100 Ways to Get Your Baby to Sleep

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Some babies are advanced sleepers.

These advanced sleepers fall asleep during tummy time. They fall asleep while eating. They drift off sleep without a peep when you put them down “drowsy but awake.”

Despite my disbelief, these babies do exist. Those lucky parents. 

Unfortunately for me and the bags under my eyes, my children are not advanced sleepers. My infant daughter would sooner stand up, walk out the door and drive herself to the supermarket than fall asleep in the middle of the living room floor.

I now have had the pleasure of battling two babies to sleep over the course of two years. Naturally, I believe I’m well-versed in the art of “getting a baby to sleep.” So, I’m here to share more than a few dozen ways to get your baby to sleep. I make no guarantees that these ways will keep your baby asleep, but I would bet the 2-4 straight hours of sleep I get a night if at least one of these ideas doesn’t work on your child.

 I may or may not have tried all of these on this list with one baby or another. 

100 Ways to Get Your Baby to Sleep

100 Ways to Get Your Baby to Sleep

  1. Put baby down in crib drowsy, but awake. Let them drift off to sleep peacefully. Snort!
  2. Nurse baby to sleep.
  3. Bottle feed baby to sleep.
  4. Bottle feed then nurse baby to sleep.
  5. Calmly hold baby in your arms while she falls asleep.
  6. Swaddle baby, put a pacifier in her mouth, then calmly hold baby in your arms while she falls asleep.
  7. Swaddle baby, put a pacifier in her mouth, then bounce baby back and forth while shushing loudly in her ear “Happiest Baby on the Block-style.”
  8. Swaddle baby, put a pacifier in her mouth, then bounce baby back and forth with a sound machine on, giving your lips a break from all that shushing.
  9. Try the ocean sounds!
  10. Try the white noise!
  11. Try the gentle rain!
  12. Gently rock baby to sleep in a rocking chair.
  13. Vigorously rock baby to sleep in a rocking chair.
  14. Vigorously rock baby to sleep in a rocking chair while softly patting baby’s back.
  15. Vigorously rock baby to sleep in a rocking chair while softly patting baby’s back with your left hand and covering her eyes with your right.
  16. Vigorously rock baby to sleep in a rocking chair while softly patting baby’s back with your left hand, covering her eyes with your right while leaning her against your chest in order to keep the pacifier in.
  17. Do above, but start singing quiet lullabies.
  18. Sing all of the slow songs in Disney movies!
  19. Sing show tunes!
  20. Sing Patriotic songs!
  21. Sing church songs!
  22. Sing boy band songs from the early 2000s.(Tell me why! Why won’t you go to sleep today?! Backstreet Boys, anyone?)
  23. Stand up and start pacing around the room.
  24. While pacing around the room, rub your baby’s back.
  25. Try patting your baby’s back while pacing around the room.
  26. Try patting to the sound of a heartbeat in order to “mimic the womb” while pacing around the room.
  27. Start doing the “baby bounce” while swaying side to side that every new parents seems to know instinctively.
  28. Keep bouncing while humming random sounds because your throat hurts from singing.
  29. Start dancing around the room while holding your baby. Please be careful. 
  30. Walk up and down the stairs over and over again. Again, please be careful. 
  31. Buy a Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit then lay them flat on their back in the crib.  Be sure to take a picture first. Sorry, W. 100 Ways to Put Your Baby to Sleep  then lay them flat on their back in the crib.  Be sure to take a picture first. Sorry, W. 
  32. Put baby in a baby carrier.
  33. Put baby in a baby carrier, attach carrier hood.
  34. Put baby in a baby carrier, attach carrier hood, hold pacifier in your baby’s mouth until falls asleep.
  35. Put baby in a baby carrier, attach carrier hood, hold pacifier in your baby’s mouth with your right hand while holding your cell phone playing a white noise app to their ear with your left.
  36. Try an ERGO carrier.
  37. Try a Baby K’tan carrier.
  38. Try a Mei Tai carrier.
  39. Drive around the block a number of times.
  40. Put baby in a bouncer.
  41. Put baby in a swing.
  42. Put baby in that Mamaroo-thing.
  43. Put baby in a rock ‘n playTry not to cry over all the money you’ve spent on contraptions design to get your baby to sleep. 
  44. Bounce baby on an exercise ball.
  45. Swaddle baby then aggressively bounce on an exercise ball.
