How to get your newborn baby to sleep

Tips from the experts to help get your baby to sleep

In Newborn

Tips for mums

Feed, wind and change baby before putting down               

Let your baby gradually get used to night and day

And when supporting mum

If your baby is bottle-fed, offer to do night feeds so mum can catch up on sleep

Introduce a relaxing bedtime routine in the evening

Babies sleep most of the day. But exactly how much and how often they wake up differs from baby to baby. What is almost certain, is that your newborn baby’s sleep patterns will be very different to yours. That’s why developing a baby sleep routine is important to help everyone get the rest they need.

How to help your baby sleep

  • When they are a few weeks old, slowly let your baby get used to the differences in the light and noise of day and night. During the day, try playing, singing and laughing with your baby when they are awake. When they wake during the night, keep the lights low, and stimulation to a minimum
  • Make sure your baby has been fed, winded and has a clean nappy on before you put them down for a sleep

“I find rhythmic noises calm my baby and put her to sleep – I tried putting a loudly ticking clock in her room and it worked a treat.”

  • Around three months old, introduce a consistent nightly routine of calming activities like bath, story and cuddle. This will help your baby learn that it’s time to sleep
  • Try to give your baby the chance to fall asleep on their own whenever possible. If you feed or rock your baby to sleep during the day they will expect you to do the same at night
  • Learn to recognise the signs of sleepiness so you can put baby down to fall asleep in the cot or Moses basket. Look for yawning and stretching. Your little one may start rubbing their eyes and ears. Or they may lose interest in toys and people
  • Don't worry about keeping the house silent while they sleep. It's good to get your baby used to sleeping through a certain amount of noise

“You never realise the importance of a blackout blind until you see the 4am summer sunrise when you’re visiting family. Sorry mum and dad!”

Newborn sleeping on blue blanket

When baby won’t sleep

  • If your baby cries once you have put them down for a sleep, try not to lift them out of their cot straight away. Provided they are warm enough and do not need feeding, winding or changing, go back every five minutes or so and give them a gentle pat until they settle
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The sleep disruptions and deprivation are some of the greatest demands placed on new parents. If your baby is bottle-fed, split the night-time feeds with your partner and take turns doing early morning changing. Ask a friend or relative to come stay for a few days or even just an evening so you can catch up on your sleep

When do babies start sleeping through the night?

Most babies sleep through the night from about six months. So there is a light on the horizon.

“Just when I thought I’d never get a full night’s sleep again, it happened! I swear I did a goal celebration in the front garden.”

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Important advice to mothers

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life. SMA® Nutrition fully supports this and continued breastfeeding, along with the introduction of complementary foods as advised by your healthcare professional.

 

 

 

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