I remember reading everything I could get my hands on how to get a newborn to sleep at night when my first child was born. There is so much information out there about how to get your baby to sleep through the night, so it can be really overwhelming.
Then you have advice that conflicts with another “sleep experts” advice.
On top of that, you have advice that goes against your mama instincts.
So what are we suppose to do? How can we get baby to sleep through the night or at least sleep better at night (because by the way, not all babies are going to sleep through the night, regardless of what other people tell you).
How to Get a Newborn to Sleep at Night (9 Baby Sleep Tips):
Here are a few baby sleep tips that generally all parties can agree with:
In those first few months, swaddling your baby is one of the best baby sleep tips that I have received. Swaddles give baby a sense of comfort and security.
Over the years I have tried many swaddles and here are a few of my favorites.
- The Nested Bean Swaddles have become my absolute favorite, because it has a weighted bean bag that feels like a parent’s gentle touch. We used these swaddles with my son and he has now upgraded to their sleep sack.
- We’ve used these SwaddleMe sleep swaddles pretty soon after bringing both babies home from the hospital. They were my favorite for my daughter.
- My son absolutely wanted his hands free, so before we changed him over to the Nested Bean sleep sack (after transitioning from his swaddle), we swore by the Love to Dream Swaddle! It allows their hands to be up by their head and parents rave about it.
Transitioning From Swaddle
Eventually you’ll want to transition baby to swaddle and that’s where a lot of parents have issues with their baby sleeping.
Typically you’ll transition them once they can start rolling. We transitioned our youngest to the Nested Bean sleep sack, but my daughter absolutely LOVED the Magic Merlin Sleep Suit after her swaddle (bonus: your baby will look like an adorable, giant marshmallow peep in this)!
2. White Noise
White noise is usually recommended by most parents and baby sleep experts, because it just works.
Not only does white noise block out noise from the rest of the house, but it’s calming and soothing to babies.
There are many white noise machines on the market. The main thing you want to find in a good white noise machine is one that is loud. I’ve gone through several machines and most of them just aren’t loud enough.
I highly recommend this one.
It has different sound options, including white noise, but the main thing I love about it is that it can turned up to a super loud level if need be. We use this for our son currently, and we don’t even have the volume turned up all the way.
Extra bonus, when the UPS driver makes our dog bark, he sleeps right through it!
3. Aromatherapy (Safely)
Aromatherapy is a huge topic, but many studies show that essential oils like lavender, cedarwood, frankincense and more are soothing and calming to the nervous system.
For young babies, I like making a simple pillow spray or I add just a couple drops to a diffuser.
This also becomes part of the sleep time routine, so baby will know that it’s time to sleep when he or she smells the scent.
I am in love with this sleepy blend.
4. Warm Bath
A nice, warm bath is very relaxing for baby, especially right before bed at night. I even add a bit of epsom salts in the bath, because the extra magnesium is calming.
5. Dark Room
Creating a super dark room is a way to signal to baby that it’s time to sleep. It eliminates anything that’s stimulating and be part of the sleep time routine.
We’ve tried many black out curtains in the past and we found these curtains are the BEST panels to make the room super dark. They also come in different colors and designs to match any nursery.
One of the best ways to get baby to sleep better at night is creating a bedtime routine. It could be as simple as giving baby a warm bath, diffusing a soothing essential oil like lavender and then singing a sweet lullaby.
All these activities are soothing, but when you begin doing them every night before bed, baby will know it’s time to sleep.
7. Dream Feed
The dream feed. This is important during the newborn stages when baby is simply not ready to sleep through the night without nursing or bottle feeding every few hours.
While baby is sleeping, simply nurse or bottle feed and gently put baby back in the bassinet or crib. Ideally you want to this right before you go to bed, so you can get a bit more sleep before it’s time for the next feeding.
8. Teach to Fall Asleep on Own
One of the biggest mistakes I made (twice) was not teaching my first two babies how to fall asleep on their own. I became addicted to rocking them into a deep slumber and then gently putting them down in their cribs.
This resulted in them not knowing how to self-soothe. I can’t recommend this enough – put baby in the crib drowsy, but awake as often as possible.
In the long-run, this will allow your little one to learn how to self-soothe and fall asleep on their own.
9. Eliminate Stimulation 30 Minutes Prior
Sometimes baby won’t sleep because there was too much stimulation right before bedtime.
Try turning off the TV if you tend to have it on right before baby’s bedtime. Dim the lights and start winding down the day before the bedtime routine.