How To Help Newborn Sleep Better

Take Advantage Of Parental Leave


Employer policies on parental leave vary, but sometimes both parents can take time off from work, allowing them to more easily juggle baby care and leading to more sleep. For example, Mom might take time off from work right after the baby is born, and her spouse can take leave several weeks later, helping mom to get some sleep as she transitions back to work, says Pien.

Create A Comfortable Sleeping Space

The big, bright and cold world is very different to the womb your baby has known since day one. They may find it difficult falling asleep if theyre not comfortable in their environment. Keep them cosy with a small blanket or sleep sack and stick to smaller sleeping areas such as baskets or cradles.

If you prefer to be closer to each other, find good times for you to be with them while theyre sleeping, for example, if youre working on your laptop or reading a book. This may be a good time to consider your comfort when it comes to sleeping.

Perhaps a new mattress is on the books. In which case, you might as well invest in the best mattress for your needs. If you arent sure what to buy, you can use the linked guide to find the best mattress according to Mattress Nerd who are experts on the topic. A good quality mattress can also help you have better quality sleep when you are able to.

Whats The Most Important Sleep Tip For Parents Of A Newborn To Know

Your baby will tell you what he needs but you need to watch, listen and learn. Your baby is born with a unique personality, and you will soon become the best interpreter for your own baby. But it takes time to figure your baby out! You may feel more love than youve ever felt before in your life, but that doesnt mean youll know how to interpret your babys body language and noises right off the bat, and you wont always read your babys tired signs accurately. The good news is that you will learn quickly and in no time you will become the best expert on your very own baby.

About Elizabeth Pantley: Elizabeth is the author of twelve popular parenting books, available in twenty-seven languages, including the best-selling No-Cry Solution series. She is known by millions worldwide as a teacher of respectful and effective parenting methods. She is the mother of four children and grandmother of one, who was the inspiration for this book. Visit her website at

Elizabeth Pantley created The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns to explain the ways we unintentionally prevent an infants natural sleep to occur, and to teach us the simple but powerful ways to maximize our newborns naps and nighttime sleep and create the foundation for awesome sleep.

Updated on Filed Under: Nighttime parentingTagged With: Sleep


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Newborn Sleep: A Discussion With Elizabeth Pantley

What is the number one issue among parents of babies? Sleep!

We wanted to talk to someone who has spent many years helping parents with infant sleep issues, so we interviewed Elizabeth Pantley, who has written the No-Cry Sleep Solution series of books. Her new book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns, was released in October 2016.

Learn The Art Of Stress

9 Baby Sleep Tips: Help Your Baby Sleep Better (So You Can ...

Its hard to soothe a baby who is very irritable or distressed. This Parenting Science article about opens in a new windowstress in babies offers insights into what stresses out babies. It also provides evidence-based tips for keeping babies calm and emotionally healthy.

But what if you are feeling too stressed-out to project reassurance and calm? Or too depressed?

If so, you arent alone. Caring for a baby can be very stressful and exhausting, especially when you are sleep-deprived, coping with opens in a new windowchildbirth trauma, or struggling with a baby that opens in a new windowcries excessively .

If youre emotional state is poor, opens in a new windowscreen yourself for postpartum depression, and make your psychological health a priority. Postpartum depression and opens in a new windowpostpartum stress are very common, yet many parents continue to suffer privately. Talk to your doctor about your options.

For more information, see my article about the opens in a new windowpersonal costs of parenting stress and these opens in a new windowParenting Science tips for coping.

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Baby Sleep Tips Thatll Help Baby Sleep Longer Stretches

Sitting on the couch with my swollen legs propped up on pillows, I looked over at the stack of newborn baby sleep books on the coffee table. Over the course of several hours, I devoured each book, skimming through the pages.

I was determined to learn how to make a newborn sleep.

Thenmy son was born.

And.he didnt sleep.

Imagine that. A baby not sleeping the way a book says

I fumbled through it the first six weeks. I was so unsure of myself.

Thankfully, we pulled ourselves together, armed ourselves with some key infant sleep facts, developed a plan and implemented it.

We stuck with it, and at 4 months old, our son was sleeping 11-12 hours at night and naps extended to 1.5 to 2 hours. Woohoo! Weve experienced sleep regression, sleeping on the go, sleeping through teethingand so much more!

post contains affiliate links for your convenience.

