One year of being a Dad has helped me understand that there is no specific formula towards getting my daughter to sleep. I do have my routine depending on the signs I get from her behavior. But some days like last night it does take me a while more to find out why she does not want to go to sleep and on other occasions she just falls asleep of exhaustion before I identify the issue.
Mental Check List
I have my own checklist when it comes to my daughter not wanting to go to sleep. I observe her and try to look for a way to identify why she does not want to go to sleep. Last night I ran out of options on my mental checklist so I decided to validate with my partner Lucy and she pointed out that is might be her teething again. We proceeded to follow our pediatrician’s advice on giving her infant pain reliever and that helped in calming her down. During the day we try to deal with teething in a more natural way.
Don’t Miss the Window of Opportunity
Another thing is to observe your baby when she starts showing signs of being tired. For our daughter the regular routines by her crying and once you give her a blanket if she responds by cuddling with it then we know she needs a nap or sleep. On those occasions we make sure to comfort her as much as possible to make sure that she can get her nap.
Eliminate Distractions and Unnecessary Noises
On occasions an outside noise or more frequently our Two Year Old Labrador Juanga decides to bark just when our daughter is starting to fall asleep. This can disturb my daughter’s sleep. Once we identify that our daughter is falling asleep, we go into what we use to call in the military “Radio and Noise silence mode”. Making sure Juanga is also not triggered to bark is another one of our key tasks and also choosing the room with less noise if their is outside noise.
Beware of the KnowItAlls
Lucy wrote about Parent Knowitalls on a previous post. Not only will you get advice from everyone on how to approach sleeping, but always keep in mind the importance of that advice making sense for your child. Sometimes people forget that children are individuals and react differently towards any actions. Also I don’t consider myself an expert on the subject. I am just sharing what works for me and invite you to share what has worked for you in the comments area.
Magical Sleeping tools & Contraptions
There are also an unlimited list of items, gadgets, and contraptions that can supposedly take away the parenting duties and hypnotized your infant to sleep. Do your research before buying any of these contraptions and make sure they go with your style of life and parenting and most importantly that they are safe.
Work as a Team
We will be creating a guest post on how Lucy and I work as a team for another blog. I think that the best decisions we make or when we solve a problem in record time it is because we have both worked on finding a solution to the problem. Remember even if you are a single mom or dad, we have the alliance here to help. Comment on our posts, ask questions, and/or contact us directly.
Keeping the Light Low
Although we need to work on this a bit better since we want to also be able to check up on our daughter I have noticed that when the light is off it helps our daughter sleep better.
I leave this to Lucy for obvious reasons but breastfeeding on many occasions can make your infant comfortable enough where he can start to dose off. One of the few things Dad’s are limited to help with.
Since I run my own business I work all day and also help with taking care of Daniela so I really have no set work hours. In the evening as soon as I see my daughter is showing that she is tired I run into my bedtime ritual or routing that can have the following actions:
1. Rocking Chair
We have a rocking chair in the living room once I have given her her blanket and she cuddles with it, I put her in my arms and rock her to sleep.
2. Massaging your Baby
If I see she needs a bit of help realizing its time for her to go sleep, I will massage her and try to comfort her as much as possible.
3. Changing my Tone of Voice
I try to communicate with her in a calm matter. This might be difficult for parents that are tired and are waiting for their infant to go to sleep but the calmer and more soothing your tone of voice or actions are the quicker I have found out to have my daughter fall to sleep. So if you are cranky yourself dig deep and control your emotions so you can both get the much-needed rest.
Sleep when Baby is Asleep
I barely sleep but on occasions I find myself trying to continue when I really need to shut down. A good option is to have a parent that is with the baby to rest when the baby is resting. This can bring many benefits and help you with having adequate level of energy when your infant does not want to go to sleep.
Leave a Personal Item
We leave Lucy’s robe next to my daughter. On occasions I have taken my shirt with my scent and put it next to her so she can get the feeling that I am closer than I really am.
Less or No Caffeine
For Breastfeeding mothers you might need to watch your caffeine intake. Remember if you get a boost they baby will eventually get one too and it might keep her running when she should have been resting.
Don’t pay attention to the Clock Away
Something I learned while in Basic Training in the Military when I was a teenager was to not focus on what time it was and when I had to be up and running. The level of stress would add up if I started thinking of how little I would sleep and that would eventually make me sleep even less.
I did some research and also choose a few tips from the references below that I use. But I highly recommend you to visit these two links they have dozens of tips on how to deal with a baby not wanting to sleep.
Other Blogs touching the same subject that inspire this post and I recommend you to read:
If everything else fails then watch the video on our previous post.
Any other tips you would like to share?