Mastering the parenting skill of putting a baby to sleep is one of the most important, and the trickiest. Fortunately, there is plenty of parenting advice out there for how to get a baby to stop crying and fall asleep. Unfortunately, much of it is not very helpful for Moms and Dads looking for a usable answer.
Parenting Books Advice on Baby Sleep
There are literally thousands of books out there with advice for parents. Whether first time parents, or parents with previous children, there is a top parenting advice book out there waiting to be snatched off the bookstore shelf. Some of them are very authoritative sounding. They are written by doctors or they bear the names of well respected medical institutions like Children’s Hospitals or doctors groups like the American Medical Association (AMA) or the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
Other books are more “friendly” sounding. The bestselling parenting books are often among these. They take soft and comforting sounding names, some taken off of movie titles, others with warm, mellow sounding names that promise either a plan, a solution, or even a “practical approach.”
Regardless of which of these books you choose to read, they all say pretty much the same thing. While each particular book will have its own add-on steps, or a differing rationale about why their plan is the best way to get a baby to fall asleep, the core solution is always the same: using a pattern that leads up to nighttime or naptime to make it easier for baby to fall asleep.
(I will be deliberately avoiding the use of the “R” word here for those poor souls who are looking for the information contained in this article and try to find it by excluding pages that have the R word. — If you are wondering what the R word is, you haven’t read very much about sleeping babies yet 🙂
The idea is that by performing the same activities in order each time you put baby to sleep, the baby will grow accustomed to the pattern and then fall easily asleep in a peaceful no cry manner.
While the suggested events to execute this plan differ from book to book or parent advice column, the overall concept is the same. Dim the lights, minimize stimulation, read one book, sing two songs, and place the baby gently into the crib while they are drowsy, but still awake so that they can quickly soothe themselves off to dreamland. Once you’ve done this a few times, your baby will practically put themselves to sleep.
This is the kind of sleeping solution that only an academic or clinician could love. It is very true. This procedure does, in fact, work to help all babies fall asleep faster and easier. So, why then is this advice so utterly worthless?
Parenting Tips for Reality – Welcome to the Nursery of the Real World
What could be simpler than establishing a repeating pattern for baby’s nighttime?
Steps To Get Baby To Sleep Easy and Fast
- Give your baby a kiss.
- Change baby’s diaper and clothes.
- Sing baby a song.
- Read baby a book.
- Sing baby another song.
- Place baby gently in the crib.
- Say Goodnight to baby.
- Walk out of room.
- Baby falls asleep.
Anyone see the catch?
The problem with the above system is that #9 has to happen BEFORE this plan can work. How can a reasonable solution include having the problem already solved as one of its steps? Just because a Top 10 Parenting Book says that establishing a nighttime ritual is the smartest parenting strategy for getting baby to sleep doesn’t mean that baby know it!
In the real nurseries and baby’s rooms of the world, little baby boys and little baby girls don’t know what comes after Step 8 (or any other step for that matter). Try the above procedure with a baby that has trouble sleeping and you’ll get a new Step #10 – Baby cries! Unfortunately, this plan has the same last step.
BEFORE you can establish any sort of sleeping ritual, you have to be able to make baby fall asleep. THEN establishing a repetative pattern can help make the process of putting baby to bed easier. But, until then, the above plan is worthless with a capital ‘W’.
What parents need is a real world method of Best Tips To Get Baby to Sleep and Top Tricks Parents Use For Sleeping Babies. These methods include ways to make baby sleep NOW, not after you’ve established some mythical sleep formula. When a baby is screaming in your face, the last thing a parent needs is a high-handed lecture about what will be the best long-term sleeping solution. They especially do not need to be told that the way that Mom and Dad have been putting baby to sleep before reading this enlightened version was all wrong, and frankly, is the cause of baby sleep problems they are having now.
The real world, tested in my own home with two babies, including one who has colic, strategies are coming soon in the Undefeated Daddy plan for Getting Baby to Sleep.