Go to sleep little baby

Brahms lullaby has long been the standard for singing little ones to sleep and oftentimes it works like magic. Still, there are some little insomniacs that just can’t seem to settle into sleep mode and others that fight tooth and nail to stay awake. Parents and nannies become exhausted as the sleepless hours drag on.

If this happens to you there are some things you should consider:

  • Over stimulation – Is there too much activity right before bedtime? Children may feel like they’re going to miss something if there is always a lot of activity taking place before bedtime. Lively play and television can keep a little one from settling down. For some kids even a nighttime bath can result in over stimulation. Solution: the time right before going to be should be quiet, calming and conducive to falling asleep.
  • If Mom isn’t happy, nobody’s happy – And at bedtime, that goes for dads and nannies or anyone putting the kids to sleep. Your moods affect the children, so if you’re tense the baby may pick up on that energy and have difficulty falling asleep. Solution: take care of yourself and enjoy the bedtime ritual with the kids.
  • Lack of stimulation – Infants spent months in tight quarters listening to muffled noise and Mom’s heartbeat. Some infants find lying in a dark, silent room alone too much to handle. Solution: cozily swaddle your infant with a receiving blanket and use a white noise machine or some other device that will add a little muffled noise to the environment. Also, ambient light may help.
  • Sensitivity – Your baby may be overly sensitive to certain things. Rough clothing, too much or too little light, overheating, noises like the dog barking or phone ringing, even clothing tags can make some tiny ones uncomfortable. Solution: make sure the baby is not too warm or that clothing is not irritating baby’s sensitive skin. Check to see that there is not too much noise or light keeping baby up.

Bedtime should be a pleasant time for everyone and establishing calming rituals can help it become just that. Rocking the baby to soft music such as David Lanz’s Christophori’s Dream or any of several lullaby CD’s can usher in a soothing nighttime experience. A nice massage and/or bedtime story can help older little ones settle down for sleeping.

What rituals have you found helpful?

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