Disclosure: Posts on this site may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through those links. Please read our disclosure policy for more info.
Has your baby’s sleep become your newest obsession?
Are you googling “baby sleep tips” at 3 in the morning?
Or perhaps your baby has been waking up just as you get into bed… EVERY DANG NIGHT??
And now you’re re-reading all the sleep help articles you can find, just in case you’ve missed a trick that may FINALLY answer all your prayers…
Oh momma, I feel your pain!
New mom life is HARD, and having to deal with everything while sleep-deprived makes it all a lot harder.
My first child was a pretty good sleeper, and I didn’t even know of the pain that MANY new moms go through when dealing with their baby’s sleep.
My son, however, was the TOTAL opposite to his sister.
But the truth is, your baby WILL eventually learn to sleep (like mine did), but it’s definitely better for it to occur sooner than later.
So I have compiled a list of the best baby sleep tips that I have come across, in hopes that it will help you get your baby to sleep and to stay asleep for longer.
1/ Maintain a consistent bedtime routine from the get-go
You may have already heard of this one but I really do think this tip is important.
A consistent bedtime routine will help your baby prepare for bed and associate the whole ritual with sleeping time.
It doesn’t have to be long and complicated. A simple sleep routine will work wonders to help your baby begin forming sleep associations.
There’s no method for the perfect bedtime ritual – the aim is to soothe your baby and calm them down for sleep.
For both my children, the bedtime routine that worked for us was:
- Read book
- Put down drowsy
2/ Swaddle your baby
Swaddling your baby will help them feel snug, secure and safe – just like how it was in the womb.
It also helps prevent your baby from waking from their startle reflex.
If your baby isn’t really into the whole swaddling thing, then you NEED to try the Love to Dream Swaddle Up.
It is a game-changer.
My first-born was happy being swaddled the traditional, arms down, tight burrito-style but it just never worked out with my second baby.
He hated it and his arms would always find a way out, no matter how tightly I swaddled him!
Then one day, one of the moms from my daughter’s school mentioned how her little one slept for over 6 hours a few days after using the Love to Dream Swaddle Up.
I was a little shocked and sort of doubtful, but also secretly hoping that it would work for my son as well.
So that night, I went straight to Amazon and ordered one online.
And oh my, it helped my son sleep SO MUCH better.
- Rather than pinning your baby’s arms down (like the traditional swaddles), these swaddles allow your baby to sleep in a more natural arms up position. This also gives them access to their hands so they can self-soothe.
- The snug fit of these swaddles makes your baby feel secure and helps calm their natural startle reflex as well.
- Two-way zipper for easy dressing and nappy changing
- Machine washable
- A breathable fabric which may help reduce the risk of overheating
- Certified by the International Hip Displaysia Institute as being ‘Hip Healthy’. Your baby’s hips and legs can flex and move naturally.
- They come in a range of sizes, fabric weights, colors and they even have transitional versions for when your baby is ready to wean off swaddles.
Honestly, give it a go. It may actually save your sanity!
3/ Don’t change overnight nappy
No, you don’t have to change your baby’s diaper every time the color line turns blue, especially overnight.
Changing your baby’s diaper overnight will disrupt your baby from their slumber.
So unless they’ve done a poo, or it’s leaking, don’t fret about it!
What I do is after my baby’s bedtime bath, I put on an extra absorbent nappy (I found these ones to be the best) with some barrier cream, and it usually lasts the long stretch!
4/ Keep lights dim
If you need to attend to your baby during the night (for a feed or diaper change), make sure you don’t turn on the brightest light you have in your room.
Turn on a light that is bright enough for you to see but dim enough to keep your baby sleepy.
5/ Use blackout curtains/shades
Make sure you keep your baby’s room dark for sleeping.
This is especially useful if you live in a place where the sun sets really late or rises super early.
Some babies are just better sleepers in total darkness.
6/ Dream feed
I personally haven’t needed to try this trick, but I know that many moms swear by it, so it may work for you too!
How this works is you basically wake your sleeping baby up for a feed, just before you hit the sack. After the feed, your baby should be gently laid back down, drowsy but awake.
This is to ensure that you don’t have to get up to feed just as you are dozing off and prevents your baby from waking up fully from hunger.
7/ White noise
Using a white noise machine (like this one we used), is so helpful in creating a sleep environment for your baby.
Not only will it drown out household noises, but the constant muffled noise mimics the sounds your baby hears when in the womb.
This may provide comfort to your baby and help prepare your baby for a restful night.
