Tips for Getting the Sleep You and Baby Need

Tips for Getting the Sleep You and Baby Need

As a new parent, sleep is the unicorn we all chase, and while there are certainly methods and tricks you can try to get baby to sleep more at night, some babies just don’t take to it. It is important to remember that not all babies are the same. Let’s discuss some things you can do to get longer periods of sleep.

1. White noise

This is probably one of the best things for sleep training baby. It’s non-committal, and cheap to try. White noise effectively drowns out all the other sounds in your home, and helps baby adjust to sleeping through noises (and not waking at the drop of a pin). An oscillating fan is a great first choice for white noise. If the nursery, however, is too chilly with a fan going, you can also download apps that let you mix your own ambient sounds (rain showers, crickets, bird song)

2. Lower your expectations

In the first eight weeks of life your new baby will wake up every 3 hours and there simply is no way of getting around it. Nutrition and regular feedings are critical during this period, so ensuring you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding regularly with quality bottles to reduce gas and discomfort will ensure you get baby to sleep effectively.

3. Separate Spaces

This is not an argument against co-sleeping, but designated sleeping spaces can help everyone achieve more restful sleeps. After two months of age babies are capable of 5-6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. While not all babies will demonstrate this, giving them their own space to sleep is key to seeing if they will do it. Adults tossing and turning at night, bathroom breaks, yawns or a creaky bed can a startle an infant awake. If you have your own space where you don’t need to worry about every sound you make, you will rest better and it will be easier to get baby to sleep and stay asleep.

4. Body temperature matters

The rule for infants is to dress them in one more layer than what you are wearing. You may think you have a bad sleeper, but many babies wake at night because they are too hot or too cold, which means you may not need sleep training for baby. If you can control the temperature in the baby’s room independently, do so. If your house is drafty, place baby inside a sleep sack, which is a blanket that zips up around baby so that they can’t pull it over their head. These come in sizes from newborn to toddler, and in different cloth weights for each season.

5. Swaddling

Swaddling is a tried and true method to get baby to sleep. It reduces a baby’s startle reflex which can jar them awake and makes them feel secure. There wasn’t a whole lot of room to flail around in the womb, so many babies find comfort in being wrapped up while they sleep, and most will outgrow the swaddle after the first 6-8 weeks.