Helping Your Newborn Sleep Through the Night
We understand how overwhelming the first few months as a new parent can be, especially when it comes to getting a consistent sleep schedule down - but don’t worry! We’re here to help with a few tips and tricks to help your baby sleep.
WHEN WILL MY BABY SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT?
Between 0-3 months, babies need to wake up every few hours to eat. This makes it quite difficult for them to sleep through the night. As your little one grows they’ll start to need fewer night feeds; this normally happens at around 3-6 months. Some babies at this age will sleep for 8 hours at a time or more, but remember, there’s no defined “sleep through the night” age - it is different for every baby!
WHERE SHOULD MY NEWBORN SLEEP?
Your little one will spend plenty of their first few months sleeping; on average a newborn sleeps between 8-16 hours per day. We know that all families and cultures are different when it comes to choosing sleeping arrangements for their children, however, the NCT recommends that until your baby is at least 6 months old, that they sleep in the same room as you, in a separate cot or basket. The NCT also recommends placing your baby on their back, as this type of sleeping arrangement has the lowest chance of SIDS.
HOW TO SETTLE MY NEWBORN BABY TO SLEEP?
It might be strange to think of sleeping as a skill that your baby has to learn, but even the most well-behaved babies need to learn when and how to sleep! Below are some top tips to help your little one get a good night’s sleep all on their own:
Start a consistent bedtime routine
Once you’ve received clearance from your pediatrician to start a bedtime routine (this is normally at around 4-6 months), we recommend following a consistent bedtime routine. You’ll find that having a routine will teach your little one to know when it’s sleep time following a certain activity.
Give your little one a soothing massage
A massage for baby before bed can both calm your baby down if they’re a bit fussy and relax you! We recommend giving your little one a massage at the beginning of the bedtime routine when they’re a bit more awake!
Keep a calming, pleasant environment
We can all get a little cranky when something noisy or distracting is keeping us from falling asleep. Too much excitement or stimulation can cause our minds to wander and make it more difficult to settle down. We recommend dimming the lights in your baby’s room to create a dark, soothing sleep space so they can peacefully drift off into dreamland. If your baby wakes up in the middle of the night, we recommend avoiding turning any harsh lights on so they remain relaxed and fall back to sleep easier.
Read to your baby before bed
When choosing a book to read to your little one before bedtime, reach for bright books that your baby can touch and explore while you read to them. When you read, use a calming voice and talk a bit slower than you usually would to help lull your little one to sleep.
Give them a bath
A good bedtime routine isn’t complete without a relaxing bath. Singing them a lullaby when they’re in the bath could help too, as the sound of your calm voice will soothe them ahead of bedtime. Once you’ve finished bath time, gently dry your little one and snuggle them up in some warm clothes for bed.
Try moving bedtime earlier
If your little one seems a little unsettled during your bedtime routine, it might make sense to try moving bedtime to an earlier time. If you’re still experiencing some problems getting baby to sleep at a regular time, have a think about some of the common sleep problems in young children and speak to your GP.
Introduce a white noise machine
White noise has been proven to create a comfortable, womb-like environment which helps to calm babies, making it easier for them to drift off asleep. You can buy some amazing white noise machines for your nursery, like Ewan the Sheep, however, if you’re looking for a low-cost option constant background noises such as a washing machine, vacuum cleaner, fan or running water also help promote sleep in the same way.
Be patient during the bad nights
We know that as a parent, brand new or a little more experienced, you’re doing your best to provide your little one with a comfortable sleeping environment. We also know that sometimes there will be nights where nothing seems to work. As easy as it is to say compared to doing, try your best to be patient - if settling your baby doesn’t work one night, there is always tomorrow!
ADJUSTING TO THE LACK OF SLEEP WITH A NEWBORN
After having a baby, parents will need more sleep than ever before - but unfortunately, there are times when you may not always get the sleep you need. Getting a baby to sleep through the night will look different for every family, and probably won’t happen overnight.
If you’re struggling to get enough sleep yourself with your newborn little one, we recommend:
- Try your best to sleep when your baby sleeps
- Ask your family or friends for support
- Try to do regular, stimulating exercise in addition to some relaxation exercises
- Try your best to keep on top of your stress
- If you’re still struggling with the lack of sleep you’re getting with your newborn, be sure to talk to your GP or health visitor.
If you follow a regular bedtime schedule, keep an appropriate and consistent bedtime, and have patience with your baby as well as yourself as a parent, we know you’ll smash it!
We hope you enjoyed reading our top tips on helping your baby sleep through the night! Have any more top tips when it comes to helping your little one sleep through the night? Stop by our Facebook and Instagram pages to share your suggestions with other Metanium parents!
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