How To Lay A Newborn To Sleep

A Bed Goldilocks Will Love


Create a comfortable and cozy oasis that no baby can resist falling asleep in. Be sure babys co-sleeper or bed isnt placed in a direct path of air vents. Add extra plush layers under babys sheets, or invest in a soft night-light. Whatever drifts them off to dreamland. Of course, this excludes putting an overabundant amount of blankets and toys in the crib with your baby, as this could increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome .

The Best Sleeping Position For Your Baby

Always put your baby on their back for every sleep, day and night, as the chance of SIDS is particularly high for babies who are sometimes placed on their front or side.

You should always place your baby on their back to sleep and not on their front or side.

Sleeping your baby on their back for every sleep day and night is one of the most protective actions you can take to ensure your baby is sleeping as safely as possible.

There is substantial evidence from around the world to show that sleeping your baby on their back at the beginning of every sleep or nap significantly reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome .

Dont Let Your Newborn Sleep In The Car Seat

This is a contentious one, because weve all been there: Your baby conks out in the car seat while youre driving home or running errands, and the beauty of the bucket seat is that you can pop it out and transfer your sleeping infant inside for the remainder of her nap. But according to the AAP, allowing an infant to sleep in a bucket car seat thats been placed on the floor or clicked into a stroller is a safety hazard, as the babys head can fall forward and cause something called positional asphyxiation. Due to the angle of the seat design, its much safer to let your newborn nap in the car seat while its attached to the base and installed in the car. Letting your baby sleep in a car seat overnight when youre not awake enough to check on her is a serious baby sleep mistake. In fact, experts actually recommend limiting the time your baby spends in a car seat, bouncer or swing to 30 minutes, mostly for developmental reasons and the risk of developing positional plagiocephaly . However, wed like to acknowledge that this 30-minute maximum is downright impossible on road trips, for parents who have long work or daycare commutes, or when the swing is truly the only place you can get your infant to nap. Wed love to see some more research on this recommendation.

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Is Sleep Training Safe

While its 100% accurate that sleep training can be very stressful for parents, rest assured, if your baby is developmentally ready and in a safe sleep environment, sleep trainingno matter the methodis perfectly safe. In fact, research in the journal Pediatricsnotes that no long-term differences have been found between children whove been sleep trained as babies and those who werent. In addition, another study found that successful infant sleep training significantly improves moms mood.

Why Do Some Babies Sleep In The Fencing Reflex Position When Sleeping On The Back

Struggling with your baby

Fencing reflex is also known as the Tonic Neck reflex. It is one of the many involuntary movements exhibited by infants while sleeping. In this case, when a baby is put to sleep on his back, the babys head turns to one side with the arms and legs extended to the same side. This prevents the baby from rolling from their back position to stomach. It must be noted that this self-precautionary movement will disappear anytime between 3 to 6 months of age.

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Document When Your Baby Sleeps

Before rushing into deciding the exact time you want for bedtime, pay attention to your baby and the natural sleep cycle theyre following.

For newborns, this can be pretty sporadic, but you may notice a pattern in their sleep, and when they stay down for the longest. Work with these times, and document them as they change, too.

Can You Spoil A Baby By Holding Him Too Much

Spoiling a baby is relative.

After all, someone who enjoys holding her baby to sleep every time would certainly not object to doing so. In fact, she might even feel guilty for holding her baby, assuming shes doing a bad job by doing it so often.

So no, you cant spoil a baby by holding him too much.

Instead, the better question to ask is this: What expectations are you willing to set?

If youre okay with holding your baby, then by all means, continue doing so. But if you feel an imbalance between his needs and those of yours, your family, your work, and your home, then something needs to change.

It can be as simple as putting him down more throughout the daywhen he is awakeso he knows its also okay to be away from your arms. And of course, applying the tips you learned here to get him used to sleeping without being held.

Learn more about what it means to have a spoiled baby.

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Young Babies Sleep Needs:

  • Babies need to feed frequently. Newborn babies need to feed approximately 8-12 times every 24 hours. This makes it difficult to learn how to get a newborn to sleep in more than 4-5 hour increments. The transition to longer, consolidated stretches of sleep is gradual, and will increase as nighttime feedings decrease.
  • Babies need to be changed. Infants stomachs and bladders are too small to hold the calories required for their rapid growth. As such, they relieve themselves overnight, and out of wet discomfort, begin to cry or fuss. Look for high-quality overnight diapers that can keep them more comfortableand keep you both asleep for longer.
  • Babies need touch and motion. Newborns in particular enjoy being in a squished environment , which is why swaddling is so important. Not only is swaddling a source of comfort, but it can also minimize the startle reflex that may cause your baby to wake in the middle of the night. Infants are also accustomed to the constant motion and rocking of the womb to help them sleep better, pick up a swing, cradle, or rocking bassinet that can mimic the same effect.
  • Babies need to develop hormones. Human circadian rhythms is driven by hormones. These generally dont develop until around 12 weeks of age, meaning that up until this point, babies have little understanding of day or night, wake time or sleep time.

Now that weve covered your infants sleep needs, lets take a look at the common challenges you may face when putting baby to sleep.

Can Babies Sleep On Their Side

How To Put Your Baby To Sleep, According To “The Baby Whisperer”

The side sleeping position for babies is not particularly alarming. But, recent research shows that babies who sleep on the side eventually turn on their tummy, and this increases the risk of SIDS. Babies tend to learn to roll over by the age of six months. If this is the case, you can let the baby continue to sleep on his side as the rolling over indicates strong internal organs and low risk of choking. However, if the baby rolls over to the side before six months of age, ensure you put them him in the sleep-on-the-back position.

