If there is one thing that all parents of newborns can attest to, it is this: There is no perfect formula on how to help your newborn baby sleep. But, there are multiple things that you can do to help get them to sleep, so YOU can get some sleep. Take a look below at our 10 tips for newborn sleeping.
Newborn Tips and Tricks for Sleep
1. Daytime is Playtime
All new parents need some help, so here are a few tips for newborn sleeping that might assist you in getting the most out of bedtime. First up: It is very easy to let your baby fall right to sleep after those daytime feedings. But, that can cost everyone involved some hours of sleep at night.
Of course your baby is going to need to take naps during the day. Those can be very productive times for the time-starved parent, but it can discourage a good night’s sleep for your baby when it counts and cause you another sleepless night.
2. Time Out Diaper Changes
When learning how to help your newborn baby sleep, we can’t stress enough that when you change diapers is vital! When your baby wakes up in the middle of the night for a feeding, that diaper may very well need changing, which poses a problem. Do you power through the feeding and do it after? Answer? NO!
After feeding, your baby is most likely going to begin that milk-drunk dance with sleep that comes on quick. The last thing that you need is to begin changing them after they are almost back to sleep and get them wide awake with a diaper change! Check their diaper before feeding begins so they can ease right into sleep after their bottle is empty.
3. Make a routine very routine!
With the crazy roller coaster that your life becomes when that bundle of joy arrives, it’s easy to let the hustle of life throw schedules to the wind. But, when figuring out how to get a newborn to sleep, routine is KEY. Creating a routine for each feeding, naps, and bedtime is a great way to begin to predict when you can expect to get some sleep yourself. Although you don’t want to force feed, if you don’t put it off, babies will tend to fall into a pattern and stick with it. It’s amazing how “to-the-minute” those hunger cries can be. If you can predict their sleep patterns, you can begin to plan yours!
4. Let Her Cry
(Cue the Hootie and Blowfish song). As a new parent, it is your natural inclination to run to your baby as soon as you hear a slight whimper, cry, or grunt in the middle of the night. Don’t worry: It’s natural. That said, it could be doing more harm than good. You want your baby to begin self-soothing and learn to put him or herself back to sleep after they suddenly awake at night. Don’t always jump right up when you hear the slightest bit of sound come over that baby monitor; It’s bad for you and baby.
5. Let there be light (Except at Night)
Our levels of melatonin, the hormone that our bodies produce to regulate sleep, can be reduced by being exposed to too much artificial light during those important hours when your body is preparing to sleep for the night.
During the day, having your baby sleep with the lights on and in the evening keeping the lights much lower will help your baby’s body adjust to be ready for some peaceful sleep. When you get baby up in the middle of the night for a feeding or a diaper change, keep the lights low and try not to expose them to a fully lighted room. The results can be another hour of you trying to get them back to sleep!
6. Don't put them to bed asleep, put them to be sleepy
It’s very easy after a good feeding for your baby to fall asleep and once they are, after holding them for a bit, you lay them down and make your way to bed. This works great in the short-term, but what about the long term? It’s a much better plan to put the little ones to bed when they are beginning to drift off and let them soothe themselves to sleep. It’s a great game plan to teach them how to get themselves back to sleep when they wake in the middle of the night and give Mommy and Daddy a little bit more rest.
7. Tummy time = Good Bed Time
As we all know, supervised Tummy Time is important to help develop muscles and motor skills. But, it can also help your baby to get some energy out throughout the day and will help your newborn baby sleep.. It’s a Win-Win!
8. Go Go Gadgets!
In this modern age, there are a ton of products that can help a baby that is having problems getting to sleep to get to that dreamland that will soon last through the night. Fisher Price makes some great rockers that can keep your baby in constant motion without being in your arms that will help them get to sleep.
They, among many other companies, make some great crib mobiles that will play soothing music and present some calming projections that your little one can watch to help them ease into a great night’s sleep.
9. Don’t Skimp on Ounces!
You want to make sure that you are feeding your baby enough so that they aren’t waking up hungry more often than they should. Keeping a close eye on the amounts that you are feeding your little one and increasing where appropriate will help the natural progression of how long they sleep without waking up hungry.
10. Sing and Read, Mom and Dad!
Babies need soothing sounds to get to sleep, as you know. They spent 9 months hearing Mommy and Daddy’s voices, so don’t be afraid to sing lullabyes, read stories, or speak to them in a soft voice while trying to get them to sleep. Don’t worry about your singing voice; this isn’t American Idol, they won’t be judging. Not yet, any way.
We hope that you are able to use these suggestions to help your baby get through the night eventually. Be patient, it will happen. And imagine how happy you will be after that 8 hours of sleep you will eventually get again!
Do you have any tips or tricks that you used with your little ones that helped get them to sleep? Let us know in the comments section if so!