How To Soothe A Newborn To Sleep

Tips On How To Soothe A Newborn Baby

How to teach your baby to self-soothe to sleep! How do I get my baby to fall asleep on their own?

By Amy A. Vincent | Fact checked by Jenny Lord | Updated on September 20, 2021

Its not uncommon for a new baby to cry. It is, however, important that you know how to soothe your newborn. There are many different methods out there, and it can be difficult to figure out which one will work best for your child. In the following article, well explore ten tips on how you can calm your baby down and make them comfortable in their own skin.

Sleep Problems Vs Occasional Meltdowns

If your child is regularly having problems falling asleep on their ownor they never seem able to soothe themselves back to sleep after waking up during the nightthen your child may have sleep problems that you need to work on .

If you’re facing only occasional bedtime or nap time meltdowns, however, what your toddler might need is some old-fashioned soothing and cuddles. That’s easier said than done, though, when you have a screaming, thrashing child who doesn’t seem to want to be calmed down.

At 20 to 30 pounds, toddlers are not the easy-to-swaddle-and-soothe infants you once rocked to sleep. But they are still babies in many ways, and right now, they may need that rocking more than they did a year ago. The key is to put them at ease and keep holding them close even while they squirm. Here are a few tips that can help calm and comfort your little one.

Is Hunger Stopping You From Soothing Your Baby To Sleep

Sometimes babies are just hungry thats just a fact. Dont think they just wont notice if you miss a feed and send them to bed half full. Even if they do manage to nod off, theyre much more likely to wake up sooner when their tummies start rumbling.

Introducing a dream feed can help in this situation, as well as making sure you dont skip any meals and feed your baby well before its time to sleep .

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Still Dont Know How To Soothe Your Baby To Sleep

Most problems with baby sleep will phase out over time, however, in some unfortunate cases, sleep problems will continue to persist for several weeks and months. At this point, you may start to question whether your child has an underlying problem.

If you are still concerned about your babys sleep problems or inability to sleep, the best thing to do is contact a child nurse, GP, or paediatrician for more advice on what might be causing this baby insomnia.

Just remember though that every infant is different and most periods of poor sleep can be overcome with consistent bedtime routines and by creating the right environments for your little one to sleep in each night.

More Tips For Calming Fussy Newborns That Wont Sleep At Night

How to Soothe Your Sick Baby to Sleep

If vigorous rocking doesnt soothe your baby, you can try some of the below tips for calming fussy newborns and preventing nighttime fussing in the first place:

  • Swaddling. Swaddling helps recreate the snug surroundings of the womb. We recommend trying the swaddling method found in our article How to Swaddle a Baby.
  • Use white noise. While in the womb, your baby was constantly surrounded by noise and activity, so putting them down in a silent room feels really weird to them! Thats where white noise comes into play. Check out our list of the best white noise sounds for your baby.
  • Create a schedule during the day. This will help prevent your little one from getting overtired…and cranky.
  • Create a sleep-friendly environment. Your baby may be hot or cold, or maybe theres too much light in the room. Be sure to limit light at night, and keep your baby at a comfortable temperature.
  • Encourage pooping. Some belly massage and knee-to-tummy exercises may help get things moving during the day so nighttime sleep isnt disturbed.

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Extinction Or Cry It Out

The idea behind extinction is that you want to extinguish the behaviour by not responding to it. As with the check-and-console method, go through your bedtime routine, put them in their crib awake, say good night and walk out. This is certainly the most controversial sleep-training method, and even experts disagree on what you should do nextit all depends on what stage your baby is at developmentally, as well as what works for the parents.

McGinn, for example, suggests leaving your baby until the morning, unless youve predetermined that they still need a feed in the night. That first night can be rough, says McGinn. They could be up every hour crying.

Mitelman, on the other hand, recommends that parents wait for at least one or two wake-ups before going back into the room. Then, if the baby wakes up after midnight, she believes its OK to go back in, comfort your baby for a few minutes and then leave again. She also supports scheduling in regular night-time feeds if your baby still needs them.

