How To Get Baby To Sleep

How To Get Baby To Sleep

Who’s Crying Now?

Some researchers have suggested that some young babies may cry because they are attended to when they wake at night. It’s an odd thought but the logic behind it goes like this. Every baby wakes at night and babies who have suffered difficult pregnancies or births or are premature may need to wake more frequently for a variety of reasons. Such babies are used to coping with a difficult situation alone, and don’t know what to do when their parents want them to be a part of a caring relationship and so, the theory goes, they cry. If the theory is right, it may be worth leaving your baby who’s had a difficult birth to cope with things on his own a little more.

Some psychotherapists believe that babies cry when they are unhappy or confused – when your baby has cried enough, he will stop and he will not be distressed any more. According to this theory, it’s good for your baby to cry things through. So next time he seems inconsolable try just holding him and loving him without trying to make things better. Support him by staying with him and accepting his tears as calmly as you can. It may work for you.

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Practical Tips

If your baby doesn’t fall asleep readily in the evening, wakes you during the night or wakes early, there are many things you can try which have worked for other parents, at least some of the time.


Toys are part and parcel of a happy environment for your baby. While he is still very young and unable to reach out and grab a toy for himself, it’s best to stick to a mobile or musical toy strapped to the side of the cot out of reach, as large soft toys in the cot may cause him to overheat.

With older babies some parents feel that one or two toys are sufficient – cots are for sleep. Sue is sure that keeping it simple helps Charlotte, who has slept well from birth, to sleep:

The mobile, which plays Brahms’s lullaby, has definitely had a positive effect. Charlotte has been used to this from the time the basket went into the cot. There are certain toys which she only sees in her cot, for example, a bunny, a squashy blog and a spotted dog, and it is clear that she is delighted to see them and the activity centre (part of the mobile), when she goes into the cot. ’

Other parents feel that the more familiar faces their baby has around him, the better. If your baby is an early riser, a couple of special toys placed in the cot on your way to bed may help him to amuse himself for an extra five minutes in the morning.

A lot of babies become inordinately fond of one particular soft toy or object, and hold it tight at testing times such as when they are ill, or visiting new places, or falling asleep. Psychologists call this a transitional object – a cuddly which your baby associates with you and can bring comfort in your absence. Unfortunately transitional objects are often the least attractive of your baby’s possessions. It’s a humbling thought that a greying knitted rabbit with too much stuffing and only one eye is a substitute for you. Some parents introduce a cuddly from day one – at least this way you get to choose your baby’s constant companion:

Thomas has a teddy that he will not go to sleep without. It always stays in his cot, although he does try to take it places when he has a cold. I just used to tuck it in with him He sucks his thumb and holds onto the teddy with the same hand. If we go on long car journeys he has his teddy and goes to sleep. ’

How To Get Baby To Sleep

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