By Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns ~~~
You may have tried to put your newborn into bed while obviously tired but awake, and every time your baby’s eyes pop wide open and the fussing begins the moment you even lean over the crib with the intent of putting her there. You may be wondering what the heck you are doing wrong. Probably the answer is: Nothing!
There are some newborn babies who simply cannot put themselves to sleep easily. These babies will stay grumpily, unhappily, miserably awake until you do something to make sleep happen: nursing, rocking, holding, or bouncing. These babies honestly need your help. It appears to me, after working with thousands of newborns, that these babies have a harder time adjusting to life outside the womb, where they had 24/7 holding, rocking, swaying and shushing. Anything less than the 24/7 care they are accustomed to is unacceptable! These precious little ones need more assistance to fall asleep.
News flash! Don’t assume you have one of these babies unless you have tried putting your little one to bed tired but awake a number of times over a period of weeks. The key is to watch your baby for clear tired signs and set up the room to be peaceful, dark. Add some gentle sounds of white noise and a rocking cradle to help your newborn fall asleep. Some babies are slow to get the idea, but they do eventually. So give it a good college try!
If you have tried to lay your baby down sleepy instead of sleeping a dozen or more times and it never, ever works, then you may have to admit that yours is one of those little guys who need more help, at least for now. Pause this idea and come back to it in a couple weeks, or even a month or two – babies change rapidly and they can make drastic changes in a month’s time.
Elizabeth Pantley is a mother of four, grandmother, and author of the bestselling book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns plus 8 other books in the No-Cry Solution Series, which helps Moms and Dads through all key stages of parenting. Visit her at nocrysolution.com.