How To Help My Newborn Sleep Longer At Night

Make Sure Babys Room Is Just Right

How can I help my baby sleep longer at night?

Just like you wanted to have a bright room for naps, you want to have a dark room at night. Blackout curtains are so helpful in getting babys body and mind ready for sleep.

Making sure that baby is not too hot or too cold is also very important. The ideal temperature for baby to sleep comfortably and safely is about 68 degrees .

Newborn Sleep: What To Expect

All babies are different, and their sleep patterns can vary a lot. For these first few weeks, its a good idea just to let them nap when theyre tired, and to feed on demand when theyre hungry.

Newborns sleep a lot – around 16 out of every 24hours and they need eight to 12 feeds a day so they get enough food for growth and development. This means when theyre awake, theyre usually feeding, and after feeding, theyll probably want to go back to sleep. This seemingly never-ending feed-sleep cycle starts to change after three to four weeks, when your baby starts to take in their surroundings, and be a little more interactive with you. But still, at this age, there isnt much time for play.

Very young babies tend to sleep on and off through the day and the night, and the length of those sleeps can vary.

Keeping newborns awake during the day wont make them sleep more at night. At this stage, let them sleep when theyre tired, and feed them when theyre hungry. Overtired babies often wake more frequently.

Stick To A Consistent Bedtime Routine And Schedule

You can help condition your baby to sleep longer at night by following the same bedtime routine every day. You can start off the bedtime routine by lightly massaging the babys body, followed by a warm bath and a change of clothes.

You can also try different soothing interventions, such as playing or singing lullabies, cuddling, hugs, and light patting, to see what works best for your baby. It can take 314 days for your baby to become familiar with the bedtime routine.

Many studies have indicated that the implementation of a consistent and optimal bedtime routine is a feasible and cost-effective method to improve several health metrics in young children.

Moreover, it can have a direct positive impact on the quality of sleep in early childhood by improving sleep onset latency, sleep duration, and sleep consolidation.

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Lay The Baby Down Awake But Drowsy

The most important way to encourage your newborn to sleep in the long run is to teach him to fall asleep independently, which is essentially the beginnings of teaching independent sleep.

Babies, like adults, will naturally wake up during the night. Without knowing how to get back to sleep, a baby will cry out after waking regardless of actual need, resulting in night waking droning on for much longer than is actually necessary.

Once a baby gets older, falling asleep independently enables a baby to drift back to sleep after waking in the night, ultimately helping your baby sleep better in the long run.

You can start by settling your baby into a drowsy state with your newborn baby routine, then lay your baby down in their safe sleep space. If needed, place a gentle but firm hand over your babies chest while he drifts off.

Tip #: Use Light To Teach Babies Day And Night

How To Get My Baby To Sleep At Night

Its always dark in the womb, so light and dark are new distinctions to a baby.

One retrospective study asked mothers questions about their babies. It concluded that a consistent and early lights-off time was associated with longer sleep. In other words, turning out the lights at the same time each night can help train your little one that its time to sleep.

In addition, a regular bedtime routine can help alert baby that its time to swiftly head off to dreamland.

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Newborn Sleep Patterns: Are There Any

To the sleepless parent, newborn sleep might seem totally disorganized. For example, consider these points.

1. Newborns never sleep for long.

Newborns sleep in short bouts typically ranging from 30 minutes to 4 hours at seemingly random times throughout the day and night.

2. Newborns awaken easily.

In part, this is because they spend a large portion of their sleep time in active sleep, a light sleep state characterized by fluttering eyelids rapid, irregular breathing occasional body movements and vocalizations .

3. Newborn sleep times can vary widely.

In the first few days, the average newborn sleeps between 16-18 hours a day . By four weeks, newborn sleep averages about 14 hours. But the range is considerable. Some four-week-old babies sleep as little as 9 out of 24 hours. Others sleep for 19 hours a day .

