiness
When your baby won’t sleep alone, you might need to get a better understanding of when your bundle of joy is ready to sleep. Sometimes it’s just a matter of timing and they simply are not ready for bedtime yet. This could be a bigger issue, like needing a routine as previously mentioned. When you recognize the slight flutter of the eyes and the slight nodding of the head as sleepiness, you will be better able to pinpoint when your baby is generally ready to sleep. This will increase the likelihood of your little one sleeping alone without any issues.
5. Ensure Placement in the Crib Is Timed
Many studies have proven that babies are more likely to sleep alone when you put them in the crib while they are still awake. However, this isn’t the same as being fully alert or wide awake. When your baby is winding down and feeling drowsy, that’s the best time to place them in the crib. The goal here is to place your baby in the crib during a time when you would typically begin the process of rocking them to sleep.
The reason why timing is important is because your baby will start to realize that they can go to sleep alone when nobody else is in the room or when they are not being held. One of the many benefits is that your baby can wake up in the middle of the night and go back to sleep because they are accustomed to that process.
6. Limit Movement When Holding Your Baby
One of the primary reasons why a baby won’t sleep alone is because they have become use to being rocked back and forth. It’s become soothing and a necessity for feeling comforted. If you started out holding your baby a lot, they will always want you to do so, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, if your little one won’t sleep alone, you will likely need to spend less time rocking your baby in your arms to get them to fall asleep. This doesn’t mean you can’t hold your baby, it just means you should be still when holding your baby. By doing so, your bundle of joy will not become accustomed to the swaying motion as an indicator that it’s time to sleep.
When you constantly sway your baby to sleep, they will need that movement to feel comfortable. Whey you hold your baby without swaying, they are more likely to practice self-soothing if they wake up at night. This means you can get the rest you need.
7. Find What Works and Stick to It
The good news is that there isn’t just one way to resolve the issue when your baby won’t sleep alone. There are many different techniques and most of them require trial and error. You might try one technique without success and try another one a week later that works like a charm. What’s important is to do what feels best for you and your baby. If you don’t like the idea of not rocking your baby, then you can choose something entirely different. The key is to pay attention to patterns that are being developed and recognize when they are not good or when they simply are not in the best interest of you and your baby.
Some parents are comfortable with letting their baby cry so that they can learn self-soothing, while others are simply uncomfortable with not picking up their baby when they hear the slightest whimper. Just keep in mind that if choose a specific technique, you’ll have to see it through because if you stop along the way, you can lose all of the progress made. If you are teaching your baby to self-soothe, you’ll have to see it through by not picking up your bundle of joy when you see the tears starting to fall.
8. Gently Wake Your Baby Up
One of the reasons why your baby won’t sleep alone is because the place that you have designated for them to sleep does not feel like a place of safety. Instead, your arms are the place where your baby feels like they can go to sleep safely. To overcome this obstacle, as soon as you lay your baby down to sleep, you’ll need to wake your little one up. While this might sound counterintuitive, it works because your baby will be awakened only momentarily and will start to associate the crib as a place of safety and rest. This does not mean your baby is fully awake, just somewhat aware of their surroundings.
If you’re having a hard time not running to the rescue when your baby won’t sleep alone, know that it’s normal. Parents around the world deal with the issue and they eventually come to an understanding that’s it’s necessary if they want their baby to self-soothe. Just like with anything else related to raising a child, it can be hard at first but it becomes a little less difficult after time goes by.
No good parent wants their baby to feel distressed, nor do they want to see their little one cry. You just have to recognize that sometimes allowing your baby to cry isn’t a punishment, but part of their development process. If you stay positive, after a while you and your baby will reap the rewards of your diligence and patience.