how to get a newborn to sleep at night
Baby Motherhood Parenting

How To Get A Newborn To Sleep At Night

If you have just become a mom, congrats! You probably thought this was going to be the easy part. According to many mothers, motherhood is much harder than pregnancy. Breastfeeding hurts, spit-up on clothes is no joke, and on top of all this, you can’t sleep. Don’t worry! I am here to share ways on how to get your newborn to sleep at night.

I remember looking for natural ways to induce labor because I was over pregnancy. That is because I couldn’t sleep comfortably, my back was always hurting, and I had a lot of pain in my pelvic area. After succeeding in naturally inducing my labor, I regretted it. I could have used that extra week of sleep if you know what I mean!

So, let’s get to the point! In this post, you will learn:

  • How should a baby sleep?
  • Where should a baby sleep, and for how long?
  • How to get a newborn to sleep at night?

Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. 

How should a baby sleep?

Babies should always sleep on their backs. Never place a baby to sleep on their stomachs because they breathe in less air which increases their risk of SID. Also, never place a baby to sleep on their sides because this will increase their chance of rolling on their tummies.

Also, place the baby on a hard and flat surface. These tips will decrease the chance of suffocation. Moreover, the baby should be warm, but not too warm. The temperature of the room should be between 68 to 72 degrees F.  If they can’t roll, they should be swaddled and only wearing one layer more than what you are wearing.  Place a pacifier in their mouth to help soothe them back to sleep. Many babies die from sudden infant death, so make sure to follow these rules.

When transitioning a sleeping baby from one place to the crib. Keep one hand on the back of his/her head and keep the other hand on his/her tummy. This will transition smoothly.

Where should a baby sleep, and for how long?

A baby should never sleep in the same bed as you. That is highly dangerous. You or the beddings could accidentally suffocate them. They should sleep in a crib or a bassinet.

Since we are focusing on the newborn stage, newborns to three-month-olds should sleep between 14–17 hours a day. If your newborn is sleeping throughout the day and not at night, then continue reading. If your baby is breastfeeding, they should sleep for two-three hours after breastfeeding during the night. But, if your baby is bottle-fed they should sleep for three-four hours at a time during the night.

How to get a newborn to sleep at night?

The key to putting a baby to sleep is to make the environment womb-like. That means dark, cozy, and soothing!

  • Read Sleeping Cues

Babies show signs that they are hungry and sleepy. Look for the signs. If a baby is yawning, rubbing his/her eyes, not wanting to play, drowsing off, or seems unsettled, it is time for them to sleep. You should never keep a baby awake so they can sleep through the night. You will end up with an overtired baby. An overtired baby is not easily soothed or put to sleep.

  • Swaddle

You should swaddle a baby. In the womb, your baby was squeezed and swaddled can make the baby feel like he/she is in the womb again. Also, babies don’t always have control over their bodies so keeping them in a swaddle will prevent them from awakening themselves.

Click here for my all-time favorite swaddle. 

  • Blackout Curtains

When your baby was in the womb, it was really dark. So blackout curtains could definitely help.

  • Music or White Noise

Try experimenting with different white noises and lullabies. See which one relaxes your child.

  • Pacifier

Babies love to suck. Give them pacifiers, and remember pacifiers decrease the probability of SID/

  • Create Routine (After Four-Weeks Old)

You cannot create a routine with a baby under four weeks old. So, when your baby is between 4 and 6 weeks, make a bedtime routine. This may include darkening the rooms, playing soft music, giving your baby a warm bath, and feeding them. Keep this routine consistent. Your baby will soon realize this routine means time to sleep.

  • Changing Diapers Timing

If your baby is no longer always pooping after feedings, then it is time to play strategically with changing diapers. Change your baby’s diaper before bedtime feedings and don’t change their diaper overnight if the diaper is not full and she/he hasn’t pooped. Changing diapers in the middle of the night might awaken your baby completely. If you do have to change the diaper, make sure you keep most lights off and clean the baby gently.

  • Shorter Day Naps

Don’t let your baby sleep for more than three hours a time, and try to play with them after feedings. Try to keep them away for at least 40 minutes between naps.

