Baby Sleep Techniques
Keeping your movements gentle is a simple way to help your baby get to sleep

When you’re trying to get your baby to sleep, it’s important to keep your movements as gentle as possible.  Fast or startling movements will only serve to wake baby up even more.  Your goal right now is to lull baby to sleep by creating an environment that encourages relaxation and rest.

The key to telling baby it’s time to sleep is to slow everything down.  Try these key ways to indicate to baby that it’s time to wind down:

Walk Slowly To Get Baby To Sleep

Keep your physical movements slow and steady.  Don’t rush to baby, and don’t make any sudden actions.  If you are already holding baby, don’t bounce rapidly.  Instead, try a gentle swinging motion combined with talking in a gentle, calming voice.

To keep yourself from speeding up, repeat a slow song in your head or count methodically.  This helps your brain slow down and not get too stressed from the situation.

Baby Can’t Sleep? Try Talking Slowly and Softly 

Help baby understand that it’s time to sleep by speaking softly and slowly.  Avoid varying your tone a lot with the baby, as this will cause him to perk up.  Instead, sing quietly or just talk, allowing your voice to turn into quiet white noise for baby.

Taper your conversation into a whisper for a few minutes, and eventually let it stop.  Baby needs to learn to fall asleep without your voice, or you will become locked in a cycle of needing to be awake every time baby needs to fall asleep. This is especiall important if you are attempting any kind of baby sleep training.

Help Baby Sleep By Keeping Your Facial Expressions Neutral

Your baby is trained by nature to recognize your face, and she can recognize your feelings too.  Your emotions trigger her emotions, so keep your face neutral.  Avoid expressions like these:

  1. Smiling widely
  2. Frowning
  3. Getting angry
  4. Sadness
  5. Widening or narrowing of the eyes

When you are looking at baby, focus on relaxing your face muscles, which will help her relax.  Keep your eyes soft and your mouth neutral, as it would be in sleep. 

Finally, avoid changing your facial expressions rapidly, such as raising your eyebrows quickly or breaking into a smile.  Baby will pay attention to your face and watch the changing expressions rather than drifting off to sleep.

Baby Sleep Solution: Relax Your Body

If you’re holding baby, keep your arms relaxed.  Fold him into your body to increase his feeling of being protected, and let your own stress go.  If you hold tension in your neck, back, or arms, baby will feel it and will have a harder time relaxing himself.

    23 replies to "Baby Sleep Techniques"

    • Sonya

      My 8mth old is still waking up alot maybe 4 times a nite crying, I don’t pick her up but sometimes I put her pacificer in and give a couple rubs to the foor head which quites her down. I do sometimes pic her up once a nite and feed her usually if she wakes between 1-3pm because I will have to pump anyway. What do you suggest???


      Elize Reply:

      Try turning your baby on her other side. Like us, it is very uncomfortable for them to sleep on the same side for the whole evening. She wil go right back to sleep and sleep longer periods.


    • Amanda

      I also have a 7mn. old that wakes sverel times a night for her pacifire. I have been trying slowly just to get reid of it.Is cold turkey better? When she falls asleep at night she falls asleep w/o it,But when she wakes at night that is what she wants.She doesn’t have it at all anymore during the day (awake time)But sometimes during daytime naps that’s the only way she’ll go down???? any advice????


    • areli

      i have a 3 and 3 weeks old son and i am trying to make a ruteing with him but i cant understand why some days are easy and there are days that it seems like we never done the ruteing and doesnt wanna go to sleep……what you think maybe i should change my rutine or keep on alittle more plz any advise


    • Celine

      I have a 2 year old who was a great sleeper to start, that was until she took the chickenpox at 4 months. Since then she hasn’t slept a full night. There are some nights she will waken once, others twice or even 3 times. Some nights she will settle if we go into her room and sleep in the spare bed other nights she might be up for 3 or 4 hours. We have tried letting her cry it out but that didn’t work as she gets herselt into such a state it’s as if she is choking. We are totally exhausted at this stage not having got a full nights sleep in over a year and a half.

      At the mintue we are trying to get her into a routine which is helping get her to sleep but not to stay asleep. if you have any advice on how to get her to sleep that would be great.


    • Theresa

      My two years old daughter learnt to sleep through the night when she was nine months old. But my son is now one year and still wants a feed at night. It wears me out as I am a full time working mum. I have tried all the advice out there and nothing has helped so far. I find myself aching and yawning through out the day from lack of sleep and sometimes, I feel like screaming.


