Like many parents – new or experienced – you may find yourself wanting your baby to sleep in a bassinet. Some babies take well to their new sleeping arrangements, while others have no interest in it whatsoever. If you find yourself with a baby who could care less about sleeping in a bassinet, here are a few reasons why, plus what you can do about it.
4 Reasons Why Your Baby May Not Sleep Well in a Bassinet (and what to do about it)
Before discouragement kicks into full gear, keep reading to learn the primary reasons why most babies may not sleep well in their bassinet.
Your baby may be hungry.
The metabolism of babies is one we as adults wish we still had. Because of their quickly growing bodies, they process their meals much quicker, leading to quickly emptying stomachs that need to be refilled.
This especially the case during growth spurts and cluster feeding times. The restlessness they’re experiencing could be because of wanting to eat instead of sleep.
Before laying your baby down for a nap, make sure they have a full belly.
Your baby could be gassy.
Unless you know for sure that your baby has gas, chances are they won’t be laid in a gas relieving position. Gas is also something that can develop well after feeding time is over. But again, you may not know this until fussiness kicks in.
Before laying your baby in the bassinet, be sure you’ve given them a good burp to relieve any gas. If you need more help for a gassy baby, be sure to check out my helpful post about home remedies for a gassy baby.
Your baby may not sleep in a bassinet because of a dirty diaper.
Although babies have just a few ways to communicate, their cries, fusses, and movements are good indicators that they’re not comfortable or they need something. If your baby is showing these signs while laying in the bassinet, it’s a good indicator that a dirty diaper may be on their bum.
Give your baby a fresh and clean diaper before laying him/her down in the bassinet.
And of course, when they’re finally asleep we want them to stay asleep so here’s how to prevent baby diaper blowouts.
Restlessness in the bassinet could be caused to your baby being uncomfortable.
Depending on how much bedding, or the lack thereof, that’s in their bassinet, your baby could be getting hot or cold. Being one or the other could cause them to cry and become restless, making it most difficult to fall and stay asleep.
Make sure your baby has the right amount of bedding and blankets to keep them comfortable as they rest.
Check out this baby sleepwear guide for nighttime to ensure you know what to dress baby in at night for sleep.
What is the best age-range for putting a baby in the bassinet?
One question I often see asked is how long a baby should sleep in a bassinet? First and foremost, it should be understood that bassinets are all made differently, although they have the same idea in mind.
With this being said, the biggest milestone to look out for is when your baby begins showing signs of rolling over and/or pulling up.
This can happen at different times depending on the unique growth development of your child; however, you can look for this monumental leap of growth to happen sometime between 4 to 6 months.
At that time, it’s a good idea to transition your baby to another sleeping solution that will prevent them from rolling or falling out.
One option to consider could be a baby nest or lounger, but is is very important that these are sleeping arrangements to be used with supervision, or when you are awake and can monitor baby.
I have a very helpful comparison post about the Doc A Tot and its alternatives. I share more of my opinions about the product in this post and the pros and cons of using one.
How do I get my baby to sleep without being held?
Yes, your precious baby deserves all the cuddles, but sometimes this can train them to not sleep unless they are being held. If you’re looking for ways to help your baby rest without having to be held, here are are few practical tips to get the journey started:
- Use a swaddle to wrap your baby. This mimics the womb and helps them to feel secure. Here’s the difference between a receiving blanket and swaddle.
- Purchase a white noise machine that puts off the rumbling womb noise.
- Try different calming techniques such as rubbing their face, singing, and/or rocking them.
- Establish a routine for your baby using natural light and circadian rhythms.
- Create sleep-rituals such as using baths, massages, and/or storytime.
The overall goal of the above mentioned tips is to help your baby begin to differentiate between being awake, being sleep, and being comfortable with both.
The same way we need schedules as adults, our babies can also thrive from having schedules as well.
I for one am all for the baby cuddles, but I also enjoy a nice sleeping baby who doesn’t have to be held. Use the tips mentioned above to start helping your baby find their comfort sleeping zone all without having to be held.
Chime in! What are your best tips for helping your baby stay sound asleep in their bassinet? Let me know in the comments below!
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