How to Get Your Baby to Sleep

By: Boone County Health Center

If you’re having a hard time getting your baby to sleep, here are a few helpful pointers from our expert and head of Obstetrics, Maria Kinney:

1. Swaddle your baby with arms out.

Your baby’s hands were his best friends in utero. He could suck on his thumb or his fingers anytime he was the least bit disturbed or uncomfortable. 

If, all of the sudden, he has them taken away by swaddling or mittens, he has no way of soothing himself. So take the mittens off and loosen his blanket so he can get to his hands.

He might scratch himself, but it will heal very rapidly. After all, he had fingernails when he was inside you, and no one put mittens on him then!

The SleepSack Swaddle blanket you received as a gift when you delivered at Boone County Health Center is safe to use for swaddling.   

2. Snuggle your baby into a deep sleep.

Babies go into a light sleep state (REM) first and then cycle in and out of REM and deep sleep about every half hour or so. Laying your baby down when they are in a deep sleep will help them stay asleep.

First: After a good feeding, when your baby drifts off to sleep, break the suction and slide the nipple gently out of his mouth.

Second: Don’t move him except to pillow his head more comfortably on your breast or chest. No burping, just snuggling. If he starts to root and act as though he wants to go back to breast or bottle, this is just his way of settling and comforting.

Third: When you notice your baby’s breathing is very quiet and regular and there’s no movement beneath his eyelids, lay him down. (This may take 15 to 20 minutes.)

We hope you have a wonderful National Baby Safety Month. Don’t be afraid to give us a call if you need help! Maria Kinney can be reached at 402-395-3212.