How To Get Newborn To Sleep At Night: 6 Tips To Try

How To Get Newborn To Sleep At Night: 6 Tips To Try

The early newborn days are filled with moments of sweetness as you admire every finger and toe your baby has. You may be admiring with tired eyes, but the sweetness is just the same. 

As you go through the early days with your little one, you are probably experiencing extra yawns through the multiple wakings at night. Continue reading for tips to help your newborn (and you!) catch more ZZZ’s. 

Is Your Child Developmentally Ready?

Newborns need a great deal of sleep, ranging from fourteen to nineteen hours a day. However, infants have different sleep cycles than adults. They do not sleep for long periods and will wake every two to three hours to eat, whether they are bottle-fed or breastfed. 

A newborn’s tiny tummy can only hold a small amount of milk or formula and will need frequent feedings to keep them satisfied. Waking up every two to three hours can be hard on parents, but thankfully this stage only lasts a few weeks. 

As your baby gains weight and goes through a growth spurt, their tummy starts to get bigger, and they will be able to sleep for longer stretches of time. 

Your baby also has a reflex they are born with that may interrupt their sleep. Called the Moro reflex, your baby will stretch out their arms and legs in response to any loud noises that may startle them. This can occur even when your baby is asleep, and they can wake themselves up. 

They will grow out of this reflex after the first few early months, but you may want to consider swaddling your baby during this time, which will help keep arms and legs contained when this reflex is activated. 

Understanding The Time Difference

When your baby comes into this world, they have no idea that we sleep at night and stay awake during the day. As parents, you will be teaching these essential life lessons. If your baby wakes up continuously during the night but sleeps more soundly during the day, they have daytime and nighttime mixed up. 

To help give your baby a time change, take your baby on outside walks during the day to help keep them alert. Try to keep them engaged more during daylight hours, with toys or upbeat music. During the evening, you can play more relaxing music and keep the lights dimly lit. This will help your baby establish that the more exciting things happen during the day and that it is time to relax in the evening. 

When your baby wakes up during the night for feedings or a diaper change, make sure that no bright lights are turned on, and any noises are kept to a minimum. This will signal to your baby that even though they are awake, this is a time when it is dark and quiet and not a time to get excited. 

Consistent Bedtime Routine

One of the best solutions to your newborn sleeping is establishing a consistent bedtime routine for nighttime sleep. You can start this with your child at around six to eight weeks of age. At this age, your baby’s circadian rhythm is a little more consistent, and you also know your baby’s habits, feeding schedule, and when they tend to get sleepy. 

This routine can be any of your choosing, but it is important to keep it simple and consistent. This may simply be a night feed, bathtime, a short bedtime story in their nursery, then some cuddles as you gently rock your little one. As your baby starts to fall asleep, place them in their crib or bassinet so they can try to fall asleep on their own. If you consistently rock your baby to sleep, they may not want to go to sleep without you. 

When beginning your bedtime routine, consider adding aromatherapy as an element to aid your baby’s sleep patterns. Research has shown that scent can have a relaxing effect on our brains. When used in tandem with a bedtime routine, your baby will begin to associate these pleasant smells with the most relaxing part of the day. 

When your baby reaches three months, consider using a Relaxing Pillow & Linen Spray, infused with our NaturalSnooze fragrance featuring scents scientifically proven to create an environment that helps with falling asleep and staying asleep.

As your little one changes and grows, so can their bedtime routine and sleep cycle! It should be whatever fits best into your family’s life and what helps relax your little one the most. It may be helpful to make gradual changes so your baby isn’t surprised by a total overhaul of the bedtime routine they have come to know and love. 

Sleep Training

As your baby reaches four to six months of life, you can start adding in sleep training as a part of your child’s bedtime routine. Nighttime feedings should be at a minimum to avoid any confusion. If your little one is still waking up for multiple feedings, it may be best to wait a few more weeks. 

Sleep training is more successful if your baby consistently enjoys between six and eight hours of deep sleep without waking up. 

The goal of sleep training is to place your baby in their sleeping space fully alert and train your baby to get drowsy and fall asleep on their own without your assistance. There are varying methods of sleep training that can help your baby regulate their own sleep and wake patterns. 

Most call for allowing your baby to cry for a few minutes instead of immediately going in to soothe them. When you go into your baby’s room to check on them, most sleep training methods will remind you that it’s essential to try not to take your baby out of their crib. 

You can gently pat their back and say soothing words, and then leave the room. This will help your baby to understand that this time is meant for sleeping. 

Giving your baby a few minutes to cry unattended will help them begin to learn how to self-soothe. You and your partner’s comfort level of how long you would like your baby to cry it out will support your decision-making in which sleep training method you’d like to incorporate.

If your baby isn’t responding well to the sleep training you have chosen, it is okay to take a break for a few days or weeks. You may consider trying another sleep training method, one that has you more actively involved. 

Of course, if your baby is not responding well at all, you may want to consider visiting the pediatrician to rule out anything that may be causing your baby discomfort at nighttime. 

Be Prepared

Your baby will inevitably wake up in the middle of the night. They can be hungry, have a wet diaper, or maybe they are feeling sick. Being prepared for these instances can make for a smooth night, instead of a chaotic one trying to place your hands on a bottle, diapers, wipes, or a new change of clothes. 

Having a layer of waterproof coverings and crib sheets for your baby’s crib mattress can be a small miracle in the nighttime when your baby has to spit up or a wet diaper has leaked onto their bedding. You can simply remove the soiled sheet and waterproof covering and have a fresh sheet and new waterproof covering ready to lay your little one on. 

Keeping a small basket with diaper-changing materials and a clean set of pajamas in an easy-to-reach place can help you avoid having to turn on a bright light. Whatever you can do to keep the interruptions to a minimum will help your baby stay mellow and fall back asleep faster.

Cut Out Electronics

It is tempting to scroll on social media while rocking your baby, but the best option is to put away your phone or other electronic devices. The bright light from the screen can make your baby more alert and make it harder to get drowsy and fall asleep. 

Instead, you can play soothing music at a low volume or a white noise machine to help drown out any outside noises that may be keeping your baby awake. You don’t want things to be too quiet, though. Then your baby will become a light sleeper, and any noise will startle them. 

Conclusion

During these early days, a full night’s sleep seems to be a dream of the past. Although bedtimes may involve tears for your baby and you, know that these days will not last forever. 

We know that bedtime can be hard.

Here at Little Yawn Collective, we offer evidence-backed sleep solutions to help get your little one cozy, snoozy, and happy. Rest easy, parents! 

 

Sources: 

Sleep and Your Newborn (for Parents) | Nemours KidsHealth

Moro Reflex | Medline Plus

How To Sleep Train Your Baby | What to Expect

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