Being a new parent is exhausting, and when baby won’t sleep, you can’t sleep. Here are some tips that might help.
- Go for a walk. If it’s not too cold out, put baby in a stroller and hit the road. This will often lull her to sleep. Of course, you might be so energized when you get back that you still can’t sleep.
- Use aromatherapy. Avoid scented lotions because these often contain harsh chemicals that can irritate baby. Instead, get some lavender essential oil (not fragrance oil) and put it in a diffuser in baby’s room. If you don’t have a diffuser, simply put some oil on a cloth and tie it to the crib where baby can’t get at it, but can still smell it.
- Try a new location. If baby won’t sleep in her crib, try the pack n’ play or swing. Or try moving the crib. Sometimes baby just wants a change of scenery!
- Wear your baby in a wrap or sling. Babies often can’t help but fall asleep when snuggled up next to their mother’s chest. (The trick of course, is keeping them asleep when you take them out of the wrap to put them in the crib!)
- Massage. Give baby a wind-down massage before putting her in bed. Then go find someone to give you a wind-down massage.
- While it’s not very environmentally responsible, sometimes we get desperate. When this happens, plug your baby into a carseat and go for a drive. He will probably fall asleep. (Again, the challenge is keeping him asleep when you bring him back into the house!)
- Give baby a bath. Often a nice warm bath is just what a baby needs to relax. Works for us, right?
- Nurse. Some babies want to nurse themselves to sleep. While this isn’t always convenient if you are trying to clean the car, it can work if you are willing to sleep at the same time as your baby. Find a safe place and lie down to nurse.
- Don’t overdress your baby. Sometimes we parents are tempted to equate layers of clothing with the depth of our love. Such is not the case. When we bundle our children up, we may be making them too warm, and uncomfortable. Try to keep room temperature at 68-70 degrees Fahrenheit, and forgo the snowsuit.
Robin Merrill is a mother of two and a writer for Marquette Michigan Hotels.