    • Andrea

      My 22 month old son was sleeping through, kind of!!, never been a solid sleeper, alway restless growning in the night (more towards the early hours of the morning) and if I left him to long without putting his soother in he would be awake. His own routine changed just before christmas and him being unwell shortly after delayed me finding his new sleep pattern. He was very reluctant to go down for his nap ( of 2-3hrs) and went a week without napping and bed time became tougher, climing out of crib, also bitten through soothers so had to take them away which was the way I got him off sleep if he woke up in the night, Also changed his crib to his cot bed. I know I maybe shouldnt have changed his bed but I cant go backwards???
      I know he still needs a nap as he is very cranky if he dosnt or he will fall asleep at 4 or 5pm.
      I have made his room lovely with soft music, night lights etc but bed time seems to end in tears and be such a battle to actually get him to lie down in his bed.


    • Mummy to Oliver

      Hi I was an 8 month old little boy and am finding it so hard to get him in his own cot, from my own mistake Ive had my baby in my bed since he was about 4months and now he will not settle or sleep on his own cot? I have tried your self soothing routine with him, I walk in every couple of minutes to re assure him! But walking in and just seems to make him worst!! It takes me ip to 2 hours per night to get him to drift off on his own! And when he evtuallu does he will wake an hour layer and then will go all through this routine again? I feel do evil as I know I’m to blame for putting him in my bed.. Please if you have anymore tips… Let us know 🙂


    • angela morgan

      my one year and seven month old was breast fed until eight months old then went onto a bottle since then he wakes up four times throughout the night looking to be held and fed im due again in june ive tried letting him cry bathing reading stories winding him down switching everything of so theres no noise but it doesnt work now he can climb out of the cot so u cant leave the room any suggestions


    • ki

      My son is 5 1/2 months and I have found that if u keep them on a time schedule at nite it works. About 9:30 or 10 I give my son a warm bath or just a nice warm wash up, then a nice warm bottle and lay down with him in a quiet environment he falls asleep better. He will usually sleep thru the nite. He will sometimes wake up once about 3 and we will lay him on our chest and he’ll go back to sleep. Other times he’ll wake up about 6:30 or 7 and want a bottle. Stay with the routine it really works.


    • sandhya

      My kid is 2 years 6 months girl i we don’t no why she will crying while going to travel in bus,train or any other vehicles starting she will enjoy and nice after sleeping 1 or 2 hours sometimes 4 hours she suddenly staring to cry she will not stop upto 20 min to 50 minutes continuosly crying its getting distabence to others in bus or something we are asking so many ways what you want why are you crying we don’t no she will not tell anything.before mother feeding it wasd not there. can you give any suggestions to that girl.


    • Laura

      Good article, great tips! I do have a bedtime routine, but sometimes it takes a while to get him settled, especially if I’ve missed that crucial window of time where he’s ready for bed, but not overtired. And it can be REEEEEALLY frustrating! Like last night…I tried to put him down for a 3rd nap at 5 or 5:30…tried to settle him 3 different times, and he still didn’t sleep. So, I tried again at 7, I think, by which time it was a little too late. It took me til after 9:00 to finally get him to sleep, poor baby. 🙁


    • Bibs

      My daughter is 8 months old and has not made it through a whole night since coming home from the hospital. Tried all different sorts of methods and nothing seems to work. I’m exhausted and just wish she would sleep.


    • Dorianne

      My daughter is 1year and 3 months. At 8.30 i try to take her to sleep and I do a whole hour trying till she sleeps in our bed and when I try to put her in hers she wakes up. Sometimes I give up and leave her on my bed surrounded with cussions and all the necessary not to fall so I can continue with my house work as I am a full time worker. I tried some of your suggestions. sometimes i see them working but sometimes its all invain. Please any more suggestions


    • Tshego

      I understand how Areli feels. I have a four week old son and some nights it’s easy to put him to sleep and some nights I feel like I’m failing in a big way. Please HELP 🙁


    • V Hindley

      I have and 8 Month old son who has been a terrible sleeper since 3 weeks old. I bought it would get better with time but it seems to be worse! He goes down pretty well at 7 but that’s because he falls asleep having his bottle. He sleeps until 930-1030 when I feed him again and he falls asleep having his bottle. He wakes hen usually around 130 &4 ish. I feed him at least once in the night and he takes a big feed. I know I should try and put him down at 7 awake but I tried for 5 days and it took 2.5 hrs each night to get him to sleep and he still woke twice so I lost my evening and still had a rubbish nights sleep!!
      He naps well and can go to sleep in his cot during the day as long as I sit beside the cot.

      I am going back to work in 4 weeks and I am terrified of what his nights sleep will be like when he has been away from me all day.
      I also can’t stand to let him cry.


