How To Put Your Newborn To Sleep At Night

Where Your Baby Should Sleep

How can I get my newborn to sleep at night?

Cot death or sudden infant death syndrome is the sudden and unexpected death of a baby who seems healthy during sleep.

It can happen in a cot, pram, bed, car seat, baby seat or anywhere a baby is sleeping.

The safest place for your baby to sleep is in a cot in the same room as you.

Stroke Your Babys Face

Worried that your baby will startle and throw a fit the minute you put him down awake?

Try this simple trick to help him relax: After putting him down awake, stroke his cheek and forehead until his eyes close. Maybe you caress his eyebrows, or run your finger from the bridge of his nose to the top of his head. Or you gently stroke his cheeks, moving from nose to ear.

These simple touches can be all it takes to keep him in a drowsy state until he eventually falls asleep. Sure, he still needs your help to sleep, but at least youre not holding him the whole time.

Stop Overthinking The Situation

Resist the urge to research “how to put a baby to sleep” every single night. “Information overload causes parents to try a million different things, which doesn’t build any consistency or trust,” says Prueher. “Children thrive on knowing what to expect.” She recommends giving your baby a little space to show their capabilities.

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Week : Review Newborns Sleep Schedule

At a month and a half, your baby may have developed new patterns. Do you notice any changes? Perhaps youre transitioning into a more consistent feeding schedule. Maybe you notice your newborn is more awake and alert in the morning.

Now is the time to review your newborns sleep pattern and schedule. Do you find them getting tired at the same time at different points in the day? This could clue you into making that time a naptime.

Are they getting drowsy after dinner at the same time? Thats cue to make it bedtime. Do they get up to eat at the same time? That can clue you in when you should get some shut-eye before getting up in the night.

Following this newborn sleep tip will help you get into the habit of noticing when your baby is getting sleepy and is ready to be put down with ease.

How To Get Your Newborn To Sleep At Night

Expert sleep strategies for babies

All babies cry, and all parents experience a crying baby at night from time to time. There are many reasons your newborn may cry at night, rather than falling or staying asleep. For example, she may be uncomfortable or overstimulated, or may need a diaper change.

Here are some of the things you can try to help your baby settle and fall asleep:

Above all, try not to become stressed if your newborn is not sleeping never act on any frustration you may be feeling by shaking or hitting your baby. Instead, leave your baby safely in his crib for a few minutes while you regroup in another room, and go back in when you feel calm and ready.

In Summary

Itâs normal for babies to cry and not be able to fall asleep sometimes. Checking that your baby is comfortable and letting him suck on a clean finger or a pacifier can help soothe him. If nothing seems to be working, leave him safely in his crib to cry for a few minutes. Sometimes letting your baby cry it out helps him fall asleep on his own. Never shake or hit your baby no matter how frustrated you are. If youâre feeling stressed, take a few minutes to regroup in another room and go back in when youâre feeling calm again.

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Let Your Baby Sleep In A Snug Place

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Babies find comfort in snug places, having spent so much time in your womb. While the crib is the ideal place to set your baby down, many parents have found more luck in other, snugger places. These offer the secure feeling of being cupped and held, just like in your arms.

Here are a few ideas:

Make Sure Your Babys Comfortable

Before putting your baby in her crib, check that she doesnât need a diaper change or a feeding that sheâs dressed warmly but not overdressed and that the room temperature is cool but comfortable. Go ahead and darken the room by turning off the main lights and drawing the shades. You may like to turn on a night-light so thereâs a little light, or play some soft music or white noise if this helps calm your little one.

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Stop Swaddling Before Baby Rolls

Make sure to use the right swaddling technique and always put your swaddled baby to sleep on her back.

You should stop by the time your baby is rolling over , which usually starts around 3 or 4 months. Swaddling can create a strangulation or suffocation hazard for older babies who are mobile enough to potentially wriggle their way out.

Want to play it extra safe? Stop at 2 months, before your baby begins to get her roll on.

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.

  • What to Expect the First Year, 3rd edition, Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel.

Week : Tryout A Mini Routine

How to get your baby to sleep at bedtime

Eventually, you and your baby will be able to follow a consistent routine. For now, it doesnt hurt to introduce your baby to a mini routine with the understanding that it can change from day-to-day.

How do you follow a mini routine with an unpredictable schedule? Keeping it short and sweet!

For example, pick one daily activity like a diaper change, and follow the same steps when performing that task.

These mini routines will help your baby catch on quicker when they are a bit older and you work on establishing things like a daily schedule or bedtime routine.

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How Long Will My Baby Sleep

Because babies this age are more awake, alert, and aware of their surroundings during daylight hours, they’re more likely to be tired at night and sleep. But the range of normal is still very wide.

Infants up to 3 months old should get 1417 hours of sleep over a 24-hour period, says the National Sleep Foundation. Many will have settled into a daily sleep routine of two or three naps during the day, followed by a longer “sleeping through the night” stretch after a late-night feeding.

