Babies have always been cute as buttons, but when they can’t sleep it makes things hard. One of the common sleeping problems that moms often run into is babies not sleeping without motion. This can often be because the babies are used to falling asleep in their rocker swings of being held or bounced, but this can be fixed! Don’t worry!
How do you help a baby who won’t sleep without motion? To help a baby learn to sleep without motion, you will have to slowly wean them off of it. You can do this in a multitude of ways including slowing down the speed of your swing, turning on a massager and setting that in the crib, and even putting the swing inside the crib or giving your baby a luxurious massage.
Babies sometimes need to be weaned out of sleeping with motion and there are plenty of ways you can do it. If you want to learn about these ways of weaning your baby out of motion dependent sleep, keep reading and I can help you learn about many of the ways you can do so.
For this method of weaning your baby out of their swing and into their crib to sleep, you should set your baby’s swing into his or her crib. When it is time for the baby to go to sleep, you will put the baby in the secured swing and turn it on like you normally would with it outside of the crib. Then you will start doing the same thing at a slower speed. Then slower again. After that, you will need to start putting your baby in its swing and leave it turned off and then take the swing out completely and hopefully, your baby will sleep in the crib. You will need to do each step for about a week before moving onto the next. For this method, you will NEED to be present and awake while your baby is in the swing placed in its crib to make sure everything stays fine.
This is more of a secondary, after an initial weaning method. For this method, you would get one of those cheap vibrating back massagers and simply turn this on and set it on the mattress of your baby’s crib while it sleeps. This will imitate the sound of the motor on your babies swing and make it feel like it is in motion while laying stationary in its crib. Once your baby is asleep you can turn off the massager and remove it. Eventually, you will take the massager away completely and your baby will sleep in its crib just fine.
Another method you could use is giving your baby a relaxing massage. Just lightly massage their backs about twenty minutes before their nap and once they are relaxed it is clear to put them in their cribs. This method is helpful because it relaxes them so much that they almost get too tired to notice or care that their crib or (swing) isn’t moving. The massage also helps to mimic that movement they would originally have from their swing. When giving your baby a massage, avoid rubbing because your baby may not like it. Instead, focus on giving gentle squeezes. When massaging your baby you will also need to keep the room a dark and relaxing setting with some peaceful white noise or other soothing sounds. After your baby is relaxed from their back massage, before putting him or her into their crib, lay your hands on their back for a few minutes so they still feel that comforting presence and pressure to continue relaxing them.
By keeping a routine schedule for your baby, they will be much more relaxed because they will know what to expect and they won’t be stressed out by a new schedule all of the time. Keeping a consistent daily schedule for the baby helps to prevent them from getting confused as well. When they don’t follow a consistent schedule, they get confused as to whether they should be sleeping or eating or playing and this confusion causes the baby to get stressed out.
White noise is another one of my most recommended tips. This noise is relaxing and creates a peaceful presence in the room for your baby. What is white noise though? Well, white noise mimics the noise in the utero. The entire time a baby is growing in a mother’s womb it’s a very LOUD place. You would be surprised! Crying babies with colic also respond well to vacuum cleaners and hair dryers for some reason! They respond by stopping their crying immediately. It’s really remarkable to see a baby stop crying as soon as someone turns on the hairdryer.
This noise is all your baby heard for nine months and hearing it to go to sleep, though it may sound crazy and obnoxious, is super helpful because it is super comfortable. It also will help to drown out any other distracting noise happening outside your baby’s bedroom such as cars, neighbors, or a t.v. show for example. This tip has saved me time and time again and my baby sleeps very well with this method.
Another thing that will help your baby to relax and go to sleep is to keep their room as a familiar place because change is stressful for them. By keeping it a very familiar place for them, they will be more relaxed and up to sleeping because everything is just right. Without their familiarity, they get confused as to where they are and what they are supposed to be doing. Along with this concept of unfamiliarity, it stresses them out BECAUSE it is so different and confusing for them.
Another thing that will really help your baby adapt to its new sleeping conditions is establishing sleep cues. These “sleep cues” are simply routine things that your baby can associate with “Oh! Now it’s time for bed!” These cues can be things such as loud white noise, a tight swaddle, a pacifier, a dark room, and even a specific bedtime and reading a story. Routine plays a huge role in sleep cues because your preferred routine is what establishes what those sleep cues are. With sleep cues already establish with your baby, it will make it easier to wean them off of movement sleeping because the only thing you will be changing throughout their entire routine is their bed. They will still have all of their other sleep cues to focus on that will make it easy for them to still notice all the cues and recognize that it means it’s bedtime.
When you are transitioning your baby’s sleep routine from movement sleeping to still sleeping you should make the transition a gradual process as to not confuse the baby too much. If you try to make changes that are too rapid you will stress the baby out by confusing it from its normal routine which can cause a whole other set of temporary issues. By making the change gradual and making lots of small tweaks that are about a week apart, you give the baby time to adjust to each small change and not have as much trouble with the transition in its nightly bedtime routine.
Like I have stated before, babies love and need routine. Without their routine, they get confused, flustered, and stressed out which leads to a very unhappy baby. Unhappy babies are never fun to deal with either. All we want is for our babies to be comfortable and feel safe and to SLEEP SOUNDLY.
Along with transitioning your cute baby from sleeping in their moving swing, or other movement devices, you will need to be prepared for some temporary discomfort for both you and the baby. When you start changing their routine bit by bit to transition them into their still sleeping style instead of movement sleeping style, they will notice the difference and show signs of discomfort. This is a completely normal reaction. My best advice to you is to make sure your alterations to transition them are small tweaks and only add a tweak to the routine every week. When you do these tweaks your baby will most likely fuss and not be a happy camper but you simply have to wade it out as long as possible and try again until it works. It will take a while for your little one to adjust to, but it will work. You simply have to be there for your baby while still having them wade it out enough to get used to it. If you immediately pick up your baby when they are upset and hold them and bounce them around to settle them down and get them to sleep after they show discomfort, then they will never learn or get used to still movement sleeping.
My baby is having an extra hard time transitioning from motion to still sleep. Could I be doing this too soon? Generally, babies sleep with motion for the first 3-4 months and then after that is when is best to wean them off of sleeping with motion. If your baby is still a little young it is okay to let them sleep with motion longer and the older they are the easier they will transition or grow out of it.