Seems like the first thing new parents struggle with is how to get the baby to sleep.
Nothing… and I mean Nothing matters more than trying to get your baby down…. so mama can get a few minutes of sleep too.
There are tried and tested baby sleep strategies that work for most families… and if you try any one of them you’ll most likely be able to get your baby to sleep.
But if you have a baby like my daughter was, almost nothing is guaranteed to work on your child. For those desperate times here are some unusual baby sleep strategies that actually work.
As all babies are different even these might not work… if it doesn’t, have comfort knowing that your baby will grow out of this phase soon and it’ll be a distant memory of the past.
These are sleep tricks to try if all else fails… or you just really need to get some sleep.
Before trying any of these unusual strategies make sure you’ve tried the regular strategies that families swear by.
At this stage of the game getting your baby to sleep so you can get some sleep is MISSION-CRITICAL!
26 Unusual Baby Sleep Strategies That Work
1. Rub Tissue in Babies Face – Gently
This video is an internet sensation among parents. I think if this strategy worked with all babies postpartum depression, parent stress, and sleepless nights for new moms will be at an all-time low.
From the comments, at least the useful ones, it seems that this works well for babies under 3 months. So if you have a baby older than 3 months he might just try to eat the paper.
2. Wear Your Baby
This worked with my son every. single. time. It didn’t matter if he had already taken a nap or not. I would put him in my wrap and go about my day… wash dishes, do the laundry, fold clothes… and by the time my task was done he’d be fast asleep.
I know there are a ton of babywearing stuff out there but I personally used the Moby Wrap… and it was the best little piece of product anyone could’ve recommended to me. it’s a bit tricky using it the first time but I went on youtube and got the hang of it after about 3 tries.
3. Watch The Clock
Everyone needs a consistent sleep schedule. If you’ve ever traveled abroad you know how hard it is to adjust to jet lag. Not having consistent sleep schedules mess up our biological sleep rhythms, or circadian rhythm, and makes it hard for us to sleep.
Just as sleep schedules interfere with our ability to get a good nights rest, it affects babies too. So if you’ve noticed that your baby is napping every 4 hours and goes to bed at 9 pm, try to stick to that schedule. And never try to skip nap times to try to make your baby tired for night time sleep. When your baby is over tired (from skipping naps), their
When your baby is overtired (from skipping naps), their stress hormones are released… such as cortisol and adrenaline. And you know what drenaline does to your body, right? Puts it in active mode.
When your baby is overtired their stress hormones are released… such as cortisol and adrenaline. And you know what adrenaline does, right? Puts their little body in active, energy mode making it tougher to get them to calm down for sleep.
4. Feed Your Baby
This isn’t a habit you want to foster but when you’re tired and need to sleep, feed your baby. Turn the lights down, keep the blinds closed, drop the noise level, and feed your baby. Feeding usualy works to calm the baby and help them fall asleep.
5.Walk While You Hold Baby
Babies remember your movement that they felt while they were in the womb. So when you walk it puts them in a comfort zone that make it easy for them to calm down and fall asleep.
6. Swing Baby, Swing
As much as I hated putting my baby to sleep in a swing, sometimes it was the only way to get him to go to sleep. As they get older it’s not a strategy you want to rely on but it’ll work in the early months of the babies life.
7. Skin to Skin
Besides the fact that there’s no other feeling of deeper love and connection when you have your baby sleeping on top of you, feeling his heart beat and listening to his little baby breath, skin to skin regulates your babies heart rate and breathing and relaxes him.
8. Vacuum Your Home
I’ve never personally tried this but countless moms swear by this odd strategy. The sound of the vacuum has been known to put babies to sleep… or at least calm them down.
So next time you have a sleepless baby turn on the vacuum and clean your home. You’ll end up with a clean house, and a sleeping baby.
9. Midnight Drive
Have you ever got in the car and just passed out? Happens all the time, right? Car rides have the safe effect on babies as well.
If you’re having a rough night with a sleepless baby, go for a car ride and see your baby fall asleep after a drive around the neighborhood.
10. Stroller Walk
Slow steady motion calms fussy babies. Next time your baby refuses to sleep and gets fussy take him out for a walk in the stroller. You’ll get in some much-needed movement and your baby will get some much-needed sleep.
11. Refrigerate Your Baby
Not literally… but the motor noise from the fridge has been known to put fussy babies to sleep. It mimics white noise, which has been known to be one of the most useful tools in putting and keeping baby asleep. So next time you have a fussy baby swaddle him up and put him in a safe place on the floor next to the fridge.
