How to Settle your Baby to Sleep

Here are some simple steps to help settle your baby to sleep and avoid becoming overtired:

Remain kind

Keep in mind, your baby is not intentionally crying or resisting sleep.

Offer help

Distressed babies and toddlers can not calm themselves, they need your guidance.

Prepare for sleep

It’s important to try an avoid your baby becoming overtired. When you see tired signs, it means “I’m tired now”.

Use these tips to help your settle your baby to sleep:

  • encourage quiet time before sleep to help wind down their brain for sleep
  • reduce external stimulation as sleep time approaches
  • cuddle your baby until they are calm
  • use a wrap to help keep their arms snuggled in
  • if you feed your baby expressed breast milk before a night sleep, be sure to offer milk you expressed at an evening time (the components in breast milk change in the evening and they promote sleep)
  • offer soothing actions that then can become associated with sleep times, such as:
    • slow, rhythmic rocking while cuddling
    • quiet humming
    • patting softly and rhythmically on your baby’s nappy
    • quietly shh-ing
    • allow some sucking time.

Keep calm

Avoid rushing, vigorous bouncing or loud noises.

Wear them

Slings are wonderful inventions, they have been around for years for a good reason – skin to skin contact and movement are calming.

Back up plan

If your baby can’t settle, try:

  • a little walk in the pram
  • a change of cuddle position
  • a feed.

Call your nurse if you are struggling or look to credible resources. Go to www.helenstevens.com.au if you are looking for a simple, informative book to help you understand more about baby sleep.

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