4 Tips to Get a Fussy Baby to Sleep

An excessively fussy baby is any mother’s nightmare and could trigger postpartum depression. One of the biggest goals of a mom is to figure out how to put their babies to sleep easily. Which is why it is necessary to establish a sleep routine.

In an article on FEMAIL, Lucy Wolfe, a paediatric sleep consultant, explains that a sleeping routine formed in the first few months of a child’s life will affect how they sleep as they get older.

Lucy shares her tips on how to put a fussy in the first 6 months of their lives.

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1. Motion sleeping

Motion caused by slings, swings and buggies can be very helpful to enable sleep.

If you do opt for one of these, don’t allow your baby to stay in them for longer than instructed by the manufacturer and always use in accordance with their advice.

Also be sure to avoid overheating by removing hats and clothing indoors.

2. A dummy  

The dummy can be great to help your baby get the ‘sucking’ sensation without relying on your breast or a bottle. It can be a good way to calm your baby when they are fussy and crying, especially when combined with motion.

Be aware it might take time trying several different dummies before your baby finds one he or she likes.

If you find that they are struggling to hold it in their mouth, then gently try to remove the dummy from their mouth which can invoke the reflex to retain and encourage them to suck it back in.

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3. A comfort blanket 

A ‘comfort blanket’, ‘security item’ or ‘lovey’ are an alternative for parents and children who do not take to dummies.

To introduce a comfort blanket, it can be helpful to start by wearing it. You can then begin to slowly introduce the blanket to the bedtime routine, as well as any games you play during the day. This all increases familiarity with the item.

Then start to tuck it in with baby and on place into their hands. If your baby can acclimatise to this practise then you will likely have this with you for a long time.

Lucy’s seven-year-old son still sleeps with his comfort blanket.

Whatever you choose, ensure it is handkerchief size, safe and breathable and, from a practical point of view, washable.

4. White noise

White noise, such as the sound of a hairdryer or washing machine, or lullaby music, can be a super effective way to helping calm a fussy or crying baby. It can also help a child fall asleep faster and stay down for longer.

Whilst there are lots of toys that play white noise, Lucy advises choosing a CD instead.

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However, it is important to remember that if you play white noise or lullaby music as your child is falling asleep, it then needs to stay on for the entire sleep period. 

Over time your child will begin to associate the white noise with going to sleep so eventually you will have to ‘offload’ it and withdraw it from the routine.

To do this you can simply gradually turn down the volume until it is completely off.


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