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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.