Every parent has experienced a bright-eyed, smiling baby at 3 am—when all you really want to do is get some sleep. Getting your newborn to sleep through the night is a challenge all parents face, so you’re in good company! But, just think: when you’re finally sleeping seven hours again, it’ll be pure bliss.
Here are some helpful hints to encourage your baby to sleep through the night.
1. Create a consistent bedtime routine.
Babies love predictability. You may love spontaneity, but your baby needs a routine to help her wind down. Chances are you have a bedtime routine, and you don’t even realize it. Do you have a cup of tea while watching the evening news? Perhaps you read a chapter of a book each evening. These actions help you wind down.
Don’t set a complex routine. It might be a quick massage with lotion, putting on diapers and pajamas, reading a book, and then singing a lullaby as you tuck them in. Try not to create a routine that is hard to repeat if you go on vacation or stay at grandma’s house!
2. Avoid late bedtimes.
Adults may love to stay up until midnight, drinking coffee, and watching the latest series on Netflix. Babies, on the other hand, don’t thrive with a late bedtime. Going to bed later doesn’t equal sleeping later in a baby’s world. It doesn’t make sense, but it’s true!
Put your baby down between 7:00pm and 8:30pm. Watch your baby for signs that he is tired (such as looking away, slowing down his movements, or rubbing his eyes), and put him to bed immediately. An overtired baby will fight sleep and possibly catch their second wind, which means they’ll be up watching Netflix with you. Remember: when it comes to infants, sleep begets more sleep!
3. Swaddle them up.
Many babies love the feeling of safety and closeness that swaddling gives them. Who can blame them? Babies spend nine months in our cozy, warm, snug womb, only to lay in a wide, open crib. If your baby isn’t rolling yet and under eight weeks old, swaddling may get you longer stretches of time. To keep your baby extra safe, we recommend a wearable swaddle sack that cannot come undone and cover the baby’s face, as opposed to swaddling your baby with a loose blanket.
4. Try a sleepsuit
Transitioning out of the swaddle is hard for many babies, but it is a necessity to keep your baby safe. A sleepsuit looks like a snowsuit for babies, but it’s created to help your baby transition from the swaddle with ease. If your baby is struggling, give it a try!
5. Keep it dark.
Blackout curtains are a parent’s friend because darkness helps babies fall asleep and stay asleep. A light sleeper can have trouble going to bed in the evening if the sun is still up, or she might wake up if a nearby street lamp turns on near her window.
6. Fill up their tank during the daytime.
If possible, try to feed your baby during the day every 2-3 hours. Create a schedule where your baby wakes up and eats immediately, followed by playtime. Then, put your baby down for a nap, and continue the cycle throughout the day. Doing so helps give your baby his fill of calories before bedtime.
7. Keep baby at the right temperature.
Everyone sleeps better at a comfortable temperature. Do you sleep well if you are sweating? We think you already know the answer to this!
Encouraging your baby to sleep through the night is far from easy, but with trial and error and the passage of time, your baby will eventually learn to sleep through the night. Parents rejoice, more sleep is on the horizon!
Learn more health and safety tips for you and baby, from our free parenting classes.