  46. Play a sound machine, swaddle baby, bounce on an exercise ball and keep a pacifier in her mouth.
  47. Play a sound machine, swaddle baby, bounce on an exercise ball, keep a pacifier in her mouth with your right hand and pat her back with your left.
  48. Hold baby in your arms while she cries herself to sleep. Try your best not to cry too. 
  49. Swaddle baby and lay them flat on their back in the crib.
  50. Swaddle baby with their arms out and lay them flat on their back in the crib.
  51. Curse the authorities who warn not to lay baby on side and/or stomach. Still try it anyway.
  52. Try that thing you saw in a video on facebook where you fold your baby’s arms over one another, angle her at 45 degrees and gentle bounce up and down.
  53. Try that other thing you saw in a video on facebook where they wiped the tissue over the baby’s face a few times.
  54. Head back to the rocking chair with baby swaddled, with the sound machine roaring, with the pacifier securely in baby’s mouth and try wiping a tissue over baby’s face a few times.
  55. Try gently massaging baby’s face.
  56. Try rubbing baby’s head.
  57. Try closing baby’s eyes with your hand.
  58. Start pacing again, supporting baby with your left arm, patting her back with your left hand, holding the pacifier in her mouth with your right thumb while covering her eyes with the rest of your right fingers.
  59. Do above, but put a cloth diaper on your shoulder to cover her eyes instead.
  60. Place baby in crib and gently rub her back until she falls asleep.
  61. Place baby in crib and pat her back until she falls asleep.
  62. Place baby in crib, pat her back and softly sing a nursery rhyme.
  63. Sing Christmas carols!
  64. Sing the songs your high school’s band used to play!
  65. Sing Boys II Men songs. (Although we’ve come to the end of the road!) 
  66. Stop singing, put arms through the crib slots and gently pat your baby’s back since your armpits are starting to hurt from leaning over the crib railing.
  67. Physically get into the crib with your baby and snuggle her up.
  68. Start patting her back.
  69. Struggle to get out of the crib with your baby, take crib mattress and put it on the floor so you can comfortably lay next to your baby.
  70. Snuggle baby on her mattress on the floor then sneak away while she’s sleeping.
  71. Snuggle baby while patting her back while on the mattress on the floor.
  72. Snuggle baby while patting her back and covering her eyes while on the mattress on the floor.
  73. Invest in some black out shades.
  74. Put an article of clothing that you’ve worn all day somewhere near your baby while she’s on the mattress on the floor.
  75. Bed-share
  76. Try giving your baby a bath to calm them and “put them in the mood for sleep.”
  77. Try giving your baby a massage.
  78. Avoid eye contact with your baby so not to get them all excited.
  79. Put a fan in baby’s room.
  80. Put baby in super-comfy jammies.
  81. Hold baby while drying your hair.
  82. Hold baby while vacuuming the carpet.
  83. Hold baby while sitting on the dryer.
  84. Record all those sounds and play them while rocking baby back and forth.
  85. Take baby on a walk around the block. Try not to scream at the loud trucks that pass by.
  86. Take baby on a walk to the beach if you happen to have one near.
  87. Take baby on a walk on a really cold day. Don’t they do that in Iceland?
  88. Take a trip to Iceland and have them nap there.
  89. Maybe they’ll nap on the plane!
  90. Try taking them on a train.
  91. Or, they could fall asleep on a bus.
  92. A boat?
  93. Travel to an island and rock your baby to sleep in a hammock on the beach. I think I may be getting off track here. 
  94. Read that creepy book that’s supposed to hypnotize your baby into sleeping.
  95. Or, read aloud any book in a soft, dull voice.
  96. Recite poetry to your baby.
  97. Recite poetry while rocking your baby to sleep.
  98. Recite poetry while rocking your baby to sleep while patting her back with the pacifier in and the sound machine going and a cloth diaper covering her eyes.
  99. Close your own eyes. Maybe your baby will mimic you.
  100. Rationally and calmly inform your baby, “It’s time for you to sleep, little one.” Who knows? Maybe she’ll do it on her own.

If you are struggling with your FOMO baby, I hope this list helps you in your daily quest to put that baby to sleep. Be sure to choose wisely though. I’m sure you don’t want to  be stuck singing Backstreet Boys before every nap until your baby has grown into a toddler… or maybe you do.

100 Ways To Get Your Baby to Sleep

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