Car Seat Infant Carriers And Strollers
Babies love movement, so it is not uncommon for them to fall asleep while riding in the car or a stroller. And while there is no need to wake them immediately, it is important that you move them to a safe sleep surface as soon as possible.
Its OK if your baby falls asleep in the car, but once you arrive home you need to remove them from the seat and transfer them to their crib, Dr. Turchi says.
One study found that a small percentage of sleep-related infant deaths occurred in car seats. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put your baby in a car seat when you are driving in the car. But once the car is stopped and you remove the infant carrier from the car, you should place your baby in safe location like a crib, bassinet, or play yard.
Our Tips For Baby Bedtime Routines
Once you bring your baby home from the hospital, establishing a newborn bedtime routine is essential. It will let your baby know that bedtime is coming so they can wind down and relax, and you can too. The more you enforce the routine, the more it will help them go to sleep on time and stay asleep through the night. Yes, its easier said than done, but find what works and stick with the process. Youve got this mom and dad! Here are some tips for newborn baby bedtime routines.
Put Your Newborn In Pajamas
Your newborn should wear a long-sleeve onesie or long-sleeve pajamas. Even though its cute, dont let your baby sleep in just a diaper and blanket. Most babies like to have their hands free, rather than tucked in, and long sleeves are important to keep the arms warm. A zipper or snaps will give you access to the vital diaper area. Pajamas with footies are nice if your baby tends to kick out of blankets. Pajamas will also prevent a chill if you have to unwrap him to change a diaper.
Here are some of our favorites:
Also Check: What To Prepare For Newborn Baby
Safe Sleep Practices For Infants
Practice the ABCs of safe sleep: Babies should always sleep Alone, on their Backs, in a Crib. Place your baby on his or her back for every sleep, night time and nap time.
Do not put your baby to sleep on his side or tummy.
Once your baby can roll from his back to tummy and tummy to back, your baby can stay in the sleep position that he assumes. But always place your baby to sleep on his back.
Place your baby on a firm mattress in a safety-approved crib with slats no greater than 2-3/8 inches apart.
Make sure your babys face and head stay uncovered and clear of blankets and other coverings during sleep. If a blanket is used make sure your baby is placed feet-to-foot in the crib. Remove all pillows from the crib.
Create a smoke-free-zone around your baby.
Avoid overheating during sleep and maintain your babys bedroom at a temperature comfortable for an average adult.
Remove all mobiles and hanging crib toys by about the age of 5 months, when your baby begins to pull up in the crib.
Remove crib bumpers by about 12 months, when your baby can begin to climb
For additional safe sleep practices for infants including information and video on choking, making a safe home environment, resources, swaddling and tummy time, click here.
Where Should My Baby Sleep
For the first 6 months your baby should be in the same room as you when they’re asleep, both day and night. This can reduce the risk of SIDS .
Particularly in the early weeks, you may find your baby only falls asleep in your or your partner’s arms, or when you’re standing by the cot.
You can start getting your baby used to going to sleep without you comforting them by putting them down before they fall asleep or when they’ve just finished a feed. It may be easier to do this once your baby starts to stay alert more frequently or for longer.
If you use a baby sling to carry your baby, make sure you use it safely. The Lullaby Trust has information about swaddling your baby and using slings safely.
Recommended Reading: What Wipes Are Best For Newborn
When To Stop Swaddling For Daytime Naps
Of course, all good things come to an end and that includes swaddling. Eventually, we need to stop swaddling, and stopping the swaddle during naps is a common strategy. This will allow your baby to get used to having their arms free but without disrupting their nighttime sleep
I recommend you dabble with unswaddling at least one arm around 8-16 weeks old at least a few times a week in preparation for the 4-month sleep regression. That doesnt mean you have to unswaddle your baby for ALL naps EVERY day! Gradually, allow more and more time without the swaddle so your baby can get used to it without disrupting your newborns schedule.
Over the next several weeks, your baby can spend more and more time being out of the swaddle at nap time. If they start rolling, you will want to unswaddle immediately for safety purposes. If youve already been practicing, the transition will be smoother.
Most parents will stop swaddling the baby completely by 4 to 6 months old, on average. If your baby rolls from back to belly sooner, you will need to stop the swaddle earlier.
How To Get Your Baby To Sleep In A Crib
When it comes to getting your baby to sleep in a crib, timing is critical. Experts recommend placing your baby in the crib at the first signs of drowsiness and not waiting until theyâve fallen asleep. This helps your baby learn to associate the crib as the place of sleep. To figure out how to get your baby to sleep in a crib , consider the following questions and insights:
Is there an obvious reason? Sometimes, your baby wonât sleep in a crib because they need something. Check whether your little one needs feeding or a diaper change, or whether they may be feeling sick.
