Stick To A Strict Bedtime
Consistency is key when it comes to teaching your baby how to self-soothe, and this is mainly because babies learn through routine and repetition.
So, by sticking to a strict bedtime, your babys body rhythms will know what to expect and when. And, as they do this, your baby will start getting tired around their bedtime.
If you were to put your baby to bed at a different time each night, they will be less likely to fall asleep by themselves.
But, putting them into their crib at the same time each night lets them know its bedtime, theyll feel more comforted, and, ultimately, theyll be more capable of self-soothing in line with their circadian rhythm.
Don’t Rely On Soothing Methods
“If you put your baby in the crib when they’re already asleep and they wake up in the night, which all humans do, they won’t recognize their surroundings and will need your help getting back to sleep,” notes Dr. Givan. “Try to put your baby down drowsy but awake.” This will help them learn to self-soothe and fall asleepand, more importantly, fall back to sleepon their own, which is the main goal of sleep training.
Adrienne Porzio of Centerport, New York, can attest to this. She began driving her newborn around at night to get her to fall asleepand she was still relying on that crutch when her daughter was 5 months old. “The issue we get the most calls about is parents automatically repeating soothing habits to the point that the baby is hooked,” says Los Angeles sleep consultant Heather Turgeon, coauthor of The Happy Sleeper. Newborns benefit from rocking, bouncing, and soothing to sleep, but babies develop quickly and don’t need those things forever.
“By about 5 months, most babies have the capability to fall asleep on their own, and if we’re still doing it for them, we’re getting in their way,” says Turgeon. “Start practicing in the early months to put Baby down awake, at least once a dayusually the first nap is the most successful.” Keep your cuddle time, but gradually stop the patting and shushing and rocking to sleep.
A Solid Bedtime Routine
Here are some helpful ways to help your fussy baby sleep better. A Solid Bedtime routine is the most important thing for them since its the habit theyll have in life!
You also need activities identified by you and done at specific times throughout each day or week with no disruptions from other people/living beings .
So, what does a solid night routine look like? Here are some simple steps to help get them there faster!
- Perfect Bath Time.
- A light massage for your baby.
- Little play with your baby.
- Reading or singing in front of them.
Its important to follow the same routine, in order and at a specific time every night.
This will help your baby know that bedtime is approaching so they can prepare for it by slowing down or winding down activities before going into sleep mode with some quiet reading time.
Recommended Reading: What Do Newborn Babies Wear
Detect Your Baby’s Sleep Pattern
To get your baby to sleep, you first need to understand his/her sleep rhythm. Each kid needs a different amount of sleep depending on their age .
It may be very tempting to force your baby to only sleep at certain hours, but most of all, you need to learn how to go with the flow by reading your baby’s sleep pattern. Look for the obvious signs like yawning, rubbing eyes, fussing, looking away etc. Shift their sleeping schedule according to when they seem to sleep most soundly.
Babies, especially newborns, dont have a distinct sleep pattern actually, they can go through seven separate cycles every day. To make sure they will fall asleep, try to keep the nap times short if not, youll just end up waking up in the middle of the night because a certain someone just wont stop crying.
Swaddle To Get Your Newborn To Sleep Through The Night
Swaddling typically starts in the hospital and often continues through the first several months of a babys life. This soothing technique has been proven to help newborns sleep through the night, and babies who are swaddled tend to cry less than babies who are not swaddled. In addition to keeping your little one warm and toasty in those early months of life, swaddling also keeps your baby from being disturbed by her own startle reflex.
You May Like: How Do You Get Insurance For A Newborn
What Are The Signs Of Infant Sleep Problems
Once a baby begins to regularly sleep through the night, parents are often unhappy when the baby starts to wake up at night again. This often happens at about 6 months old. This is often a normal part of development called separation anxiety. This is when a baby does not understand that separations are short-term . Babies may also start to have trouble going to sleep because of separation anxiety. Or because they are overstimulated or overtired.
Common responses of babies having these night awakenings or trouble going to sleep may include the following:
Waking and crying one or more times in the night after sleeping through the night
Crying when you leave the room
Refusing to go to sleep without a parent nearby
Clinging to the parent at separation
Sleep problems may also happen with illness. Talk with your baby’s healthcare provider if your baby begins having trouble going to sleep or staying asleep, especially if this is a new pattern.
Dont Rely On Soothing Methods
While its important to establish a bedtime routine that includes soothing, relaxing experiences its important that, over time, your baby is able to self-soothe themselves to sleep as well.
If they are already asleep when you put them into their crib, theyll wake in the night to unfamiliar surroundings and, ultimately, youll find yourself having to soothe them to sleep again.
If they rely on you too much at bedtime, the likelihood of them becoming impossible to get back to sleep without you as they grow into young children is also greatly increased.
This could mean that youll have to start sleep training all over again and, as you do, your own sleep quality is sacrificed.
Its important to note here that newborn babies arent capable of self-soothing. This is because, although they need a lot of sleep, their sleep patterns are irregular and they need to eat frequently.
However, by the time theyve reached 3-4 months of age, it is possible for a baby to self-soothe.
Below, well take a look at some self-soothing techniques that will help to teach your baby how to drift off peacefully and send themselves back to sleep if they wake in the night quickly and easy,
Recommended Reading: Should I Buy Newborn Clothes
Sleeping Problems Whats Not Normal
Babies can be snuffly or noisy sleepers. Its common for babies to have irregular breathing patterns when they sleep they might breathe quickly, and then have short pauses, for example. This is normal.
