After a long day of feedings and diaper changes, it’s finally time to put your new bundle of joy down for the night. But there’s just one problem: you’ve been up for almost 20 hours and she just won’t go to sleep. Getting rest with a newborn is sometimes a struggle for new parents, but a few baby sleep tips can help make sure your baby sleeps, giving you a chance to get some rest yourself.
Swaddling is an excellent option for helping your baby sleep. Not only has it been shown to help babies sleep more soundly, it’s also a safer sleeping option, according to Washington University in St. Louis. Babies whose legs and arms are tucked in and secure through swaddling tend to move around less, causing them to fall asleep sooner and wake up less. To swaddle your baby, place him on a large but thin blanket that has been folded in the shape of an upside-down triangle. The base of the triangle should be about at the baby’s shoulders. Bring one corner of the triangle over your baby’s arms and tuck it under his body. Bring the bottom corner up over the legs, then bring the last corner around the body again and tuck it in to complete the swaddle. After some practice, you’ll be an expert swaddler and in no time your baby might just start sleeping through the night.
Monitor Nap Time
Most babies will need regular naps during the day, but napping too long can cause sleep problems at night, according to MayoClinic.com. Make sure your baby doesn’t sleep too long during the day so that night time is the longest chunk of sleeping time she gets every day.
Let Baby Put Himself Back to Sleep
Most people wake up or stir several times during the night, and that includes babies. If you hear your baby stirring or even crying a bit in the night, don’t jump up immediately to see what’s wrong. Many times, your baby will put himself back to sleep after just a few minutes. Doing this also allows your baby to establish good sleep patterns. Babies who have to be rocked back to sleep may experience trouble sleeping through the night into their toddler years.
Play Music Or White Noise
Babies are accustomed to noises while they sleep, says Dr. Harvey Karp, an expert on baby sleep patterns. While in the womb, babies hear noises that are muffled but amplified, and sleep through them just fine. In fact, playing music or a white noise CD when you put your baby to bed may help re-create that environment, helping her get to sleep and stay asleep more easily.