Why Newborns Are Fussy At Night And Wont Sleep

If your newborn is extremely fussy and will not stop crying or sleep, then some possible causes include:

  • Your baby is still hungry.
  • Your newborn may be fussy because he is too hot or cold.
  • Your newborn may not be ready to sleep because he has a dirty or wet diaper.
  • Your baby may be experiencing tummy troubles .
  • Your newborn may be overstimulated.
  • Your newborn may be fussy because hes overtired.
  • Your baby may be sick. Take your babys temperature, and if hes running a fever, call your doctor right away.

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Wean The Baby Gradually

Weaning your baby off of breastfeeding fully to sleep wont happen overnight. Youll likely have to repeat the un-latch, soothe, re-latch, un-latch, soothe cycle over and over the first few nights or maybe even weeks. The suck-to-sleep association is one of the strongest to break, but the results will be well worth it!

Not only will this help her learn to self-soothe, but youll also be cutting down on nighttime wakings that arent related to hunger .

Bedtime Secret: Give Your Baby A Gentle Massage

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If you’ve ever gotten a professional massage, then you know how relaxing it can be. But when it comes to your baby, massage can also have added benefits.

“Massage provides really important skin contact between parent and child, and that closeness can help foster infant development,” says Dr. Meltzer. “It also helps make falling asleep a little easier.”

Using gentle strokes, rub a baby-friendly lotion lightly over your child’s body, avoiding the face and hands, which will help calm your baby in time for slumber.

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How To Soothe An Overtired Baby: 8 Tips To Help Baby

Your baby is overtired, and they’re as grumpy as can be. What do you do?

What you don’t do is get upset and yell or act aggressively towards your child. If you do anything that will cause an adverse reaction in your baby, they won’t go to sleep.

So, the first thing you do is stay calm and think your way through this situation. Aggression and persuasion aren’t going to do the trick here, and it will only keep you up later at night.

Now let’s turn our attention to what you can do to soothe your baby and hopefully get them to sleep

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It Could Lead To A Suck

When you turn in at night, you likely have some semblance of a bedtime routine that includes activities like brushing your teeth, donning jammies, or reading. Your babe is no different! A consistent bedtime routine tells her little body that its time to rest.

Theres nothing wrong with drawing on the powerful, sleep-inducing effects of nursing to get your little one ready for bed. The problem is when your little one starts to depend on sucking to fall asleep and wont fall asleep any other way. This dependency could make it extra challenging down the road when it comes time to wean or when your baby consistently wakes and needs to nurse to fall back asleep.

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Put Him In A Baby Carrier

Baby carriers are currently all-the-rage in the U.S. Not only do they free your hands up so that you can still get some work done around the house, but babies love the closeness and have the tendency to fall asleep in them.

Your warmth, the sound of your heart beat, and the semi-swaddled constriction will undoubtedly soothe your baby and relax him enough so that hell finally fall asleep.

How To Cope With Your Newborn Babys Colic

6 techniques to get baby to self

Crying is normal for newborns, but some newborns cry so often, and so inconsolably, that it seems to go beyond the standards of normal. In fact, the crying may be so intense and frequent that parents start to wonder if something is seriously wrong! These newborns will sometimes cry for hours on end, and their parents cant do a thing to comfort them. Crying like this is typically called colic.

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Independent Sleep And Your Baby

  • Emphasise the difference between night and day
  • Put your baby to bed drowsy but awake
  • Start a feed, play, sleep routine

Your newborns sleep patterns and rhythms mature rapidly in the first 3-4 months. This makes it a good time to gradually introduce these three key strategies. But flexibility is also important in these months. Its OK if your baby sometimes falls asleep while hes feeding. Its also fine to cuddle or rock your baby to sleep if hes very unsettled.Strategy 1: emphasise the difference between night and dayYour baby doesnt understand the difference between day and night. Its quite common for babies to be wide awake during the night and then sleepy during the day.Heres how to help your baby make the eventual adjustment to more sleep at night-time:

  • During the night, keep your babys room as dark and quiet as possible .
  • Use a dim light when you need to attend to your baby during the night try not to turn on a bright overhead light.
  • At night, respond to your babys cries quickly, and settle or feed her as soon as you can. You might also want to give night feeds in her room this will help keep these feeds brief and make them different from daytime feeds.
  • At night try to be soothing and quiet when youre with your baby. Try to keep play for daytime.

