Your 4 Best Signs for Easily Putting Baby to Sleep

By: Dalene Joubert

One of the first things new parents discover is that putting baby to sleep is not always easy.

Coming out of the gate, it's often difficult to put a newborn down. This isn't because babies don't want to go to sleep, rather it's because parents aren't quite ready to stop staring at their tiny new bundles of joy.

Before too long, however, most parents find themselves more than ready for a break. This is when they find putting baby to sleep is quite a job in many cases.

While it is hard to discern right away if a newborn will fall into a three, four or even five-hour schedule, there are things parents can watch for to help them figure it out.

Scheduling is always a good thing to have in place, but there are other signs to be aware of beyond the time on the clock.

Here are a few simple signs for when it is probably time to put your baby down for a nap:

* She starts rubbing her eyes. This is a fairly good indicator that she is tired. Even if she's only been awake for an hour or two, in the first few weeks of life, it's normal.

* Yawning. It's hard to deny this signal even in adults. If she's yawning, try letting her rest.

* Loss of eye contact. If she starts looking away a lot, she might be too sleepy to try and maintain eye contact. If this sign is coupled with the others, it is time for a nap.

* Cranky behavior. When babies start fussing, at least half the time they are nothing more than tired. This will become very evident in the toddler years, but it counts in the newborn days, too.

Learning that putting baby to sleep when she is tired is a great way to start establishing a routine and getting a schedule going. If she does happen to have her nights and days mixed up, don't necessarily try to fix this in the first few weeks of life.

As she gets a few weeks under her bonnet, however, slowly adjust the schedule. In the meantime, you can help yourself by watching for her cues and creating a bedtime routine.

When a good bedtime routine is in place, putting baby to sleep comes a little easier.

For creating a routine, consider a very basic plan at first.

The initial routine can include nothing more than a cuddle, a song and a kiss on the head. As she gets older, you might want to incorporate a story, play time or a few others things.

Should baby be having trouble falling to sleep, there are things you can do to help.

The first is to make sure there is nothing wrong with her. If all appears well, check her room for distractions, lighting issues or even too much sound coming in.

If baby's room is as comfortable and even as dark as possible, chances are putting baby to sleep will not be that difficult - especially if she's put down when she's really tired.

Once you get a hang of the signs and can bring yourself to actually put her down, you are sure on the winning path and closer to a good night's sleep.

Getting a handle on putting your baby to sleep is almost never easy. So, don't count on marathon sleep session coming for quite some time.

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