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Your Baby Has a Snooze Button

Updated: May 21, 2023

We all know that getting those Zzz’s is absolutely crucial for development.

All of us new parents have been there, when your baby is fussing and nothing will calm him/her down...

Introducing: The Butt Pat.

This magic baby snooze button was a total game changer for us. (This isn't a trick just for babies with developmental delays -- it applies universally.)

First, if you haven’t already, go read Happiest Baby on the Block, or watch the summary video (before you have a baby or if you already have a newborn). Learning about the 5 S’s to soothe your baby is a total game changer.

So is, the butt pat. We learned about the butt pat when we were spending Easter with my family a few years ago, and my daughter was fussing in my mom’s arms. My cousin’s mother-in-law, a veteran NICU nurse, took my baby girl and within seconds, the fussing ended, and she fell asleep. Floored, we asked her what her secret was. It was “the butt pat.”

When your baby is fussing, and you’ve gone through your checklist: burp, diaper, hungry (I like to start with burp first because it can be painful when a burp is stuck and you lay your baby on their back, and my daughter would not nurse if she had a wet diaper). Then, try your baby’s preferred combination of the 5 S’s. if all else fails, add the butt pat.

There’s nothing special to the butt pat method, just pat your baby’s bottom, fairly firmly, so he/she can feel it through the diaper. My baby loved when the patting rhythm matched a heartbeat, pat-pat, pause, pat-pat, pause.

This works especially well when you’re trying to put your baby to sleep, and she wakes up as you’re setting her down. The butt patting will distract her, and she should go back to snoozing within a few seconds (or minutes) of patting. Now, we all know that babies should be placed on their back for the first year, so instead of patting their butt when you lay them down, you can pat their hip. It still works. Once they can roll over, you can pat their bum while their laying on their side/belly to soothe them to (or back to) sleep.

Of course, if you think something more serious is causing your baby’s fussiness, call your pediatrician.

The butt pat starts to become a sleep cue for your little one. So it will help with naps and bedtimes. Our babe loved the butt pat, and she was soothed by it through 18 months old.

Hope this works with your little ones too!

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