  • More Day Feedings

The more your baby feeds during the day, the less she/he will want feedings during the night.

Click here for my all-time favorite bottles. 

  • Wait

Babies usually wake up after 40 minutes of sleeping, but they should be able to soothe themselves back to sleep without your help. So, if babies start crying in the night, wait to see if they can soothe themselves back to sleep.

  • Infant Massage

Massaging between your baby’s eyebrows and down the nose can help them fall asleep. Try it!

  • Warm Up The Crib

Place a hot water bottle in the crib. Let the crib warm-up and then REMOVE IT. Place your baby in the crib. This will help them transition more smoothly.

  • Use a night light

Make sure you do not open any bright light during the night.

  • Put your baby down drowsy

Don’t always put your baby completely asleep in the crib. Putting them in the crib sleepy but not asleep will help them learn to soothe themselves to sleep.

I hope this helps!

If you would like more information, I recommend reading “Three Tips For Surviving The First Three Months With Baby”.

 

 

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Kirsten
Kirsten
1 month ago

Thanks for all the tips. Routine and swaddling is what helped us most for now. Finally we’re following the tips from http://www.parental-love.com – the sleep training book and blog by Susan Urban. I love her approach and we’ve waiting for month 4 to start the training.

Bri
Bri
1 month ago

Such helpful tips for new parents! Becoming a parent is like entering a whole new world with a whole new language. Thanks for breaking down babies “sleep language”!

Anasha Khan
1 month ago

These are great tips, especially for new moms. I found creating a routine with consistency really helped with my kids.

Sara Perez
Sara Perez
1 month ago

These are some helpful tips for a new mom who hasn’t figured out what parenting style works best for them.

Alena Michelle
2 months ago

These are some amazing sleep tips.

Heather Behrends
2 months ago

Great tips, and it’s important to note that not all babies will do it. They just won’t. I did all of these things with my first newborn, but he was colicky – and I’m sure as a first-time mom that played into it. It was a disaster and I wasn’t able to get him into a routine until he was 5-6 months old. I say this not to dispute your suggestions which are all great, but rather to encourage the moms who try this and feel like failures because their babies don’t “get with the program”, so to speak. To all you mamas feeling like you’re doing all the right things and it’s just not working, hang in there – it WILL get better!

Jazmin
2 months ago

Oh man I needed this one! Hoping it’ll help us keep our sanity through the newborn phase this time around!

vidya
2 months ago

great tips.. and this will help parents a lot

Marysa
2 months ago

My kids were terrible sleepers. I had many sleepless nights! These are good tips to help get through.

Ashley
2 months ago

Oh the newborn days, during them all you want is sleep and after them you miss the newborn days! We got pretty lucky with my son and getting him to sleep but it is definitely nice sleeping through the night again!

Sonia Seivwright
2 months ago

Agree with all. I feel you have to be patient with newborns as well.

Danielle
2 months ago

Thanks for sharing these tips! Sleep is a hard thing to overcome with kids.

Ashley t
Ashley t
2 months ago

These are all some great tips for getting newborns to sleep. I have a 6 month old and we use some of these to help him.

Kimmy
Kimmy
2 months ago

A swaddle was so key for my younger two!

Luna S
Luna S
2 months ago

Black out curtains are fantastic! I have them in both my kids bedrooms, it really does help you get a better sleep.

Alyssa
Alyssa
2 months ago

It could be challenging at first to get a newborn to sleep especially for first time parents so these are such incredible tips! Creating a consistent routine is so helpful for the baby to know that it’s nap time.

Gervin Khan
Gervin Khan
2 months ago

These are great and helpful tips most especially to all new mothers out there. I need to share this with my cousin, thank you!

Tasha Gervais
2 months ago

Agree with all. The waiting step is particularly important after they are no longer newborns. Just give them a chance to try out the developing skill of putting themselves back to sleep. Crying is the natural immediate response, but it doesn’t actually mean anything is wrong, it just means “I’m awake!” I found that waiting at least 10 minutes often did the trick.