Is your crunchy little baby having trouble falling asleep?
Try these six tips I’ve discovered from life with Baby Bear to help rock your little rainbow child into Dreamtime.
6 Tips for Rocking Your Baby into Dreamtime
The following tips are what has worked best for me and Baby Bear, and I share them with the hope that they work for you as well!
The rocking, bouncing, and swaying that you are already familiar with is an excellent way to get baby to sleep. It provides a steady rhythm that activates the parasympathetic nervous system, aka “rest & digest” mode.
Rhythm is a key behind many of the following tips, and pairing rocking, bouncing, or swaying with another of these methods is a recipe for success.
This works great in a baby carrier such as an Ergo, woven wrap, or sling, so you can have your arms and hands free with the added benefit to baby of the closeness of mama/papa, your heartbeat (familiar rhythm), and your warmth.
My personal favorite and top choice. I will put Baby Bear in his wrap, pop a boobie in his mouth, and do the “mama sway” with some shamanic drumming and flute noise in the background.
He is asleep in a few minutes, nearly every time.
This is my FAVORITE FAVORITE video:
You can also try other rhythmic, repetitive music, such as Tibetan singing bowls.
These work because the rhythmic drumbeat aids our brains in going from beta state (stressed & alert) down to alpha (meditative & relaxed) and further down to theta (where shamans journey) and then the delta states (sleep & dream).
If shamanic drums & flutes aren’t your thing, how about some good old-fashioned night music?
That is, the sound of nature.
Crickets & Frogs & Owls, oh my!
My favorite way to easily access nature sounds is through a nature sounds remixer I found years ago, called Nature Sounds For Me.
Here is a remix I made for you to try:
For sleeping, I like combine crickets and other nighttime noises. You can also do things such as frogs, wolves, cicadas, grasshoppers, and spring peepers. I would recommend only doing ONE insect/frog noise, as more than that is a little crazy!
There are many possibilities, and I recommend playing around until you find something you like. The great thing about this website is that it plays your remix on an automatic loop, so it will keep playing unless you mute it.
I like to keep this on during the day, too, with a forest birds mix, if I need to feel immersed in nature but can’t get out to the mountains right away.
First, let me say as a disclaimer, to consult your healthcare practitioner before using herbs with your baby, as I am not a healthcare practitioner nor am I offering medical advice or opinion. I am, however, sharing folk medicine wisdom that my grandmother used with my mother and that I have used successfully with my own son. If you know your child is allergic to the Daisy (Asteraceae) family, do not administer Chamomile tea.
If you do try this remedy, do not give too much tea (several bottles a day) as it can “prove” itself (i.e. cause the symptoms it treats) and can make baby crankier.
When Baby Bear was teething it was a huge sleep disruptor–which is what led me to chamomile tea.
Chamomile tea promotes sleep and is soothing to a revved up nervous system. When used in homeopathic preparation, it is a great remedy for teething pain if the symptom profile matches your wee one. While the homeopathic remedy didn’t work for us (didn’t match his profile), the tea did!
I gave him about 3 ounces in his bottle an hour or so before bedtime. (update: now that he is older, 18+ mos, I give him a full 16 oz.)
He drank a good portion of it, and after that I rocked & played the shamanic drumming video until he fell asleep a few minutes later.
That was the first night where he slept completely soundly and straight through with only one brief wakefulness moment.
It was a miracle.
If baby is up past sundown and you have standard blue-light emitting lights (i.e. regular light bulbs) or the television or computer is on, both baby and your brains are receiving signals that it is still daytime since the sun also emits blue light.
This blue light reduces your melatonin levels. Melatonin is a key hormone in regulating your sleep and wake cycles and is more plentiful at night. It is also linked to the reproductive cycle, which I will explore in another post as I venture deeper into circadian rhythm & moon studies.
I notice this most dramatically when we have to go to the store at night with the fluorescent lighting. Baby Bear is wired far longer than he would be had we been at home with our orange lights on and even I start to get a headache.
I recommend using a Himalayan salt lamp as it emits orange light, has other added ionic benefits, and just looks pretty! I also have key lamps in my house with orange LED light bulbs that I can turn on if we need light at night.
Some recommend wearing orange sunglasses, but while that may work for me, I seriously doubt the wee one would like it too much!
Also the f.lux application for your computer is great. It automatically changes your computer’s colors at sundown and sunrise (according to your preferences and based off of your location,) and I have used it for many years.
Night-lights are also not recommended, as they are usually blue-light emitting, and unless it is the four days around the full moon, our bodies crave complete darkness at night. If you must use a night-light, get an orange LED nightlight. I have one in the bathroom and one in the kitchen to help with late night business.
And last, but not least, if you are more into actual music with words to sing along to–or mimic if you do not speak the foreign languages on this cd–then you may fall in love with Dreamland a Putumayo children’s lullaby album. My favorite song is the first on the album, Naima, a traditional African lullaby.
I hope you have found the following tips helpful!
Remember, a chill attitude and energy is the best sleep remedy.
What are your favorite bed time tricks & tips?
♥ Moon Bear Woman + Baby Bear
[Note: I am NOT an affiliate of any company or brand. Links are NOT affiliate links.]