A few ideas might help you settle your baby in the cot:

  • offer him a feed

How Will My Child Go To Sleep When Im Not There To Breastfeed Him Or After He Weans

Many moms are worried about how their child will go to sleep when he enters daycare or weans, and feel that they must teach him to sleep independently before this time. This is really not necessary, and can add lots of stress to something that is already a big transition for your child. Children are very adaptable and will find new ways to go to sleep when mom is not there. Your child and his other caregiver will work things out just fine, and they will find new ways to comfort that work great for both of them. The same will happen when your child weans.

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When Your Baby Wakes Up Crying

If your toddler or baby is crying in his or her sleep or waking up in tears regularly during the night for no obvious reason, you might like to try this simple sleep training technique to soothe your baby to sleep :

  • Pick up and reassure your crying baby with some comforting words

  • When your baby stops crying, put him or her down while still awake

  • If your baby cries when you put him or her down again, pick him or her up and soothe again

  • Put your baby down and leave the room

  • Repeat these steps whenever your baby cries

  • Be patient â you may need to do this for a week or two before it starts to make a difference to your little oneâs sleep pattern.

Stages Of Sleep In Babies

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In babies, there is usually an equal division across active sleep or rapid eye movement sleep and non-rapid eye movement sleep. You may notice movements or jerking of legs and arms, and side to side eye movement beneath closed eyelids during the REM stage of sleep. Some babies may show periodic breathing, that is, the cessation of breathing for five to ten seconds during this stage. Non-rapid eye movement sleep or deep sleep is the other stage of sleep in which babies may not move and have deep and regular breathing.

Crying during sleep could be a common occurrence in babies, and the phase eventually goes away. Check for any likely causes, such as soiled diapers or hunger. If your baby is crying in sleep due to teething pain or illness, or if there has been a drastic change in the babys sleep routine, speak to a pediatrician. Babies eventually develop a more predictable sleep pattern and outgrow the behavior of crying during sleep.


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Benefits Of Pacifiers To Newborn Babies

1. Reduces the risk of SIDSAccording to research, pacifiers reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome . SIDS is one of the most common causes of death in newborns, and the fact that a pacifier helps reduce this risk is a good thing.

  • Effective SoothersPacifiers are immensely useful soothers, especially when combined with other forms of sleeping aids, such as swaddling and white noise. They can significantly improve your babys sleep while reducing the crying as well.
  • Boob Break from BreastfeedingAlthough previous research found that pacifiers negatively impact breastfeeding in newborns, a recent study found otherwise. According to this new research, pacifiers are adequate substitutes for breastfeeding while giving Mums boob the needed time to rest.
  • Moreover, this is when Dad can step in and enjoy some quality bonding time with their newborn.

  • Helps to Reflux the BabyWhen your infant sucks on a pacifier, they tend to produce more saliva, which is considered a natural antacid. Therefore, this ends up being very useful for refluxing babies.
  • Newborn Baby Sleep Help That Works

    Need help encouraging your newborn to sleep better, and to sleep longer stretches at night and during the day? We have a great resource designed to do just that. Check out Essential Keys to Your Newborns Sleep, an e-Book from The Baby Sleep Site®. Available in PDF format as well as a variety of e-reader formats, Essential Keys to Your Newborns Sleep is the tired parents #1 newborn resource. Essential Keys lays out everything you need to know about helping your baby to sleep better right from the start. It also includes information on feeding , baby communication, bonding with baby, daily routines, sample sleep schedules, and more. Download your copy today!

    Or, if you are interested in personalized, one-on-one help for your newborn, why not consider one of our personalized sleep consulting packages? Our consultations allow you to work directly with one of our expert sleep consultants, and to get a Personalized Sleep Plan® that will work for your family.

    First, browse our extensive list of package options and select the one that looks best for your situation. Browse our list of consultation package options here.

    Once you make your choice and purchase, you will immediately receive an e-mail with your Helpdesk login information. Youll be able to log in and start your familys sleep history questionnaire right away its that simple!

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