Healthy Sleep Habits = Happy Baby

Knowing your babys sleepy cues is very important. Learn to recognize them and act by getting your baby to bed. An overtired and/or upset baby is more difficult to get to sleep. Sleep begets more sleep and overtired begets less sleep! Good sleep habits and patterns will be key to whether your child is a good sleeper through their toddler years and beyond. Stick with it, and dont forget to congratulate yourself on working hard to teach your child to sleep so that both of you are able to enjoy more activities, better moods and better health.

Good Night Sleep Site provides free child and family sleep support through , , and . We invite you to join our sleep community as we work towards Good Night Sleep Sites mission of a healthier rested family unit. For more sleep tips, and visit Good Night Sleep Site.

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Easy Ways To Help Your Newborn Sleep Better

Newborn sleep problems are common but its a mystery. Babies in the womb sleep up to twenty hours per day. Newborns know how to sleep, but we unknowingly get in the way of their natural process. Here are ways to help your baby get more sweet dreams.

  • Dont Exceed Babys Happily Awake Span
  • Newborns can only last forty-five minutes to an hour between sleep sessions. By three months of age this can extend to two or three hours, maximum. If your baby is awake longer than biology allows hell be fussier and cry more, plus find it harder to fall asleep.

  • Learn your Babys Sleepy Signals
  • Your newborn will give you signals when shes tired. If you miss the signs, your baby will quickly become overtired. On the flip side, a baby who isnt tired will reject efforts to get her to sleep. Look for that perfect sleepy moment. Babies share a few common signs of tiredness, such as losing interest in people and toys and making slower movements.

  • Correctly Identify Sleeping Sounds and Motions
  • Newborns grunt, coo, twitch, and shift position during sleep. These noises and movements dont always signal awakening. Rushing to pick your baby up during these occurrences can actually wake her up! So, take a pause to observe and listen. If your baby is sleeping let her sleep!

  • Use White Noise to Mask Baby-waking Sounds
  • Feed your Newborn Frequently Day and Night.
  • Two Types Of Congestion And Their Symptoms

    How Can I Help My Newborn Sleep Better?

    Its important to identify which type of congestion is bothering your baby so you know how to correctly care for them. The two types of congestion that are most likely to affect your baby are nasal congestion and chest congestion.

    And regardless of which type it is, congestion can be alarming, especially if this is your babys first time coming down with something.

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    Limit The Length Of Naps During The Day

    I know its hard to wake a sleeping baby, but sleeping too long of a stretch during the day can rob nighttime sleep. If the baby sleeps past the 2 2.5 hour mark, I would go ahead and wake the baby up, feed him, keep him a wake for a bit, and then lay him down for another nap. If you feel the baby truly needs longer naps, feel free to increase the nap limit to 2.5 hours. Breaking up sleep during the day will help your newborn baby sleep better at night. It also enables you to get more feedings in during the day, which is very helpful.

    There were, of course, times where our son was overtired and needed a little recovery nap. We would allow him to sleep for a little bit longer for just that one nap and then we started getting back on track with our daily routine.

    Related: How to Help Baby Take Longer Naps

    Give Your Baby A Gentle Nasal Massage

    A gentle nasal massage can help loosen and remove any substances clogging your little ones sinuses. Simply use two fingers to gently rub the area around the top of your babys nose.

    This can also include the region just under your little ones eyebrows. Monitor your baby closely to make sure theyre not experiencing any discomfort.

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    How Much Sleep A Newborn Baby Needs

    Your baby will need about 9 to 18 hours of sleep until they are 3 months old. The average they will sleep is about 14.5 hours.

    Your baby is unique and may sleep differently to other babies. Some babies sleep for long periods, others for short bursts. They will sleep during the day and night. They might sleep for anything between a few minutes to a few hours at a time.

    Newborn babies dont know the difference between day and night.

    How To Change A Newborns Sleep Patterns

    Help your baby sleep better with white noise

    Your newborns sleeping patterns are difficult to change, but theres a lot you can do to make her environment more conducive to sleep, including making sure shes fed with a clean, dry diaper, checking that her room is the right temperature and she’s not overdressed for sleep, and avoiding any distracting lights or sounds that could keep or wake her up.

    In the meantime, you might need to adjust your own sleep schedule to get the rest you need. When your baby is around 3 months old, you can try getting her on a sleep schedule, and when she’s between 4 and 6 months old, you can try sleep training if you want to.