Is your baby comfortable? Check that the room temperature is cool but comfortable for your baby to sleep and that your little one isnât over- or underdressed.
Have you tried soothing sounds? If your baby wonât sleep in their crib, try playing white noise or soothing sounds using a baby sound machine or creating white noise by turning on a fan pointed toward a wall.
Would a night-light help? Every baby is unique, but your baby might prefer having a night-light on as they fall asleep. A night-light can also provide enough illumination for middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes, so you avoid disturbing your baby by turning on the bedroom lights.
Read Also: What Is Newborn Stem Cell Preservation
If You Are Breastfeeding You Are Likely To Get More Sleep If You Keep Your Baby Nearby
The World Health Organization recommends that babies share a bedroom with their parents, and its a recommendation that makes breastfeeding less disruptive. A recent study found that breastfeeding women got more sleep when they co-slept with baby . In fact, mothers who co-slept and breastfed got more sleep than did mothers who bottle-fed their babies .
Dont Miss: When Can I Use Lotion On Newborn
Establishing A Baby Bedtime Routine
You may feel ready to introduce a bedtime routine when your baby is around 3 months old. Getting them into a simple, soothing bedtime routine can be a great opportunity to have 1-to-1 time with your baby.
The routine could consist of:
- changing into night clothes and a fresh nappy
- putting them to bed
- reading a bedtime story
- dimming the lights in the room to create a calm atmosphere
- giving a goodnight kiss and cuddle
- singing a lullaby or having a wind-up musical mobile you can turn on when you’ve put your baby to bed
- brushing their teeth
As your child gets older, it can be helpful to keep to a similar bedtime routine. Too much excitement and stimulation just before bedtime can wake your child up again. Spend some time winding down and doing some calmer activities, like reading.
Also Check: Why Newborn Spit Up Milk
How Much Sleep Do Newborns Need
Every baby and child is different, and the amount of sleep each little one needs may vary. In general, though, newborns sleep for up to 16 or 17 hours in 24-hour period, but the sleep doesnât happen all at once. Instead, very young babies will snooze in one- to three-hour blocks during both the day and night.All of this sleep is essential for your babyâs healthy and happy development. Over time, this haphazard round-the-clock dozing will become more organized, with more of your little one’s sleep hours taking place at night.
How To Put Your Newborn Baby To Sleep: Establish A Bedtime Routine
A baby bedtime routine can help if your newborn babys not sleeping. Its beneficial because it gives your baby cues that sleep-time is coming, and helps them wind down and relax.
“I couldnt face reading up on what I was supposed to be doing at bedtime, so I just let Eddie fall asleep on me, then would ease him into his own crib before going to bed myself, says Laura. But I definitely wouldnt recommend it! I had no evening to myself, and Eddie got used to being ‘cuddled’ to sleep, which was really difficult to stop.”
Find our step-by-step guide to help you put your newborn baby to sleep:
1.Don’t try to keep them awake for longer it’s tempting to try and keep your baby awake in the hopes that this will encourage them to sleep for longer, but usually this just results in an overtired and grumpy baby that won’t sleep3.
2.Start early this allows enough time to do everything in a slow and a relaxed manner.
3.Wash your baby Bathe your baby in a warm bath or just a wash if you dont want to bathe them every night.
4.Clean their teeth As soon as your babys first tooth breaks through, start cleaning their teeth at night. Use a clean, damp washcloth, a gauze pad, or a finger brush to gently clean the teeth and the front of the tongue with low-fluoride toothpaste.
5.Dim the lights Keep lighting low, and try not to let them play with noisy toys so as not to overstimulate them.
What About You Tips For Improving Your Own Sleep
Newborn sleep patterns take their toll on parents. In a study tracking the sleep patterns of mothers from pregnancy through the postpartum period, maternal sleep worsened after childbirth and continued to deteriorate until about 12 weeks postpartum -the time when newborn sleep patterns begin to show marked circadian rhythms .
Twelve weeks isnt forever, but it can seem like it when you are severely sleep restricted. As you struggle to cope with newborn sleep patterns, dont forget to look after yourself. Here are some tips to help you cope.
What Do Newborns Sleep In
In general, you do not want to dress your newborn too warmly to sleep, because consider that he or she will likely be swaddled, too, so that is an added layer or in a car seat like I mentioned my son above. Not only could it make your baby uncomfortable, but it also increases the risk of SIDS . Think about layers at every age, because if he or she feels too warm, you can simply remove one layer at night. If she spits up on the outer layer, depending on severity, you can simply replace the outer layer, too.
