If you're a new mom, then you know getting your baby to sleep may not be as easy as it looks in the movies. (And that's saying something, because it never looks easy in the movies.) Of course, there are plenty of tips and tricks for getting baby to sleep at night. And while advice is antiquated BS, there are actually some old wives' tales about getting baby to sleep that actually work. Surprising, I know.
Back in the day, things like blowing smoke in a baby's ear to cure an ear infection and putting a little booze in the bottle to help soothe teething were old wives' tales that moms took seriously, and often used to help lull their little ones to sleep. Today, most moms know how harmful those tips can be. There are, however, some old wives' tales that are not only safe, but affective.
So if you're struggling to get your little one to sleep — and have trued every trick in the book ad on the mommy forums — it may do you some good to test out the following old wives' tales. Worse case scenario: your baby still can sleep. (OK, that actually sounds pretty awful.)
1. Sing A Lullaby
According to Scary Mommy, rocking your baby to sleep with a lullaby is a classic for a reason. The site noted that the rhythm can help drown out environmental noises and help baby go to sleep. Be warned however, as any pause or change in music can cause a startle and wake up your baby.
2. Extend Awake Periods
According to Baby Sleep Academy, you should keep your baby awake throughout the day to encourage better sleep habits at night. Although it's not a good idea to overtire and overstimulate your baby the entire day, creating a regular schedule of napping and nighttime sleeping can do the trick. Also make sure to feed the baby frequently during the day, stimulate them with light, and spend time talking and playing with them all in the awake hours to help extend those periods.
3. Create A Bedtime Ritual
A solid bedtime routine is important to getting your baby to sleep, and can even help when they get older, according to Baby Center. Babies love the predictability and consistency of a routine, and it will help them to get used to what is coming.
4. Give Them A Warm Bath
According to Health magazine, one of the best ways to help your baby sleep is to give them a warm bath, which will increase body temperature and help them relax. Just after the bath, your baby's body will have a "rapid cool-down period," which will wear them out to the point of exhaustion. Get them into their pajamas immediately, and they should get to sleep quickly.
5. Feed Before Sleeping
According to Little Night Owls Sleep Solutions, feeding your baby before putting them to sleep can help them slumber. This may be because the baby begins to associate the pattern of being fed and rocked to sleep with falling asleep, and begins to respond in kind.
6. Rock The Baby
Same as with feeding your baby just before sleep, Baby Center advised rocking your baby before sleep. Similar to the lullaby, the motion can help lull your baby to sleep.
7. Take Them Outside
Grandma probably told you that getting a daily dose of fresh air will help your little one sleep better, and according to The Telegraph she was right. The publication cited a study that found babies sleep longer at night when they are exposed to plenty of light in the afternoon. So don't be afraid of the modern world and take your baby for a park stroll whenever possible.
8. Put Them To Bed Before They Yawn
Babies begin to be able to soothe themselves if they get under the cover just as yawning starts, according to Psychology Today. Doing this will help to calm their central nervous system, which moves them into the direction of peace and calmness and, of course, sleep.