    Parenting is full of surprises, and your babys sleep schedule is no exception. Your little one likely wont start to establish a regular sleep routine until around 8 to 12 weeks of age, and even then her sleep schedule will probably change, thanks to developmental milestones, travel and other common sleep routine disruptions.

    From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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    Don’t Give Up On Swaddling

    “It’s the first piece of advice I give to new parents, and they often say, ‘I tried swaddling, and my baby hated it.’ But sleep changes so rapidly in those early weeks and that what she hates at 4 days might work at 4 weeks. And you’ll get better with practice too. It’s common to swaddle to loosely the first few times or feel flustered if your baby is wailing. Believe me, it’s worth another shot, as long as she is still too young to roll over. Try different styles of swaddles, like the Miracle Blanket, which wraps snugly around, or the Swaddle Up, which lets your baby keep her hands up by her faceand maybe make it a little tighter to leave one of her arms out.” Linda Szmulewitz, a licensed social worker and founder of The Chicago New Moms Group and Sleep Tight Consultants

    How Much Should Baby Sleep

    Infants tend to sleep a lot, typically 14 to 18 hours a day, says Edward Kulich, MD, a New York City-based concierge house call pediatrician and baby sleep consultant. It can take several weeksor monthsbefore babys sleep settles into a pattern. In the early days, Kulich notes, schedules are erratic, since babies have a small stomach and cant go more than one to four hours without eating. But by 3 months old, he says, baby will tend to get into more of a rhythm, usually taking three naps a day, and some babies will sleep through the night.

    He defines sleeping through the night as baby getting 7 to 12 consecutive hours of shuteyewhich is a dream stretch for any new parent. But how do you and baby get to that point? Routine is key, Kulich says. Consistency above all. Many methods will work, but no method will work unless everyone in the household applies it consistently.

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    What Are Some Key Things New Mothers Can Do To Get More Rest

    I would say the most important idea is to learn whats normal and stop hoping for something else. The early months with your baby are about getting to know this new little person and finding your place as a parent. Whether this is your first baby or your sixth baby you should honor these early months with the time and peace that they deserve. Dont let the outside world prevent you from taking the time you need to learn all you can about your brand-new baby. In the early weeks, avoid having too much company, too many outings and too many distractions, as these can get in the way of focusing on your baby. Relax your housekeeping standards. Whittle down your to-do list. Remind yourself every day that your number one priority is getting to know your baby. If you remove outside pressures and cue into your baby then both your infant and you will get more rest.

    References: Baby Sleep Tips

    Help Your Newborn Sleep Better!

    Chonchaiya W, Wilaisakditipakorn T, Vijakkhana N, Pruksananonda C. 2017. Background media exposure prolongs nighttime sleep latency in Thai infants. Pediatr Res. 81:322-328.

    Custodio RJ, Junior CE, Milani SL, Simões AL, de Castro M, Moreira AC. 2007. The emergence of the cortisol circadian rhythm in monozygotic and dizygotic twin infants: the twin-pair synchrony. Clin Endocrinol . 66:192-7.

    Galland BC, Taylor BJ, elder DE, and Herbison P. 2012. opens in a new windowNormal sleep patterns in infants and children: A systematic review of observational studies. Sleep Medicine Reviews 16: 213-222.

    Jian N and Teti DM. 2016. Emotional availability at bedtime, infant temperament, and infant sleep development from one to six months. Sleep Med. 23:49-58.

    Kaur R, Bharti B, Saini SK. 2015. A randomized controlled trial of burping for the prevention of colic and regurgitation in healthy infants. Child Care Health Dev. 41:52-6.

    Lohr B, Siegmund R. 1999. Ultradian and circadian rhythms of sleep-wake and food-intake behavior during early infancy. Chonobiology international 16: 129-148.

    Nakagawa M, Ohta H, Nagaoki Y, Shimabukuro R, Asaka Y, Takahashi N, Nakazawa T, Kaneshi Y, Morioka K, Oishi Y, Azami Y, Ikeuchi M, Takahashi M, Hirata M, Ozawa M, Cho K, Kusakawa I, Yoda H. 2016. Daytime nap controls toddlers nighttime sleep. Sci Rep. 6:27246.

    Teti DM, Kim BR, Mayer G, Countermine M. 2010. Maternal emotional availability at bedtime predicts infant sleep quality. J Fam Psychol. 24:307-15

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