We have all been there. That moment when you would do anything to get your baby to sleep.
In the midst of your exhaustion, you find yourself searching for ways to get your baby to sleep.
Just one way, any way at all, to get this child to close their sweet little eyes and sleep for a little while.
I’ve been there, heck, we’ve all been there! It’s gonna be okay, I promise.
I really hesitated writing this post because it is essentially a list of no-no’s. A sleep expert will probably never tell you to do anything on this list as a way to get your baby to sleep.
But, putting sleep rules aside, sometimes we just need to get our babies to sleep pronto.
Maybe your little one is sick. So your usual sleep routine that is followed by you gently placing your baby in their crib drowsy but awake ain’t cutting it tonight with sick baby in town.
Maybe your sweet baby is teething and has proceeded to wake up approximately 50 billion times already and you are both exhausted.
Whatever your reasons may be, I totally understand.
These ways to get baby to sleep are definitely not things you want to get in the habit of doing.
This post is simply to help you out on a tough night when for whatever reason, the usual is just is not working.
I put my baby to sleep “the right way” 99% of the time. But for that 1% of the time, I turn to one of these ways to get baby to sleep.
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LAST RESORT WAYS TO GET YOUR BABY TO SLEEP
SWING OR ROCK N PLAY
My baby did a lot of napping in her swing as a newborn. We loved how easily the swing could put her to sleep and she loved the gentle motion.
We all miss the swing. But, all good things must come to an end and she finally outgrew it. I would definitely still use it from time to time if she was not too big for it!
If your baby has ever liked sleeping in a swing, rock n play, or anything similar, it’s worth trying it out if you’re in a tight spot!
You may also like: 10 Must Have Baby Items I Couldn’t Live Without
TAKE A RIDE
If your baby hates car rides, this one probably won’t help you much. But, if your baby doesn’t seem to mind car rides, this is one of the easiest ways to get baby to sleep!
Taking a ride normally works like a charm, especially for smaller babies!
Of course, driving around for however long your baby wants to nap is not ideal, but neither is a cranky, sleep deprived baby.
Use caution with this one, my friend. This one can quickly become a habit that is hard to break, so use sparingly as an absolute last resort.
Plus, who wants to use all that extra gas?
If you are reading this, chances are, you don’t have a ton of energy. I know the last thing an exhausted Mama wants to do is physical activity, but hear me out.
Sort of like riding in a car, some babies find being walked with really soothing!
Walking is a great way to calm down a crying baby, but it can also be a good way to get your little one to sleep.
This may mean putting your baby in a carrier and pacing the halls. You can also try carrying them in your arms if your baby doesn’t like the carrier.
Another great way to get your baby to sleep is to put baby in a stroller and take a calm walk around the block.
The fresh air will do you both good and you will get a little exercise in the process.
PLACE BABY ON YOUR CHEST
Yes, we all know placing baby to sleep on their back is safest. But, some babies just hate sleeping on their back.
My baby has always loved laying on her belly, especially if I placed her on my chest.
I would occasionally let her sleep like this, but I would always make sure to stay awake and watch her to make sure she was still breathing. (Am I the only one who does that?) I was also scared that I might somehow drop her if I drifted off.
My baby is almost a year old and still finds it soothing to lay on my chest, even though she can’t get comfy enough to fall asleep like this anymore.
Anywho, you can also take off your shirt and get in some great skin to skin contact.
Most babies love laying on Mama’s chest, and it is great bonding time. (Even if all you do is sit there and watch baby sleep.)
PUT BABY IN THE BED WITH YOU
This one has a high success rate in our house! We co-slept from a few days old to around five or six months.
We loved co-sleeping and we all slept great in the beginning. However, our baby quickly outgrew our bed so we transitioned her to the crib.
Butttttt now we are battling a nasty sleep regression, a runny nose, and some teething here and there.
Needless to say, my poor baby has not been the happiest at night.
On these hard nights, sometimes all I know to do is lay her down in our bed and let her go to sleep.
Sometimes she goes right to sleep, sometimes she sees her daddy and thinks it’s play time. Either way, putting her in our bed almost always gets her to sleep.
This one is also really easy to turn into a habit, so be cautious unless you want to co-sleep all the time!
BOUNCE, BOUNCE, BOUNCE
Babies love bouncing. Well, probably not all babies, but I feel like the majority of babies love a good bounce from time to time.
Some babies may find bouncing stimulating and entertaining. But hopefully, your baby finds bouncing soothing and calming.
Calm baby=sleepy baby (hopefully).
You can do a light, gentle bounce, or a faster paced (but still gentle) bounce. Any ole’ bounce will do as long as your baby finds it calming.
Your baby may prefer more consistent bouncing, maybe mixed with a slight rocking motion.
You can even add in some shushing for good measure.
(This should go without saying but do not bounce your baby too hard! Do not shake your baby! Babies aren’t made of glass but they are still pretty delicate.)
Last but not least, feed that baby!
If you have already weaned your baby from night feedings, this may seem like dangerous territory to slip back into.
I get it, I’ve been there.
But sometimes feeding baby to sleep may be the only thing that works on a tough night.
It will be okay.
I don’t have a farm, but if I did, I would bet that farm that your baby will not still need you to nurse them to sleep when they are grown.
IMPORTANT THINGS TO REMEMBER ON A SLEEPLESS NIGHT
Breaking your strict sleep schedule once in a while will not ruin your child or make them a terrible sleeper for life.
I know these nights are long and hard, but they are also numbered.
Our babies won’t need us forever, therefore it is okay to rock, bounce, or cuddle them to sleep when we feel it is necessary.
Having said that, I do think having a solid sleep schedule is important. I just don’t think it is the most important thing all the time.
What are your favorite last resort ways to get baby to sleep? Did I miss any?