7 Tips for Getting Baby a Better Night’s Sleep

7 Tips for Getting Baby—and You—a Better Night’s Sleep

February 19, 2018

7 Tips for Getting Baby—and You—a Better Night’s Sleep

7 Tips for Getting Baby—and You—a Better Night’s Sleep
Lack of sleep is no fun for anyone, but these tips can help set you and baby up for success.7 Tips for Getting Baby—and You—a Better Night’s Sleep

Sleep is definitely one of new parents’ biggest concerns—from baby’s sleep (or what can seem like the lack of) to will you ever get a good night’s sleep again?

We’ll tell it to you straight. You’re not going to be sleeping like you used to. While newborns sleep around 17 hours a day, they do it in short spurts. So for as much as newborn babies sleep overall, it’s amazing how often you’ll be awake. Most babies don’t sleep for longer than a few hours at a time until they’re at least three months old (and some not until quite later).

During the newborn stage, babies typically have two types of sleep—active and quiet. During active stretches, you might see baby twitching, while during the quiet stage, they sleep much deeper, and movement becomes less visible.

When baby is between 2 and 5 months old, most babies begin sleeping for fewer hours in total, but for longer stretches at a time, like five or six hours. Their sleep timing changes as well. They’ll start to be awake more during the day, and less often at night (which works much better with your schedule!). But even so, most infants don’t establish regular sleep patterns until about 6 months. And even then, it’s pretty common for them to wake up during the night.

So what can you do to ensure your child—and you—are getting the best sleep you can? The first few weeks can be tough for new parents, but there are some steps you can take to make transitioning into this new world of sleep a little easier for both you and baby.

Tips for Getting a Better Night’s Sleep

  1. Create a bedtime routine. It may seem like a challenge when baby is first born, but it can be a good idea to start giving baby cues that bedtime is near (this will help as they get older, as well). Stick to a consistent bedtime, and try giving baby a soothing bath, dimming the lights and singing a lullaby before putting them in their crib or bassinet. Be sure to pay attention to your own sleep needs, as well. Once baby is asleep—whether it’s at a night or during the day, it can be tempting to get stuff done. But sleep deprivation is real, so whenever you can, try to sleep when the baby sleeps.

  2. Keep baby—and their essentials—close. Having baby sleep in your room for at least the first six months can help everyone sleep better. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room sharing (but not bed sharing) for safe sleep, and having baby close can help you manage nighttime wakings. Middle-of-the-night feedings and diaper changes are easier when baby is in a bassinet at your bedside. Many have storage so you can keep diapers, burp cloths and other necessities close at hand. The Halo Bassinest also swivels and has a retractable side to make tending to baby from easier.

  3. Wrap them up. Swaddling can really help some babies. It can make them feel secure, like they’re back in the womb, and having their arms swaddled can help prevent the startle reflex from waking them. Rather than traditional swaddles, swaddle blankets like the Halo SleepSack Swaddle can be easier for new parents to get the hang of, and there’s no chance of it coming loose at night, introducing a suffocation hazard. They’re also simple to unwrap, making bleary nighttime changes easier.

  4. Enlist the help of white noise. Sound machines and white noise apps can be soothing to many babies. These mimic the womb environment, and also block out sudden noises around the house from waking baby (like the doorbell or dog barking). Experiment with sounds to see what baby likes—rain, jungle noises, waves and static are just a few available. And you might just find the background noise helps you sleep more soundly, as well.

  5. Use the right light. When your baby wakes up at night, try not to turn on the overhead or bedside light. It can be too jarring, stimulating you and baby too much so neither of you can get back to sleep. So how can you tackle those 2 a.m. diaper changes? Try an amber or red night light. These provide enough light for you to see what you’re doing, but aren’t so bright as to disrupt your and baby’s circadian rhythm.

  6. Keep it cool. The best sleep environment for babies and adults is one that is cool and dark. Try keeping the room you and baby sleep in around 65 degrees (it can be cooler for the grownups). If you’re concerned about baby being too cold, the swaddle can provide extra warmth. When your infant ages out of swaddles, try a wearable blanket.

  7. Ask for help. You don’t have to do everything by yourself. Find a sleep schedule that works for your whole family. Split the night shifts in half, alternate who cares for baby at night or have your partner change diapers while you do the feedings. Or ask a friend or family member to come over for a few hours and watch the baby so you can nap. They’ll be happy to get some time with your little one, and you can get some much-needed rest.

The article is sponsored by HALO, makers of the popular HALO SleepSack and HALO Bassinest. Babylist’s free site, apps and emails are made possible by our sponsors. We limit our sponsored content to relevant partners that offer products and services we believe in and use ourselves.

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