As the time approaches for your baby to come into your life, your enthusiasm grows, but so do the worries and the questions. You ask yourself if you’ll be able to keep up with the new tasks, especially if it’s your firstborn. In fact – and this is without any intention of troubling new parents – some questions and worries remain even at your second or third pregnancy.

One of the most often heard topics from mothers-to-be is the one related to the art (and science!) of putting the babies to sleep, mainly after they had woken up in the middle the night. From my experience, I must tell you that there are a few tricks all moms should know about and put into practice. But consider that every child is different, so they may not work on yours. Try them one by one, see which method gives the best result and stick to it. Here are my tips for you:

Minimize direct eye contact

Every time you make eye contact with your baby, you encourage him to feel happy and thus snap out of the sleep mode. Babies are motivated to get up when you look straight into their eyes. I know you love your little one and you adore every minute spent with him, but remember that if you want him to go back to sleep, you need to minimize or even avoid direct eye contact. You should also avoid talking to him passionately or singing a favorite song. Put the child back to sleep by whispering calming words to him in a soft voice, while gently caressing his belly.

Cut out the lights

If your little one wakes up during the night and you go to check on him, don’t turn on the lights in his room or carry him out into a dazzlingly lit space. Shifting from dark to light will only tell him that it’s daytime, hence, time to be awake! Stay with him in the dark bedroom and try to convince him to go back to sleep. According to several reviews I read on advisors, darkness is the best ally of peaceful sleep for both adults and children.

Late-night feeding

The method of late-night feeding is a bit debatable, as some experts think it shouldn’t be used, while others recommend it. My advice is to try it and see if it works for your child. A late-night feeding has to take place between 10 p.m. and midnight, and it should be done by keeping the lights dim. Gently pick up the sleeping baby out of the crib and help him feed even if he’s still half asleep. Once he’s done, put him back in his bed, but without burping him.

Use white noises

Trying all sorts of white noises may help you identify the sounds which send your baby to sleep. Some say they use random noises; others prefer rhythmic sounds (such as the falling rain or a heartbeat pace). White noises also help grow-ups fall asleep sooner, so I think it’s only natural that they do the same for our little ones.

Give your baby a gentle massage

I tried many methods of putting babies to sleep, but the massage trick works almost every time. Ten-fifteen minutes of gently rubbing their feet or caressing their belly, while talking to them in a soothing voice, will make them feel incredibly relaxed and lead them back into the world of dreams.

By James