5 Tips for Getting Your Newborn to Sleep at Night (For New Moms)

You’ve heard it before: babies are hard to get to sleep at night. They often cry and fuss right up until you put them down for a nap or bedtime.

That’s all too common with newborns, which can be pretty restless during the day because they need so much sleep.

 For many parents, this is one of the most challenging aspects of having a newborn: getting them to sleep at night and stay asleep!

To help your baby have a better night’s sleep, here are some tips for how you might get them to sleep at night.

What causes babies to wake up?

Baby sleep will be a mystery for a while. Most babies have preferences about what they sleep on, what they eat when they eat, and even when they poop.

However, specific patterns generally lead to a newborn sleeping through the night.

We’re going to touch on each of these habits, but keep in mind that if you see a pattern that you think may have a fix; you’re smart enough to solve it on your own.

Relying on a pacifier. Babies don’t even know what a pacifier is! Instead, they have preferences and routines, which can be hard to break.

However, if you rely on a pacifier to soothe your baby, you are likely to have an infant that becomes attached to the thing and stops using their arms to relieve themselves.

The Sleep Location

Try placing your baby in the dark and on his back. Try placing a dark, soft blanket in the crib and turning the mobile on before putting your baby down to prevent the crib from feeling like a cave.

Play “9 Noise” in the background and gently encourage your baby to close his eyes for a nap.

Check out this super helpful video from Baby Sleep Site; it’s a short, 4-minute video guide for getting your baby to sleep in the dark, in a dark room on his back, and to help to put them to sleep.

The 4 S’s Your baby will likely prefer a routine and structure to her sleep, so try to get to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day.

You can try contacting your baby on a routine and sticking to it as much as possible. Start timing your baby’s first sleep cycles.

The Feeding Schedule

According to The Mayo Clinic, the first days of life are critical in learning to eat because by feeding the baby often, your body will learn to recognize when it’s time for your baby to eat.

However, newborns need to know how to sleep through the night, so feed your baby when she’s hungry, and let her learn to sleep independently.

Tips: Don’t skip feeding because you think you won’t have enough milk if you feed the baby before she’s full.

Your baby’s growth and development are also tied to the amount and quality of breast milk you’re giving her. Unless there’s a medical issue, don’t wake your baby to feed her unless it’s an emergency. Feed your baby at least every 2-3 hours.

Muffled Sounds and Bright Lights

Don’t be afraid of white noise or soft lighting. Keep the room dark, but light up the room with flashes of light or in a few lights to help maintain a natural circadian rhythm.

You can use a swaddle blanket or wrap for swaddling or sleep sacks for a tight hold.

A mobile, especially a turtle, hanging on the crib rail or mobile, can provide soothing sounds for your baby.

Other options include rocking chairs, vibrating swing, play mat, and one-sided arm and leg exercisers.

Heated pillow If you have difficulty getting the baby to fall asleep or get back to sleep, warm up the crib pillow.

Place the pillow under the head or between the legs and the back or arms.

Light to Calm Choose a soothing background light. Natural daylight is recommended.

Nighttime Entertainment

Start with bright, colorful toys and rattles (the blue light coming out of these items is less likely to affect your baby).

Start with bright, colorful toys and rattles (the blue light coming out of these items is less likely to affect your baby).

Sing songs. You know your baby’s favorites, and don’t let them get bored of those, even if it’s after a few nights.

If they have trouble sleeping, they will likely learn the songs over time and eventually fall asleep.

You know your baby’s favorites, and don’t let them get bored of those, even if it’s after a few nights.

If they have trouble sleeping, they will likely learn the songs over time and eventually fall asleep. Shake rattles.

Bedtime Routines

I love having a routine for my kids, and I’m sure you do too! Here are some tips for a sleep-ready baby.

1. Bedtime doesn’t let your baby go to bed right after you and your partner. Let them rest so they can get a good night’s sleep.

2. Get your baby into a good, deep sleep routine, and start when they’re 6-9 months old. My 7-month-old fell asleep on the way home from church, so I put him in his crib. He slept 12 hours.

3. Leave the baby in their crib as long as possible – they are not yet ready to sleep without you or a pacifier.

4. Use the Serenity song (from my kids’ cd) or a soothing CD to help your baby go to sleep and stay asleep.

5. If your baby is tired but will not sleep on their own, try swinging in a hammock, in a swing, or in the arms of a willing person.

Conclusion

Unfortunately, newborns are very different than infants. They don’t sleep just because they want to, and they also don’t sleep by themselves in their crib.

There are a million reasons why your newborn might not be sleeping, but they’re all solvable, and they’re all under your control.

Join me tomorrow (Monday) for a new mom’s weekly email newsletter, which will show you how to get your newborn back on track. You can sign up below and get a free guide to start your infant’s sleep schedule, starting today!