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8 Techniques to Calm Your Baby and Get Them to Sleep in No Time

It doesn’t take long to feel like you’ve tried everything to stop your baby from crying and get them to sleep. Perhaps you have a couple of go-to methods that you swear by, but they simply stopped working. There are several proven methods for helping your baby doze off to sleep that can help them feel like they’re safe and warm in your womb again.

To help you and your little one get an easier night’s sleep, Bright Side is sharing the most popular tips for you to try for yourself.

1. Give them face massages.

Gently use your finger pads to softly massage your baby’s face, using small movements. Start with your thumbs above your baby’s mouth and stroke downward toward the jaw. Repeat from the center of the chin toward the jaw. Next, you can bring your thumbs down from above the temples toward their nose and across their forehead.

2. Stroke their face with a tissue.

One dad went viral using a simple trick of swiping a thin and light tissue across his baby’s face to soothe it to sleep. This is because a light tickling touch on the baby’s face, like their head, forehead, or the bridge of their nose, can be very calming for them. However, it’s important to remember that all babies are different, and some may become distressed with this action.

3. Use the “5 Ss” rule.

If you’re struggling to get your baby down for the night, then consider the “5 Ss” method recommended by the pediatrician, Dr. Harvey Karp. They are:

  • Swaddling: This recreates the snug womb and is thought to decrease startling and increase sleep.
  • Side or stomach lying position: Hold your baby on its side or on its stomach over your shoulder to help it to calm down in no time.
  • Shushing: Dr. Harvey Karp suggests making “ssshhh, ssshhh” sounds to relax and mellow your baby.
  • Swinging: Support your baby’s head and neck with small movements of no more than 1 inch, rocking the baby backward and forward.
  • Sucking a pacifier: This last “S” is the cherry on top of baby soothing, as it often calms them easily.

4. Dream-feed them.

This technique may be handy for you to help your baby sleep through the night by stopping them from waking up hungry. You should feed your baby just before you go to bed, gently waking for feeding. You can try this for their first few months, after which it may start to become more disruptive to their sleep routine than anything else.

5. Try the “2 letter word” method.

You may find that using sounds like “oomm,” “hhmm,” and “shh” can help you to settle your little one. They have a comforting effect because these soft sounds can sound like the mother’s blood circulating around her uterus, which is why it’s recommended to repeat them about 80 times a minute (the same as the average adult heart rate).

6. Turn on the faucet.

This tip came to our attention because of a woman’s video that showed us how it really can work. You can try letting the water run from the faucet while holding your baby near the sink. This tip works similarly to white noise by creating a blanket of sound that reduces sudden alarming sounds, like a door slamming.

7. Be noisy.

Contrary to what you may think, some babies are relaxed by the noises and vibrations around them. So doing chores, like vacuuming, and other things that generally make noise may help them to finally drift off to sleep. You can also try using ambient noises, like a fan in the same room as them, since the rhythmic swooshing noise can also help to relax them to sleep.

Of course, you should be careful to keep the volume to a minimum and not vacuum next to them to protect their hearing.

8. Stroke their head from their forehead to their neck.

Cover as much of your baby’s head with your hand as possible and gently start stroking. Begin from their forehead to the back of their neck at a slow rhythmic pace, timed to each breath you take. You can either do this while you are holding them to get ready to settle them for bed or once the baby is in its crib.

This contact with your baby’s skin will help to reassure them with your presence and provide them with a safe, warm, and secure environment.

What methods do you use to settle a baby? Which tip are you planning on using tonight?

Please note: This article was updated in October 2021 to correct source material and factual inaccuracies.
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