12. Rock and Hold Firm
As much as swaddling keeps baby feel secure from the snugness of the blanket, the firm hand on your babies chest will also make your baby feel snug and secure.
13. White Noise
It’s one of the best kept secrets of putting a baby to sleep… and keeping them sleeping.
According to Dr. Harvey Karp, white noise mimics the sound of the womb… which was anything but quiet. The blood rushing through the placenta sounded like loud static noise from the TV or radio. Other good white noise producers are vacuums, hair dryer, or a good shushing from mommy or daddy.
For it or against it, we’re not trying to debate here. But have no doubt, co sleeping can create wonders in putting your baby to sleep. If you’re worried about the safety of your baby there are always co-sleeping cribs you can get online.
15. Warm Bath
Nothing like a nice warm bath to calm a baby that won’t go to sleep. After getting him relaxed with a bath, take him straight to the room and change him in a nice, dark setting as not to excite him.
Keeping the mood quiet is just as important as calming him down.
16. Ignore Him and Walk Away
Sometimes there’s nothing you can do to make your baby go to sleep.
In this instance, it might be helpful to just walk away for a few minutes. Keeping your sanity and patience is just as important as getting your baby to sleep.
When my second cried for 5 hours straight with no end in sight, I swaddled her, left her on the kitchen floor, and walked away for a few minutes. This gave me a moment to gather myself before I went crazy myself!
The few minutes is all I needed to mellow out to deal with her colic again and go over every trick I could think of.
17. Keep Crib Cozy, Not An Open Field
Babies come from a very snug environment in your womb. To make this transition easier for them make sure their crib is cozy and not an open field. Bassinets will be more useful than large cribs.
You can also roll blankets and keep it snug around your baby. Make sure the rolls are nice and tight so it doesn’t roll over your baby.
18. Put Your Baby To Sleep Before He’s Overtired
When your baby’s overtired it’ll produce adrenaline in her body. This makes it hard for her to go to sleep. Make sure you keep all her nap times and make her go to bed at a reasonable time so she doesn’t become overtired.
19. Try Everything At Once
Try everything at once. Swaddle, walk / bounce, pat his butt, shhhh in his ear, with vacuum running in the background. Let’s see if your baby can resist the Everything approach.
20. Lavender Oil
Put lavender oil on tissue paper and put it next to the babies crib, in the water for bath time, or as a massage oil for infant massage. Lavender oil has long been praised for its effectiveness as a sleep and calming aid. It has worked very well for some babies when all else had failed.
Some moms swear by this method. Put your baby in a car seat and place the car seat on top of a running dryer. The gentle buzz of the dryer along with the white noise mimicking sounds have known to put babies to sleep very fast.
Word of caution: never leave the baby unattended on top of the dryer.
22. No Eye Contact
Making eye contact with your baby excites them and gets them in a playful mood. If you’re trying to get your baby to sleep, make sure you avoid eye contact while you get them ready for sleep, usually about 20-30 minutes prior to putting them down.
23. Gentle Face Rub with White Noise
Oh, I love this video for so many reasons… there’s nothing more deeply beautiful than a father who’s connected to his child.
This daddy knows his stuff! He shushes in his daughter’s ears (white noise) while gently rubbing the side of her face.
24. Gently Rub your Hands Over Babies Face
This father used his whole hand and gently rubbed it down his babies face, and all the way down his babies belly.
25. Turn On a Fan
The whirling noise of fans has been known to put many babies to sleep. also, when the temperature is cooler in a room it makes the baby feel more comfortable and puts them to sleep easier.
26. Keep the Air Cool
Many Nordic parents like to nap their babies outside during wintertime… when it’s below freezing. They say it makes kids nap 1-1.5 hours longer and is better for their lungs. so next time your baby has a hard time sleeping, try turning the temperature down. Not below freezing… but cold enough to make your baby sleep longer.
So where do you go from here? Read below.
Step 2: If the basic sleep strategies aren’t working, try any of these 26 strategies to find which works best for you and your family.
Step 3: If you’re still having a hard time, it’s time to mix it up. Mix and match any of the sleep strategies from step 1 and step 2 until you find a personal program that works for you.
Step 4: Your baby isn’t a robot. REMEMBER that. Especially if she’s a fussy sleeper your strategy might need to change often. What worked today might not work tomorrow. If that happens, don’t freak. Just start mixing and matching until you find another strategy.
If you have a friend or family who’s struggling with baby sleep or someone who’s about to give birth, be a good friend or family and pass this post along. Nothing’s more precious to a new mom than the gift of some good, solid sleep.