10 Tips for How to Get a Baby to Sleep


10 Tips for How to Get a Baby to Sleep | thegoodstuff

There’s a viral video going around Facebook that features a baby bed that swears it will get your baby back to sleep if they wake at night.

It’s $1,200 and, honestly, looks a little uncomfortable to me. However, I don’t have $1,200 and I’d guess I’m not alone when I say I wouldn’t spend that much on a crib, anyway! Plus, some of the best moments I had with my daughters were late at night, while they breastfed and when no one else was around.

But baby needs sleep, and to be a solid parent, we need sleep, too! While one or two nights of interrupted sleep may be OK, months on end with little sleep can wear on us and make us less effective for our little ones.

If you’re spending sleepless nights trying unsuccessfully to get your little one to close their eyes, these 10 tips for how to get a baby to sleep are just for you!

Sometimes mommy (and daddy!) just need a moment to themselves. Here’s how to find a nanny or babysitter you can trust to leave your little ones with!

1. Schedule, schedule, schedule

10 Tips for How to Get a Baby to Sleep | thegoodstuff

Babies — and kids — thrive on schedule.

Putting babies down for a nap at the same time and to bed at the same time every day, no matter what and without fail, can help set their clocks faster.

I was lazy about getting my firstborn on a schedule and even now she’s a light sleeper and still wakes sometimes. But with my younger two I’m a stickler for bedtime, and they sleep deep and wake refreshed.

Schedules for newborns are hard to set, but you should always do your best. This means no errands during naptime, no visitors, and no changes. Once their schedule is set you’ll find they’ll settle in faster and sleep better.

I took things one step further and hung a sign on my front door to alert neighbors and delivery people that my baby was sleeping. This doorbell cover from Babies “R” Us will make the message clear, as well!

2. Swaddle them well

10 Tips for How to Get a Baby to Sleep | thegoodstuff

While no blankets and no pillows are allowed in cribs for fear of suffocation, baby still needs to be warm and comfortable all night long.

Swaddling is the way hospitals helps newborns sleep and that practice should come home with us all. I’ll admit, though, that until I bought a swaddling blanket my babies would wake, having wrestled out of the swaddle I made, and scream for mom all night long.

The solution? You can purchase swaddling blankets that will keep baby comfortably wrapped and help them feel safe and warm all night long.

3. White noise is a must

10 Tips for How to Get a Baby to Sleep | thegoodstuff

A baby hears all kinds of noises in the womb, so to expect them to be comfortable in a quiet room is a little strange.

When my girls were little, I had a white noise machine that moved from the pack and play to the crib with ease. I also found my girls slept best when the noise was not melodic. There are some really great ones on the market, and I know I spent some serious money on this necessity.

4. To co-sleep or not to co-sleep

10 Tips for How to Get a Baby to Sleep | thegoodstuff

I co-slept with all three of my girls.

I got the stern talking to from the doctor, had my ex-husband move from the bed as he feared he would roll over on the girls, and dealt with disapproving looks every time I talked about it.

It worked for me, but it may not work for everyone. There are benefits to co-sleeping and many arguments against. If you do want to try co-sleeping, you can get a co-sleeping buddy to put in the bed to keep everyone safe. Whether you choose to co-sleep or not, make sure your choice is right for your family.

5. Their belly should be full

10 Tips for How to Get a Baby to Sleep | thegoodstuff

Just as we have a hard time sleeping if we’re hungry, so does baby.

Make sure your little one has a full belly at naptime and bedtime. I didn’t have an issue with breast milk production but I had issues with my first daughter breastfeeding at all. So I relied heavily on my breast pump to make sure I had plenty of milk on hand for a hungry baby.

I made sure I let her drink plenty before putting her down, even if it was more than the recommended feeding. Whether you breastfeed or use formula, having a full and happy belly at bedtime can help her sleep longer.

6. Rock-a-bye baby

10 Tips for How to Get a Baby to Sleep | thegoodstuff

My glider was my saving grace in the middle of the night with my girls. I used it so much that the material quickly started to show signs of use!

Make sure when you’re choosing your glider that you can sit in it comfortably for a long time while holding a baby. Mine reclined, rocked smoothly with no noise, and even had a rocking footstool to help me keep up the rhythm. I loved my glider and by the time I passed it on, it was well-used to rock my girls back to sleep. And me to sleep sometimes, too!

7. Take care of your diet

10 Tips for How to Get a Baby to Sleep | thegoodstuff

One of the hardest parts of getting my middle daughter to sleep was colic.

She would eat, spit up, sleep a little, and be hungry again. It was so bad I had to see a pediatrician just to get tips to keep her food down. He suggested it might be the coffee in my diet or other irritants. So I made my diet bland and without caffeine, which was terrible, and it seemed to help.

She had a severe case and it took medication to make a real difference, but irritants in mom’s diet can keep a baby awake more than you want.

I read “Eating for Pregnancy” to help modify my diet when I was breastfeeding. It helped take the guesswork out!

8. Outdoor living

10 Tips for How to Get a Baby to Sleep | thegoodstuff

I took my one-week-old daughter to Home Depot late one night when she wouldn’t sleep. She was in a stroller, sleeping away, with a netted cover over her, but the looks and comments I got were ridiculous.

However, I’m a firm believer that babies who get out sleep better.

Of course, you don’t want to expose a baby to things they aren’t vaccinated against but you also don’t want to lock them away for the first three months of their lives. Sunshine and fresh air can help a baby get stimulation that helps tire them and lets them sleep better.

9. Throw the guilt out

10 Tips for How to Get a Baby to Sleep | thegoodstuff

All mommies, whether you have the baby or adopt, have a sixth sense about what their babies need. We know what’s right and to fight against that normal radar is just wrong.

I heard a million times that I should let my baby cry it out. I hated it. I tried it, fighting every fiber of my being to go to them, and ended up with a miserable baby and an unhappy mommy.

It really doesn’t matter what others say. If it feels right to go to your baby, love her, and pick her up, do so! The connection of mom and baby is strong enough to guide you the right way.

10. Talk it out

10 Tips for How to Get a Baby to Sleep | thegoodstuff

My lifeline with three babies under three was my friends. Talking to other moms, whether it be online or, preferably, real life, can help lessen “mom guilt” and help us all make better decisions for our kids.

Find a playgroup or tap into a church group for new moms. Either way, as tired as you are as a mom of a newborn, hearing that others are tired, too, or made it through what you’re going through now can really be a boost!


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