Before you try to settle baby in for a nap, make sure they’re actually tired (yawning is your biggest clue)—using wake windows as a staring point will help a lot!
If baby is fighting when you try to hold them horizontally, try holding upright against your chest. This is especially helpful if they’ve just eaten and you want to let their tummy settle before putting them down. Babywearing can come in handy here, giving you the closeness you and baby need while giving you freedom to be hands free and move around.
My next tip is yo employ a tactile repetitive motion, ie butt pats. Soft but firm, they can be super soothing! Another motion that can help your little one drift off is gentle head rubs or tracing your finger along their nose or across their forehead.
My last and favorite tip, because it seems weird to say but makes so much sense, is to cover baby’s eyes. As they get older, you might find that babies want to look at the world around them more, which can be frustrating when all you need them to do is close their eyes! Do this when baby is calm and ready to sleep but just won’t take that final step. Place your hand lightly on their face to hide their eyes from the light. After a few minutes your little one will get bored and give in. They also love any skin-to-skin contact, which they get from doing this as well. My daughter still puts my hand oh her face when I rock her to sleep!
What tricks have learned to sooth your little one? Let me know in the comments!