If youre worried about your babys sleep because:
- you cant settle them
- they sleep for long periods
- theyre too tired to feed
- they dont wake for feeds
- theyre not feeding well, or not having many feeds
- theyre breathing more quickly than usual
- theyre wheezing or grunting
then contact PlunketLine on , or talk to your midwife, doctor, or your Well Child nurse.
If Your Baby Rolls Onto Their Tummy
Once your baby can move themselves from their back to their front and back again by themselves, they will be able to find their own sleeping position.
The first few times they roll onto their tummy, you might like to gently turn them back, but do not feel you have to get up all night to check. Give them some time to play on their tummy while they are awake to help their development, but make sure you supervise them while they are on their front.
Recommended Reading: How To Tell If Newborn Has Autism
My Baby Loves Sleeping On His Front How Do We Change To His Back Without Him Waking Up
We sometimes get calls from parents who say their baby prefers sleeping on their front. If a baby is given a choice, they may well prefer this position, but unfortunately it is not a safe one!
This is why we encourage all parents to follow back-sleeping from day one. Getting your baby to stick to sleeping on their back once if they have tried sleeping on their front might be difficult, but is made easier if your baby is always put down to sleep whilst awake rather than allowing your baby to fall asleep in your arms. Keep going, they will eventually get used to it.
How To Get Your Baby To Sleep Tip : Learning Your Babys Sleepiness Cues
In the first 3 months, babies don’t follow a set schedule for sleep. That is why we need to learn to read their tiredness signs, or “cues”. By 3 – 4 months of age, a sleep pattern will emerge and you will get better at reading their cues.
At any age, you want to watch for over-tiredness. A common myth that the longer you keep them awake during the day, the better they sleep during the night. Thats like suggesting that if you starve them during the day they eat better at night. Unthinkable, right?
Sleep is just like that. In fact, babies that are overtired will take a lot longer to fall asleep. So keep watching for their tiredness cues. Here are some of these cues, some more subtle than others:
Yawning: The easiest way to tell you baby is sleepy is if your baby yawns.
Rubbing Eyes, Ear or Head: Consistently scratching the ear or rubbing the head or eyes is a common sign of sleepiness.
Looking Away: Your baby may not hold your gaze and may look away.
Jerkiness or Fussiness: An overtired baby also gets fussy. The cry may vary from a soft whimper to harsh shrill, depending on how tired the baby is. Listening for cues earlier in the process will help preventing them from getting to this dangerous point. Once crossed this point your baby may take a lot longer to sleep making it a painful experience for both you and him.
How to Soothe an Overtired Baby
Also Check: How Often Do You Bathe A Newborn
Be Determined To Get Your Baby To Sleep
Once you have seen your baby is tired, or over-tired, you must be confident you can get your baby to sleep. It may take a combination of a number of these techniques to get your baby to nod off, and that’s absolutely fine as your baby will often need help to get to sleep in the first couple of months.
Don’t give up after 5 minutes of patting or try white noise once and decide it doesn’t work!
Different techniques work at different times, and if your baby is over-tired you may need many more tricks and it may take much more effort to get baby to sleep.
Put Your Sleepy Baby To Bed
Starting when your baby is 6 to 12 weeks old, soothe them until they are drowsy. When they are on the verge of sleep, put them down and let them drift off on their own. Don’t wait until they are fully asleep in your arms this could be a behavior that may become a struggle to get rid of later in their life.
This routine will teach your baby to soothe themselves to sleep, and you won’t need to rock or cuddle them to sleep every time they wake up during the night.
If your baby has trouble settling down, try moving their bedtime earlier, not later. Being overtired can make it hard to nod off.
Don’t Miss: How To Encourage Newborn To Sleep At Night
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.
Sleep Between One And Three Months
As your baby becomes more wakeful during the day, their sleep pattern may change. They might start having longer sleeps at night maybe even around four to five hours.
Most babies still need night feeds, and help to settle back to sleep.
If your baby was premature, or had a low birth weight, your doctor might recommend you only let your baby sleep for a certain amount of time before waking them for feeds.
Also Check: Why Do Newborns Cry For No Reason
Dealing With Sleep Regression
If a baby wake up during the night, he doesn’t have the cognitive abilities that are interconnected with going back to sleep on their own. This is the primary reason why they wake up and start crying like theres no tomorrow. Some researchers claimed that this sleep regression could re-occur for up to one year.
You have to realize that sleep regression is a natural phenomenon and absolutely every baby will experience it. There is no need to be irritated. Now lets see how to deal with it effectively.
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.
Recommended Reading: What To Do When Newborn Constipated
Tips To Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep
When you bring your brand new baby home, no one tells you that sleep like a baby may not happen, or that if it does, it may only last a short time. This article will give you 10 great tips to help your newborn sleep better.
Before I get to the 10 tips to help your newborn sleep, I thought I should note that it can be dangerous for a new newborn baby to sleep all night. They really do need to eat at least every 3 hours in those early days so they can grow well and thrive.
Addtionally, it is only recommended to place baby on his back to sleep, to guard against SIDS. You may be interested in other ways to lower SIDS risks here too.
There, now that I got that out of the way