For newborns who are swaddled, I recommend a onesie underneath a light sleep-and-play outfit . In the summer, you can probably skip the footed outfit or socks, but in the winter, you may want to keep them on. If your newborn is no longer swaddled, read below.
Recommended Reading: How To Have Newborn Sleep At Night
Also Check: How To Relieve My Newborns Gas
How To Help Newborns Get In Sync With The Natural 24
1. Make your baby a part of your daily routine.
When parents include their newborns in their daily activities, newborn may adapt more rapidly to the 24-hour day .
One study took continuous measurements of mother-infant activity patterns for four months after birth. Newborns who were active at the same time of day as their mothers were quicker to develop mature circadian rhythms .
2. Reduce stimulation at night.
When your baby wakes for night time feedings, keep activity to a minimum. Make as little noise as possible, and avoid moving your baby around. Ideally, you want to avoid waking her all the way up. But if that isnt possible, at least try to minimize the hustle and bustle. You want the baby to learn that nighttime is for sleep and quiet.
3. Expose your newborn to natural lighting patterns.
Light cues might not instantly synchronize newborn sleep patterns, but they help.
For example, in one study, newborns slept longer at night if their parents observed a regular policy of turning out the lights by 9pm .
In another study, young babies tended to sleep longer at night if they had been exposed to lots of early afternoon light .
And time spent outdoors might make an important difference. Babies who go outside experience much higher daytime light levels than those kept indoors all day, and may develop stronger circadian rhythms as a result .
4. Try infant massage.
Read Also: Are Size 1 Diapers For Newborns
Baby Refuses To Sleep On Her Back
Some newborns dont enjoy sleeping on their backs from the beginning, which can seem tricky to solve, as everyones got personal preference. However, babies who sleep in other positions are correlated with a higher rates of SIDS. If this is the case, there are a few ways to mitigate this issue without compromising their health.
You can try rocking them before setting them down, placing your hand on their chest, and rocking them back and forth to comfort them. Additionally, swaddling tykes can help enormously in creating a secure, cozy environment for your little one, reminiscent of the womb.
If they still dont like sleeping on their back, its wise to consult a pediatrician to rule out any physical or medical conditions. Keep in mind, research has shown that sleeping on the back is still the safest positionâeven with acid refluxâand does not cause choking in newborns.
Also Check: How To Hold A Newborn Baby
Also Check: How Many Oz Of Breastmilk For Newborn
How Sleepy Is Too Sleepy For A Newborn
If baby will not wake up for feeds throughout the day or night and is extremely lethargic, of course contact your pediatrician.
If your baby is simply wanting to rest and nap during the day and still be out like a light at night this is totally normal. If youre nursing then baby is getting all those sleepy happy hormones from you.
Babies will wake up hungry, feed for a while, then try and fall asleep before the feed is over. Some babies, many actually, will still nap for 2 hours after that and only wake up to get more milk. And then theyll repeat it all over again .
Only to wake up for slightly more time around the witching hours and then go right back to bed at night. If baby is having enough wet diapers, dirty diapers, and is otherwise healthy, then consider yourself a lucky, mama.
Read Also: What To Do When Newborn Constipated
Baby Swings Bouncers And Sleep Positioners
If your baby falls asleep in a swing, a bouncer, or another piece of baby play equipment other than a CPSC-certified play yard, it is important to move them to a safe sleep surface as soon as possible.
You also should avoid using sleep positioners. These are sometimes called nests or anti-roll pillows that are designed to keep your baby in place. But these products can hinder babies’ breathing.
Don’t Miss: How Often Do Newborns Need A Bath
Dont Rely On Smart Baby Monitors
Cardiorespiratory monitors, which alert you to changes in your babys breathing at night, havent been proven to protect against SIDS. Nor are they regulated by the Food and Drug Administration because they’re not considered medical devices, so they’re often not safe to have around your baby at all.
What May Impact A Baby’s Ability To Sleep Through The Night
There are lots of reasons why your baby might wake in the night
There are many variables that could affect a baby’s ability to sleep through the night, but as they get older , learning to fall asleep on their own can often create much longer stretches of sleep at night time. In my experience, a baby who falls off to sleep on their own tends to have a higher likelihood of sleeping for longer night time stretches.
Some parents are really happy helping their baby to sleep, and others will really want to help their baby learn to do this without them there really is no one size fits all when it comes to sleep. Rest assured though that if you are struggling with broken nights, this is something all babies are capable of doing, but it is not the only variable they also need to be comfortable, not too under or overtired, and have a safe and comforting sleep environment.
Also Check: What Detergent Is Best For Newborns