Create a quiet environment.

I can’t stand it when people say that a baby should learn to sleep anywhere. Would you feel comfortable sleeping at a train station?

Babies can’t edit out noise or anything visually interesting. I would notice my baby slowly nodding off to sleep and then snap back when he’d hear a dog barking in the distance, or he’d look up at the shadows on the wall, or he’d get startled if my husband was clattering in the kitchen.

So it’s important to create a quiet environment. Think about how you tuck yourself to sleep. You draw the blinds, you close the lights, you get comfortable. Same thing for a baby. In fact, I make it part of the nighttime ritual.  I walk around the house dimming the lights and say “It’s time to close the lights… It’s time to close the blinds… It’s time to go to sleep.” Your baby will sense the pace is slowing down, even if he doesn’t understand the words.

A very young baby will sleep pretty much anywhere, anytime. But that’s because they’re easily exhausted and they don’t care what’s going on around them, as long as mommy is there. When they start getting a little older, their attention span grows and expands beyond mommy’s arms. It’s like their world gets a little bigger and much more interesting. And even when they’re really tired, almost anything will capture their attention.

Create a quiet environment so baby understands that it’s time to relax, quiet down, and close their eyes. It doesn’t have to be dead silence or pitch black. Just enough for them to notice a difference between daytime and nighttime.

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Filed under Basic Tips, Putting Baby to Sleep

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