    • sara

      I’ve read most of the books, researched all of the methods and nothing works. I have an 8 month old son. He has been on a routine since birth. I thought maybe he was teething but his teeth have come in and still no sleep. He doesn’t get a bottle at night when he wakes up cause I’ve weened him from it. My husband is military so I try to not wake him up by letting him cry. But it wouldn’t matter cause the cry it out method doesn’t work either. Please help.


    • Maria

      I have a 6 1/2 month old, tried the cry it out method when he was 4 worked wonders for a week untill the routine got interrupted by the grandparents. We tried to get back in to it BUT baby started to wake up , 2 then 3 now up to 5 times at night, i was so tired i ended up picking him up and breast feeding him, even worst, i feed him in my bed and let him sleep the rest of the night with us, so i WOUlDNT have to get up again to make him fall back sleep. What can i DO??? does your book talk about this particular issue?


    • chioma Ugwuibe

      Hi dear, I feel you am a 1st time mum wth a 2mnths old baby. What I ‘ll advise, don’t be in a hurry to put such a small child on any routine. Be sure that at each point baby wakes that he is comfortable, ie well fed, nappy changed, clothing dry and confy, sleeping area same. If you are breastfeeding make sure baby is sucking well. When you do these they sleep for longer hours. After a while you will understand her pattern and be able to work a routine around it.
      Take care


    • Heather

      Hi,i have a 6 month old she is impossable to get to sleep.she doesnt fall asleep til 4 or 5am and wakes by 9 or 10am in the morning,then shell fall back out by 1 or 2pm for a nap, sometimes.then sometimes she will stay awake till 7 or 8pm not getting a nap til then, so she doesnt get much sleep maybe 5 or 6 hours.i dont know what to do ive tried the quiet thing walking her around a warm bath,i think ive tried everything possable,i need some help please.i have a 10 and 6 year old that i have to take care of to,i get them off to school i get 2 hours of sleep and then get them up and go back to sleep for 2 hours then the baby gets up i have no energy at all,i dont know what to do 4 to 5 hours of sleep a nite just isnt cutting it,i cant nap at 2 if she does because the kids are coming home from school and we both get woke up,she sleeps at 7 till 9pm a nap and then shes up for the nite till 4 or so am.she needs more sleep and so do i so please help me i dont know what else to do.


    • maria

      Hello everybody,

      My son now 3 months old was and still is an excessive crying baby. But thanks to this book “My first 300 babies” by Hendrick Gladys our lives changed completley. In three days we and he managed to sleep through the night. the secret is to make a schedule for the baby. After putting our baby on the schedule recommended by the author of this book we saw imediat change. She has the experience of over 800 babies in 35 years of closely working with babies. The author knows babies very well and knows how they behave in the different parts of the day. The schedule and the advices she gives worked for all her babies without exception. For our baby it worked too. Thanks to God we found this book. We recomend it to all parents who have babies that have problems with sleep or excessive crying of the baby.


    • Myia

      I started sleep training with my 6mth old 7 days ago. Prior to this she never went to bed before about 12-1am, and she would wake about 2-3 times a night. Last week I began the “cry it out” method and it has worked in conjunction with keeping a routine during the day and creating a bedtime ritual. Initially it took her a long time to fall asleep, but as the days went on the crying is much less or non existent and she doesn’t wake at night (or if she does she goes back to sleep on her own). It has really saved my life as I am a stay at home mom at the moment and was nearing the end of my rope! It’s helped me to become better rested which gives me the energy and mental well being to be a loving and active mommy! It’s also helped my relationship with my husband!!
      But for the moms who are having trouble after attempting many things, do you guys keep ur children on a schedule throughout the day, or just at night? Because that is what really turned it around for my daughter. We do the same things everyday and I try to do them at approximately the same times everyday as well.


    • Sean

      We need help. Our daughter is now 21 months old. She was always a great sleeper, put her down, she stayed fast asleep from about 8 pm till 10 am. Then when she was about 6 months old we went to visit some family out of town,since then, she refuses to sleep in her own bed. When we attempt to put her in her bed, she will start crying and get so worked up she vomits on her self,even when we stay right there with her and attempt to console her. So, from there we purchased one of the small toddler beds that uses a crib mattress thinking that may help, same thing. She sleeps just fine in bed with us, falls asleep usually within 2 minutes and typically stays asleep the whole night. Unless we attempt to put her in her own bed, if we do, she wakes up within 30 minutes screaming and crying. We have no idea what to do , as obviously the cry it out method would not work here as within 5 minutes of trying she would just vomit all over self.


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