Having a newborn baby can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience. One of the biggest challenges for most new parents is getting their baby to sleep. After all you’ve gone through in bringing your child into this world, the last thing you want is long nights with a cranky infant!
To make your life a little easier during this time, we’ve put together seven tips to help you get your newborn to sleep faster and more comfortably. Read on for our guide on alleviating the nighttime stress of having a new baby!
- Create a sleep routine. Research suggests infants and toddlers thrive when they maintain consistent bedtime and wake-up times which helps to create healthy sleep habits for your little one. Try following the same nightly routine, including pajamas, books, songs, and baths. If you keep it consistent, your baby will learn to recognize the cues that it’s time for sleep.
- Stick to a feeding schedule. For infants, it’s best to stick to a consistent schedule throughout the day so they’re not hungry right before bedtime. This helps keep them full throughout the night.
- Be sure to set the stage for quality sleep. To ensure your baby enjoys restful sleep, create a dark, calm, and cozy ambiance in their bedroom. Adjust the temperature to their liking and consider using blackout curtains, a night light, or dim lighting to prevent the room from being too bright or too dark when your child wakes at night.
- Give white noise a try. Consistent background sound can mask other noises and soothe your bundle of joy into dreamland. As your baby progresses through sleep, they transition between light and deep stages – which is a vulnerable time for them, especially if there are loud or startling sounds. The transition is much smoother by masking those noises with white noise, resulting in longer, more restful sleep. Not to mention, it’s the perfect companion for parents, especially if you’re looking to enjoy some peace and quiet of your own. Download one of these apps to turn your smartphone into a white noise machine.
- Limit stimulation before bedtime. When it’s time for your little one to wind down, it’s best to ditch the screens (TVs, computers, phones) and keep the noise level down in the bedroom. This will ensure a calm and relaxed environment that’ll help your baby drift off to sleep easily.
- Put your baby down drowsy, not asleep. When it comes to bedtime, it’s tempting to rock or hold your baby until they snooze off. But teaching your baby how to fall asleep on their own is crucial. Put them down when they’re drowsy but still awake, so they can learn to self-soothe and drift off into dreamland. In the long run, you’ll be happy not to have to get them back to sleep if they wake up in the middle of the night.
- Swaddle your baby. It’s a super cozy trick that helps babies feel snug as a bug in a rug, making it easier for them to drift off to dreamland. Swaddling reduces startle reflexes and plays a role in keeping them calm. Follow these simple steps for safe swaddling.
- Arrange the blanket into a diamond shape, then fold the top corner down toward the center.
- Place your baby face-up on the blanket, so their neck is along the top edge. Gently hold their left arm straight down along their side.
- Pull that corner of the blanket tightly across their body, tucking the end underneath the right side of their body.
- Pull the bottom corner of the blanket so it covers the legs and right arm, tucking the end underneath their right shoulder.
- Gently straighten the right arm. Pull the remaining corner of the blanket snugly across their body, wrapping it around them and tucking the end into the blanket behind them.
We hope these simple tips will help you establish a regular sleep schedule for your baby so that you can both benefit from a good night’s rest.