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Follow The Eat Wake Sleep Cycle

The baby wakes from sleep and immediately eats. Then the baby is awake for a while to play. Then the baby goes back to sleep.

This cycle has several purposes. First, it encourages full feedings by allowing the baby to eat immediately after waking. The baby will have the most energy immediately after waking, making him more inclined to take a full feeding and go longer between feedings.

Also, by feeding the baby after sleep rather than before sleep, the cycle prevents the baby from associating food with sleep or using food as a sleep prop. When using this cycle, a feeding before bedtime is typically only feeding before sleep.

Of course, there were times where I definitely fed my baby before sleep. He needed a little TLC for a certain nap, and I was totally fine offering it when he needed it. But for the most part, I tried to avoid feeding him right before sleep.

Note: Newborns require frequent feedings and rest to ensure healthy growth a development in the early months. Always feed your baby as frequently as your baby needs to ensure healthy weight gain.

How Much Sleep Does Your Baby Need

Newborns sleep about 16 hours a day, usually in 3- to 4-hour periods. Your baby needs to eat every few hours, which is why she doesnt sleep for longer periods of time. Your baby may get cranky or overtired if she doesnt get enough sleep.

Dont be surprised if your baby can only stay awake for an hour or two. Over time, her body gets into a sleep pattern. She starts sleeping for longer stretches, even during the night. If youre worried about your babys sleep, talk to her health care provider.

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Place A Heating Pad Or Warm Water Bottle On The Crib

To go from your warm, cozy arms to a cold, hard crib can be a difficult transition for your baby. To make the bed just as inviting, try this trick:

Place a heating pad or a warm water bottle on the crib a few minutes before you plan to set him down. For instance, you might heat the bed while he nurses before bedtime. That way, easing him out of your arms can still feel cozy when the bed feels just as nice and warm.

You might even leave the pad or bottle nearby for a few minutes, so he can still feel it next to him, before removing it. And make sure to test the bed first to check it isnt too hot for your baby.

Safety First: Lower Sids Risk

Put Your Baby To Bed While They

Every time you put your baby down to sleep, whether it’s at night or for a nap during the day, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you do the following to lower the chances of SIDS :

  • Always put your baby down to sleep on their back.
  • Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep.
  • If you baby falls asleep in a stroller car seat or swing, try to remove them and lay them down on a flat surface.
  • Your baby should sleep in the same room as you, but not in the same bed as you.
  • Keep soft objects or loose bedding out of the crib. This includes pillows, blankets, stuffed animals, and bumper pads.
  • Dont rely on devices which claim to prevent SIDS.
  • Do not use wedges and positioners.
  • Offer your baby a pacifier at nap time and bedtime.
  • Avoid covering your baby’s head or overheating.
  • Do not use home monitors or commercial devices marketed to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  • Make sure your baby gets all recommended vaccinations.
  • Get some skin-to-skin contact time with them.
  • Give your baby supervised, awake tummy time every day.
  • Don’t smoke.
  • Breastfeedyour baby.
  • If you are tired, dont breastfeed while in a chair or on a couch in case you fall asleep.
  • If you’re pregnant, get regular prenatal care.


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Helping Your Newborn Sleep

Newborns follow their own schedule. Over the next couple of weeks to months, you and your baby will begin to settle into a routine.

It may take a few weeks for your baby’s brain to know the difference between night and day. Unfortunately, there are no tricks to speed this up, but it helps to keep things quiet and calm during middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes. Try to keep the lights low and resist the urge to play with or talk to your baby. This will send the message that nighttime is for sleeping. If possible, let your baby fall asleep in the crib at night so your little one learns that it’s the place for sleep.

Don’t try to keep your baby up during the day in the hopes that he or she will sleep better at night. Overly tired infants often have more trouble sleeping at night than those who’ve had enough sleep during the day.

If your newborn is fussy it’s OK to rock, cuddle, and sing as your baby settles down. Swaddling can also help to soothe a crying baby. For the first months of your baby’s life, “spoiling” is definitely not a problem.

How To Survive Your Babys Four

Just when it seems like babies are getting the hang of the whole sleep thing, they stop sleeping. Dont worry, sleep regression is realand its normal.

Delphine Nicholls Golan knew some damage control was in order. So by the door of the apartment unit next to hers, she placed a bottle of wine, a box of earplugs and a note: Dear Neighbours: Apologies in advance for any late-night screams. Im learning to sleep through the night, signed Aleph, 4 months. The Toronto mom of two was in the throes of the dreaded four-month sleep regressionthat phase when infants who have been sleeping longer stretches at night suddenly stop. Aleph went from sleeping three and a half hour stretches to waking every 45 minutes, she says. You start to go crazy.

All babies experience numerous sleep setbacks in their first two years, but the four-month mark sleep regression feels especially cruel. Youre massively sleep-deprived from caring for your newborn around the clock, and just when you think you might be inching toward a full night of sleep, the regression hits.

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Myth : We Should Teach Babies To Sleep In Their Own Rooms

Having our babies grow up to be independent takes a long time. Theres no need to rush it. In fact, having your new child sleep in another room is inconvenient and possibly dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies sleep in the parents room for at least six months . The simple practice has shown to significantly reduce the rate of sudden infant death syndrome.

When To Introduce A Bedtime Routine


Before beginning sleep training, youll want to work on a bedtime routine first.

Routines are great for everyone babies and parents alike. It never hurts to start working on a bedtime routine, as long as you remember that babies only start developing the ability to follow one around 6-8 weeks .

You can start sooner, even as soon as a newborn! Just be prepared for the routine to be broken frequently for 1-2 hour feedings, cuddling sessions, and other speedbumps.

Creating an early routine is more of a loose practice to get yourself, your family, and eventually, your baby into the habit.

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