Dont Keep Your Baby Awake Too Long

I figured babies simply sleep when theyre tired, but I couldnt have been more wrong. In fact, the times when I kept my baby awake for far too long were some of the most challenging times. Being overtired meant he had a difficult time falling asleep.

I later learned that babies cant stay awake for too long. That once the window is up, then you really need to do whatever it takes to get them to sleep and reset their bodies.

One of the best ways to make sure your baby isnt awake too long is to pay attention to his baby tired signs. For instance, any more than three yawns is already a sign hes overtired, so put him to sleep once he yawns.

The other way to ensure hes not overtired is to simply watch the clock. Note when he woke up, and dont let him be awake after a certain time period.

How long exactly is too long? Well, it depends on your babys age. You can download this free resource where I share the age and sleep guidelines, as well as share more tips about your babys awake time. Youll also get my newsletters, which parents say they LOVE:

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When Should I Seek A Doctor’s Help

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • Your baby seems to be extremely fussy/irritable or cannot be soothed he/she may have a medical problem such as colic or reflux .
  • Your baby appears to have a breathing problem.
  • Your baby has a difficult time being awakened from sleep.
  • Your baby is uninterested in feeding or persistently shies away from activity.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/17/2020.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sudden Unexpected Infant Death and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Accessed 3/23/2020.
  • National Sleep Foundation. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and Sleep. Accessed 3/23/2020.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics, Pediatrics: Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics. SIDS and Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths: Updated 2016 Recommendations for a Safe Infant Sleeping Environment. November 2016, 138. Accessed 3/23/2020.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics. Safe Sleep. Accessed 3/23/2020.
  • American Academy of Sleep Medicine, Sleep Education. Healthy Sleep Habits. Accessed 3/23/2020.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

Let Your Baby Cry It Out

How to put baby to sleep during the day

One crying-it-out type of sleep training is the well-known Ferber Method, also known as “Progressive Watching” or “Graduated Extinction.” The goal is to teach your baby how to sleep on their own and put themselves back to sleep if they wake up during the night. Richard Ferber, MD, director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital Boston, developed this method. He advises parents not to start this training until their baby is at least 5 or 6 months old. Heres an overview of how its done:

  • Put your baby in their crib — drowsy, but awake. Once you’ve finished their bedtime routine, leave the room.
  • If your baby cries, wait a few minutes before you check on them. The amount of time you wait depends on you and your baby. You might start waiting somewhere between 1 and 5 minutes.
  • When you re-enter your babys room, try to console them. But do not pick them up and do not stay for more than 2 or 3 minutes, even if they are still crying when you leave. Seeing your face will be enough to assure your baby that you are close by so they can eventually fall asleep on their own.
  • If they continue crying, gradually increase the amount of time you wait before going in to check on them again. For instance, if you wait 3 minutes the first time, wait 5 minutes the second time, and 10 minutes each time after that.
  • The next night, wait 5 minutes the first time, 10 minutes the second time, and 12 minutes each time after that.

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Learn More: Sleep Training

Read our complete Sleep Training Guide and our Q+A with Sleep Consultant Taking Cara Babies to learn more about sleep training and how it can help your family.

Use these tips if youre having trouble getting baby to fall asleep. And remember, the Zen Swaddle and Zen Sack are effective tools for helping babies sleep better and longer and they could be the key to teaching your little one to self-soothe!

What Should I Do

As soon as you hold your baby after birth, you’ll begin to communicate with each other by exchanging your first glances, sounds, and touches. Babies quickly learn about the world through their senses.

As the days after birth pass, your newborn will become accustomed to seeing you and will begin to focus on your face. The senses of touch and hearing are especially important, though.

Your baby will be curious about noises, but none more so than the spoken voice. Talk to your baby whenever you have the chance. Even though your baby doesn’t understand what you’re saying, your calm, reassuring voice conveys safety. Your newborn is learning about life with almost every touch, so provide lots of tender kisses and your little one will find the world a soothing place.

Communicating with newborns is a matter of meeting their needs. Always respond to your newborn’s cries babies cannot be spoiled with too much attention. Indeed, quick responses to babies’ cries lets them know that they’re important and worthy of attention.

There will probably be times when you have met all needs, yet your baby continues to cry. Don’t despair your little one might be overstimulated, have too much energy, or just need a good cry for no apparent reason.

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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.

What Is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

How can I get my baby to sleep better at night and during naps?

Sudden infant death syndrome is a term used to describe the sudden and unexplained death of a healthy baby. This happens when the child is put down to sleep and found dead later without an obvious cause. SIDS is the leading cause of death in babies between the ages of 1 month and 1 year. The risk of SIDS is higher when a child is between 2 months and 6 months of ages. It is also more common in boys than girls.

Experts dont know why SIDS happens.

Its important to reduce the risk of SIDS by following certain guidelines. These guidelines include:

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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 .

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.

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