Baby Sleep Tips

Baby Sleep Tips

For many of us new parents, restless nights are unfortunately very common. Fortunately, there are ways to help your baby sleep better at night. While the actual amount of sleep a baby gets in a day may vary significantly from baby to baby and by age, we have some tips that may help your baby get a good night’s sleep. Generally, most newborns tend to sleep around 16 hours or more (broken in multiple sleeping sessions) in a 24 hour period. At 3 to 4 months old, your baby may be able to sleep 5-6 hours at a time. As they get older, they will be able to sleep longer during their night sleep. Here are some things to keep in mind: 

  1. Have your baby near you (but not too near!) when your baby is sleeping. Especially for the first 6 months, we recommend having your baby sleep in your room in a crib not too close to your bed nor too far. Your baby will feel more comfortable sleeping knowing you’re nearby, but if you are too close, your presence may stimulate your baby which could disrupt them from falling asleep. To avoid the possibility of SIDS, we do not recommend having your baby sleep in the same bed as you. When your baby is 6 months or older, you can try to start getting your baby used to sleeping in another room such as a nursery with slow transitions - such as taking 1, then 2 naps in the nursery. Some parents prefer to have their baby sleep in the same room up to the first year, and that’s fine too! 

  2. Establish a night time routine. Having a night time routine helps with predictability for your baby and he or she will have a much easier time falling asleep when he or she is used to a routine. Some possible things to include in your baby’s night time routine are giving your baby a bath, reading to your baby, putting on some quiet music before it’s bedtime, and some swaddles or cuddles before bed. It helps a lot if your night time routine is at around roughly the same time everyday as it helps with their circadian rhythm. Giving your baby a pacifier may help your baby feel calm as well. Having a white noise machine with low volume may also help your baby sleep better. 

  3. Having a nice sleep environment for your baby can help your baby sleep! When it’s closer to bedtime, try dimming the lights as strong lights can trick your baby into thinking it’s daytime. A good room temperature is usually around 68-72 F. You can check if your baby is not too cold nor hot by touching their belly and it should be warm. Make sure that any choking hazards such as toys and blankets are not in the crib. When it’s time to sleep, keep the room as dark as possible so that your baby is aware it is night time. Your baby should also be sleeping on their back. 

  4. To keep your baby warm, having your baby wear a one piece or using a sleep sack at night is a good idea. Watch out for signs of overheating especially while trying to stay warm in the Winter- these signs could include your baby sweating, your baby’s skin turning red, or a very high heart rate. 

  5. Look out for signs your baby is getting drowsy. It’s best to have your baby in the crib when he or she is looking sleepy, which will help your baby learn to fall asleep on their own rather than depend on you to fall asleep. Some signs your baby may show you when they’re getting sleepy include your baby starting to move slower, drooping eyelids, rubbing their eyes, and of course yawning. If you are holding your baby and notice that they are starting to show signs of getting drowsy, place him or her in their crib instead of waiting until they fall asleep in your arms as it will make it easier on you if they learn to sleep on their own. 

  6. Be Prepared! Babies will often wake up in the middle of the night. To limit the amount of time you and your baby are awake, it helps to be prepared for middle of the night feedings, diaper changes, and more in case it’s needed. If your baby needs a diaper change in the middle of the night, it’s good to have an extra one piece or sleep sack nearby that you can change your baby into after changing their diaper. That way, you don’t have to worry about looking through your baby’s clothes and going around the house trying to find what you need! Middle of the night duties can be exhausting, so if possible, split your middle of the night duties with your partner. Have some extra PopYum bottles preloaded with formula and water, so that at a press of the buttons, you can have fresh formula ready to serve! When feeding or changing your baby’s diaper at night, keep the lights as dim as possible and be as quiet as possible so that your baby will have an easier time going back to sleep afterwards. 

  7. Regular feeding throughout the day helps your baby feel less hungry at night. To help reduce late night night feedings, it can help to make sure your baby is well fed throughout the day and especially in the evening right before bed. PopYum bottles can be handy for this as you can preload several at once, and feed instantly when your baby is hungry! 

  8. If you are hoping your baby will sleep in longer in the morning, do not intentionally keep your baby up later in the night, especially if they are starting to show signs of drowsiness. The opposite is true in that keeping your baby up later will actually make them wake up earlier as their body will become overtired and produce hormones to try to fight the fatigue, causing them to wake up. 

  9. Take care of yourself! In order for our babies to feel calm around us, it’s important that we are feeling okay as well. The calmer you are, the calmer your baby will be. 

  10. If you’re the type that likes to organize and keep track of things, you can try to use a journal or planner to keep track of your baby’s sleeping habits to keep track of what’s working well and what’s not working well so you can adjust as needed to what works best for your baby. 

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