This blog post has been reposted, with permission, from Bril’s blog (http://brilindia.com/blog/).
Putting a baby to sleep is no simple task. It requires bucket loads of patience and understanding. You may get lucky and have a baby who is absolutely no trouble at all, but the chances of that happening are rather slim. Your baby will occupy your world for his/her first few years and more often than not putting him to bed will be your biggest challenge.
What matters most is that you feel comfortable handling your baby’s bed-time routine. That said, here are five baby bedtime strategies worth trying that will ultimately ensure that everyone in your family is getting as much sleep as possible.
1. Half-Asleep Tuck-in.
It is essential that you tuck your baby in drowsy but not fully asleep, so he learns to self-soothe and fall asleep on his own. By doing so, your bedtime routine will be shorter and less stressful. Your baby will go back to sleep more easily after his bed-time meals. By doing so, the baby will eventually reach a point where he will wake up at his regular intervals but will eventually roll over and fall back asleep, which means more rest for both of you.
But how do we get to this point? The trick is to establish a routine that lets your baby know bed-time is near. You will go through the motions by feeding him, and rock him or read to him for a bit, and then lovingly deposit him into bed groggy but still awake and lying on his back. Then whisper your good nights and good-byes and get out of there, quick.
The most common attempts at inducing sleep include feeding, rocking, singing, and swaddling. No baby will ever catch the sleep train instantaneously. It’s fine to rock a baby like this to sleep if that’s what your instincts tell you to do. If she loves sucking, lay in a stash of pacifiers — especially if you’re nursing, so you don’t become a human pacifier. Once your baby is finally in the throes of sleep, gently lay him/her down. Now there comes a situation, where a baby wakes up the instant the mother lets go, causing a commotion that could bring the roof down. Hence it is essential that you place a warm blanket in the cradle before you put them in, so that the warmth spreads around his/her body thereby allowing you and the baby to get a good night’s rest.