Check Out Our Sleep Tips

In Baby Sleep Simplified you’ll find sample schedules for every age through the first year, as well as tips on what you should focus on during every sleep stage to help your baby become a good sleeper. You can also check out our 7 Tips and Tricks on How to Get Your Newborn to Sleep or our 7 Highly Effective Sleep Tips.

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Importance Of Sufficient Sleep In Kids

The body re-energizes itself during sleep. Thus, quality sleep is essential to keep your body functioning well. This is particularly true for babies above the age of 3 months, toddlers, young kids, and teens, who are in the midst of their developmental phase.

Inadequate or poor-quality slumber can compromise their mental and physical growth. Sleep problems in children have been associated with behavior issues, obesity, high-risk activities, and other serious concerns.

This, however, does not imply that any child who has trouble sleeping is bound to suffer lifelong problems.

Should You Sleep Train Your Baby Or Get Baby On A Sleep Schedule

How can I help my baby sleep longer during the night?

Between the ages of three and six months, youll be able to start your kid on a regular sleep routine. Attempting to implement a sleep pattern too early could have a negative impact on your babys development, as well as on your milk supply if youre nursing.

Depending on your babys temperament, he or she may choose to get up early and eat right away, or he or she may prefer to sleep in and eat later in the morning. Either way is fine newborns sleep needs and when they need them vary widely.

The most crucial thing to remember is the total amount of hours your child is sleeping. It is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that babies aged 4 to 12 months have 12 to 16 hours of sleep per day, taking naps included . Including naps, babies between the ages of four and eleven months should get 12 to 15 hours of sleep every day, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

Its not too late to start sleep training your baby at 5 or 6 months old if youve already weaned him off night feedings. This entails teaching your baby to sleep longer stretches at night and to calm himself when he wakes up on his own.

Even if youre groggy and hazy from sleep deprivation, try to be kind to both yourself and your little night owl while you read this. Preventing tiredness is possible by sleeping when your baby does, and by enlisting the assistance of family and friends.

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Helping Your Baby Sleep

If you haven’t already, start a bedtime routine that will be familiar and relaxing for your baby. Bathing, reading, and singing can soothe babies and signal an end to the day. Some babies like to be swaddled , which can be done until they start to roll. Be consistent and your baby will soon associate these steps with sleeping.

If you rock your baby to sleep before bedtime, your little one may expect to be rocked to sleep after nighttime awakenings. Instead, try putting your baby into a crib or bassinet while drowsy but still awake. This way your baby will learn to fall asleep on his or her own.

Some babies squirm, whine, and even cry a little before falling back to sleep on their own. Unless you think that your baby is hungry or ill, see what happens if you leave your baby alone for a few minutes he or she might settle down.

If your baby wakes during the period that you want him or her to sleep, keep activity to a minimum. Try to keep the lights low and resist the urge to play with or talk to your baby. Change or feed your baby and return him or her to the crib or bassinet.

If your baby is waking early for a morning feeding, some small changes may allow a slight shift in schedule. You might try waking your baby for the late-night feeding at a time that suits your sleep schedule:

It may take a few nights to establish this routine, but being consistent will improve your chances of success.

Dont Assume That Its Pointless To Lie Down If You Dont Fall Asleep You Might Pass Into A State Of Drowsy Semi

Too wired to sleep when the baby sleeps? If so, keep in mind that quiet resting is better than nothing. In fact, if you are lying down with your eyes closed, you might be asleep without realizing it.

In numerous lab studies, subjects who were awakened from the first stage of sleep often denied that they were asleep at all . A nap that consists only of stage 1 sleep might not help you improve your reaction times, but it will probably make you feel less tired. And if you manage to slip into the second stage of sleep even for just 3 minutes your nap may have recuperative effects .

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Perfect Your Swaddle Technique

I cant tell you how many parents tell me their kid hates the swaddle. But nothing could be further from the truth. In my experience, while there are a few babies that truly hate the swaddle, most parents mistake their childs fussing for hate. Try to implement use of the swaddle for naps and at bedtime. Try it for several weeks for each sleep period before writing it off.

