Gentle Techniques for Helping Baby Transition to Sleep

Transitioning from a state of wakefulness to a state of sleepiness is often more difficult than some may assume. A large amount of American adults have difficulty achieving a restful state, often leading to insomnia. For babies, this may be more of a threat than one might imagine. Despite the larger degree of sleep they require, their new environments are constant sources of excitement and curiosity. New parents are often overwhelmed with the task of trying to put baby to sleep over and over again with little to no success. Fortunately, with advancing technologies and old-school methods, parents with fussy babies are more likely to try one of the following techniques for helping their newborns float into sleep, leaving them able to have their own full-night’s rest.

1. Music or talking Often simply letting babies listen to gentle, rhythmic sounds, or even the sound of their own parents’ voices help them relax. Newborns are capable of hearing patterns in speech and music, although they may not yet be able to understand the significance or meaning of these patterns. Still, giving them the opportunity to focus on these patterns will often have a calming affect as it forces them into a state of concentration, free from chaos.
2. Rocking In the same way that babies are able to perceive patterns in music or speech, they are calmed and soothed by the predictable pattern of being rocked back and forth. In addition, it reminds them of their time in the womb, which also soothes them. Although in the past, parents were required to rock their children in primitive “rocking chairs” today’s modern day technological advances have produced products like automated rocking chairs, or even automated baby hammocks which rock your baby to and fro gently, with little to no effort on the part of the parent.
3. Baths Warm baths are always claming and soothing on a baby, especially later at night as the water is reminiscent of the amniotic fluid they grew accustomed to in the womb. Recently, companies such as Johnson and Johnson have developed products with calming herbal scents that you can add to your baby’s bath water to assist in relaxing him or her.

All babies are different with different sets of needs and preferences. The most important thing parents can do is experiment with different techniques. Although, if your baby’s sleeping patterns are completely chaotic for an extended period of time, it may be best to see a doctor, as constant crying may be an indication that something is wrong. However, remember that innovation is the key. On a more personal note, my mother had to put me in the car and drive me around town for two hours each night in order to get me to go to sleep, but it worked. So good luck, and remember, be patient.