8/ Use soft lullaby for sleep association
What I liked to do with my two children was to put on a soft lullaby as an aid for sleep association. It would play during the whole bedtime routine until after the baby dozes off.
9/ Maintain a comfortable room temperature
No one can sleep comfortably if it’s too hot or too cold.
So make sure your baby’s room temperature is ideal.
Experts recommend temperatures between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit (20 to 22 degrees Celsius).
Most importantly, ensure your baby is dressed appropriately for the room temperature and is not over or under dressed.
Do NOT put on any bonnets, beanies, hoods or hats on your baby while sleeping to prevent your baby from over-heating.
When in doubt, it’s best to make the room slightly cool than hot.
10/ Don’t miss baby’s sleep cues
It is harder to settle a baby to a good night’s rest if your baby is overtired.
To prevent your baby from being overtired, make sure to look out for your baby’s sleep cues.
The signs to look out for differ from one baby to the next, but generally, your baby may yawn more than usual, rub their eyes, stare blankly into space, loses interest, sucks on fingers or get a little irritable.
Putting your baby to sleep at the right time will help create a successful bedtime routine.
11/ Make the bed warm
There’s nothing more disruptive for a baby than moving from your warm, snuggly arms to a cold, un-cozy bed.
What I liked to do on those cold winter’s nights was to warm up my baby’s bed with a hot water bottle or heating pad just before he goes to sleep.
I would take it out just before I laid him down.
Remember, do NOT leave the water bottle or heating pad on the bed with the baby.
12/ Mom’s scent on crib sheets
Babies really do have a great sense of smell and they find comfort with your scent.
Yes, we are still talking about your human baby and not your fur-baby.
A neat little trick I did was to sleep with my baby’s fresh, clean crib sheets for a few nights, just so it could smell a little like me. I would then put that sheet on my baby’s mattress as per usual and voilà, my baby is comforted my by smell!
Works a charm!
13/ Make sure baby is active and well stimulated during the day
So that your baby actually feels like they need to sleep at night, ensure your baby is stimulated and active during the day!
Take your baby outside for some fresh air, keep them engaged with lots of play and activities, sing songs, read books, do tummy time etc.!
14/ Make sure baby is getting naps during the day
Some may think that avoiding day time naps will mean longer sleeps at night, but it can actually make night sleep more challenging.
Not only do naps provide much-needed downtime for your baby (and yourself), but it also helps keep your baby from becoming overtired which can affect their moods and make it harder for them to fall asleep at night.
So don’t neglect those naps!
15/ Associate night time for sleeping
You want to make sure your baby understands that night time means sleep time.
A few things you can do to reinforce that is to keep the room dark, do not talk to your baby, avoid making eye contact, and refrain from any exciting activities during the night time wakes.
16/ Allow baby to cycle through sleep states – Don’t react instantly to every sound
It is natural for babies to make noises when they sleep, especially when transitioning between sleep cycles.
So avoid rushing to attend to your baby at every sound they make because they may be still sleeping and you are unintentionally waking them up.
17/ Make sure your baby eats enough during the day
Young babies need to be eating at least every 3 hours to get the correct nourishment and regain lost birth weight.
Your baby needs a certain amount of calories in a 24-hour period and if they don’t get it during the day, it’s not surprising that they are waking up and demanding it during the night.
So do yourself a favor and prioritize day-time feedings to ensure your baby gets enough calories during the day.
18/ Put the baby down while drowsy and not fully asleep
A good habit to form from the very beginning is to put the baby down in their bed while they are drowsy and not completely asleep yet.
This is important as it teaches your baby to learn to sleep on their own, without having to rely on you or being fed to sleep.
Trust me, if this habit is formed early, it will save A LOT of headaches later.
If it means getting a good night’s rest (or a better night’s rest) for you and your baby, then you shouldn’t be afraid to co-sleep.
Co-sleeping could mean your baby is sleeping on the same bed as you, in a securely attached crib to the side of the parents’ bed or in a different bed/crib in the same room.
Although some say that co-sleeping is an unsafe practice, there are ways to sleep safely while bed-sharing. Just make sure you follow the safe sleep sharing guidelines and precautions of co-sleeping!
20/ You do you
At the end of the day, every baby is different. Some babies are the best sleepers and others just don’t seem to catch on until later.
So it is important to figure out what is best for you and your baby.
Keep your routines consistent but flexible enough to adjust them as needed.
You may be worried about your baby’s sleep now, but honestly, this period won’t last forever.
With these baby sleep tips in place, your baby should be sleeping soundly soon.
If you found this post useful, dont forget to pin it for later or share it with a friend!