Play White Noise Sounds

2 Must Have Items to Help Your newborn baby to sleep ...

White noise can help lull your baby to sleep through the night by drowning out all other background sounds that occur naturally in your environment.

White noise is similar to the sound that the baby hears in the womb and therefore helps your little one feel more secure and comfortable.

One study found that white noise was a better non-pharmacological measure than swinging for comforting crying, colicky babies, and improving their sleeping durations.

Note: When using white noise machines, make sure to follow the doctors guidelines and the instruction manual to prevent any damage to your babys hearing.

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Give Yourself A Break

“If you listen to your best friend, a cousin, or a neighbor talk about how their baby was sleeping through the night at 2 months, you’ll just get stressed. Tune out the unhelpful comparisons as much as you can. To solve your own baby’s sleep issues, you’ll need a bit of observation, a bit of trial and error, and a lot of flexibility. It’s so easy to feel as if sleep will never get better, but it does constantly change. Just because you have a terrible sleeper at 2 months does not mean you’re fated to have a terrible sleeper at 2 years.” Palmer

Listen to Parents “That New Mom Life” podcast for expert advice on breastfeeding, the emotional highs and lows of motherhood, sleepless nights, and more!

Parents Magazine

Gentle Natural Ways To Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Better

by Emily DeJeuin Newborns Last Updated: April 16, 2021

Fact: newborns and young infants arent usually the best sleepers, what with the waking every few hours to eat and all. Thats why the phrase sleeping like a baby is so misleading, in my opinion!

Understandably, parents often become very interested in how to help their newborns sleep pretty soon after delivery. The thing is, newborns and young babies arent ready for sleep coaching .

Dont let that make you feel hopeless, though just because your newborn is too young for sleep coaching doesnt mean youre destined to endure months of sleeplessness. There are steps you can take to naturally, gently encourage your newborn to sleep better.

And thats what were looking at today! Below are 7 ways you can naturally and gently promote better sleep for your newborn. Lets take a look!

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What Is The Best Sleep Schedule For A Newborn Baby

There is no single, ideal newborn baby sleep schedule. How much a newborn baby sleeps is more important than when they sleep.

An average newborn baby sleeps between 16 and 17 hours over each 24-hour period. This sleep generally occurs in 2 to 4 hour increments throughout the day and night, with the baby waking when they are hungry.

At birth, babies don’t yet know the difference between night and day, so they sleep at any time. Parents shouldn’t expect infants younger than 3 months old to sleep through the night or adhere to a specific sleep schedule. That said, a baby’s sleeping patterns often shift over the first three months of life.

Research suggests that during the first three months, babies begin developing a circadian rhythm that affects sleep. As a result, they start sleeping for longer periods of time at night and shorter periods during the day. On average, one-month old infants sleep 5.7 hours each night and three-month olds sleep 7.4 hours, though this is normally non-continuous sleep.

Parents can help their babies sleep longer at night by exposing them to more light during the day time during the first three months of life. Similarly, dimming the lights at night and maintaining quiet hours may also help babies begin to sleep more at night than during the day.

Be Strategic With Diaper Changes

Getting Your Newborn to Sleep Longer Stretches

Changing your babys diaper can be a stimulus for your little one, making it difficult for her to go back to sleep. If diaper changing is revving up your baby, you may want to choose to limit changes to just poopy diapers and diapers that are exceptionally wet. Lightly wet diapers can wait until the morning. The tradeoff will be longer, more uninterrupted sleep at night for you and your baby.

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Sleeping Through The Night What It Is And What It Isnt

Experts generally consider sleeping through the night as sleeping 6 to 9 hours at a time for children and adults. But for babies, sleeping through the night may mean your child still needs to breastfeed or take a bottle remember, tiny tummies mean hunger calls often but is able to fall back to sleep after.

So your 3-month-old sleeping through the night doesnt necessarily mean youre getting uninterrupted sleep. But it does mean your child is getting some quality shut-eye to help with their development and growth.

Around two-thirds of babies truly sleep uninterrupted for that blissful 6 to 9 hours by the time theyre 6 months of age.

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