Babies sleep a lot, but that doesn’t mean they always sleep well. In fact, newborns can be quite fussy and restless when it comes to sleep. If you’re struggling to get your baby to sleep through the night, you’re not alone. Here are some tips and tricks to help your little one snooze soundly:
1. Create a Cozy Sleep Environment
A comfortable sleep environment is key to a good night’s rest for both babies and adults. Start by swaddling your baby to give them a sense of security and to prevent them from startling themselves awake. Choose a firm mattress and keep the temperature in the room cool but not cold. Use blackout curtains or shades to keep the room dark during daytime naps, and introduce white noise to block out any background noise that could disturb your baby’s sleep.
2. Establish a Bedtime Routine
A bedtime routine can help signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down and go to sleep. This routine can be as simple or as elaborate as you like, but the key is to be consistent. A typical bedtime routine might include a bath, a lullaby, and a story. This routine should occur at the same time every night so your baby can begin to associate these activities with sleep.
3. Encourage Daytime Naps
Many parents are tempted to keep their babies awake during the day in the hopes that they will sleep better at night. However, this is often counterproductive. Babies who are overtired can find it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep. Stick to a regular daytime nap schedule, and put your baby down for a nap at the first sign of drowsiness. This will help them get the sleep they need to feel rested and happy.
4. Avoid Overstimulation Before Bedtime
Stimulating activities like playing with toys or watching TV can make it harder for your baby to settle down at bedtime. Instead, opt for calming activities like reading a book or singing a lullaby. Keep the lights dim and the noise level low, and avoid activities that might get your baby too riled up.
5. Try Dream Feeding
Some babies sleep better when they have a full belly, which is why dream feeding can be an effective technique for helping your baby sleep through the night. This involves feeding your baby while they are still mostly asleep, usually around 10-11pm. Dream feeding can help fill your baby’s belly without fully waking them up, allowing them to sleep longer between feedings.
6. Know When to Call the Doctor
It’s important to remember that every baby is different, and some babies may naturally be better sleepers than others. However, if you are concerned about your baby’s sleep patterns, it’s always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician. They can help rule out any underlying medical issues and offer tips and advice to help your baby sleep better.
Getting a newborn baby to sleep soundly can be a challenging task, but with a little patience and persistence, it is possible. By creating a cozy sleep environment, establishing a bedtime routine, encouraging daytime naps, avoiding overstimulation before bedtime, trying dream feeding, and knowing when to call the doctor, you can help your baby get the sleep they need to thrive.
- How many hours of sleep should a newborn get?
- A typical newborn should sleep between 14-17 hours in a 24-hour period
- How long should a newborn nap?
- Newborns should nap frequently throughout the day, with each nap lasting between 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- When should a baby sleep through the night?
- Most babies can sleep through the night (5-6 hour stretch) by 3-4 months of age.
- Do babies need a dark room to sleep in?
- Yes, babies sleep better in a dark room because it facilitates the production of melatonin, a hormone that regulates sleep.
- How often should you feed a newborn at night?
- Most newborns need to be fed every 2-3 hours throughout the day and night
1. American Academy of Pediatrics: Sleep Tips for Children
2. Sleep Foundation: Newborn Sleep Patterns: What to Expect
3. Healthline: Baby Sleep: Tips, Challenges & Advice