36 In babies & kids/ lifestyle

Get Your Newborn Sleeping Through the Night

I want to give a shout out to all the new Moms out there. You’re figuring things out as you go and nothing is easy. When you have a new baby at home it can feel like your whole world was flipped upside down – then shaken!

You have so much love for your baby and it seems like that’s what really gets us through the beginning.

It seems getting your baby to sleep at night is a common hurdle for new Moms and Dads. At this point in the game, sleep is that fine line between sanity and insanity. When you’re not getting any, it really wears on you!

I was very fortunate with my daughter, I had great advice and a good baby and by two months she was sleeping 8-9 hours at a time. This really was the saving grace for me because when I get little sleep, I have very little patience!

There were a few pointers I was given from a few different sources that helped us get our daughter sleeping well. Some were from other Moms who had gone through this, some from our amazing maternity nurses, and some from the good ‘ol internet.

Just remember, every baby is different, and you know what’s best for yours. Take this advice for what it is and just remember do what works for you, and that you’re doing amazing!!

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Let me be clear on two things

Before I get into the tips I have for you, I would just like to clear up some misconceptions I’ve had about this advice.

1. Your newborn baby is going to wake up. A lot.

That’s just what newborns do. I don’t want any of these tips to make you think that your brand new baby should be sleeping a full night, that’s completely unrealistic, and unhealthy for your baby.

2. Its about creating habits to use in the coming months.

These tips I list are to help your baby create habits that will aid them in sleeping through the night once they are developed enough to do so. What I mean by that is if you start creating these habits from day one, they will become useful to your baby sooner than if you started two months from now.

Help your baby sleep at night

Ok, so the first thing that I found out that I feel like not many realize is that while you’re pregnant, you’re baby get rocked to sleep when you’re active and moving, then is awake and kicking when you’re sleeping.

This continues after birth, so basically, your baby thinks that nighttime is awake time and daytime is sleep time.

This could be the main issue you’re having right off the get-go. Your baby has it all backwards! No wonder they don’t want to sleep at night!!

So firsts things first, you gotta let them know that nighttime is for sleeping! How do you do this? Well there are a few different ways, and that’s what I’m here to help you with.

1. Nap in a bright room

This is my #1 tip. To help your baby differentiate from day and night (since they sleep so much during the day), it’s a really good idea to have your baby nap in a bright room. They’ll get use to sleeping in a bright room which helps later on, and it makes it easier for you if you can’t get them to a dark room for their naps.

2. Keep some background noise on during the day

I like to have my radio on during the day anyways, but having some noise during the day also helps your baby know it’s only nap time, not bed time.

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3. Talk to your baby when feeding

In the daytime when you’re nursing/bottle feeding your baby, talk to them and let them know it’s daytime. Singing or tickling their toes works too 🙂




4. Start quiet time before bed

About a half an hour before you would like to start your baby’s bedtime routine, implement quiet time. This is a time that you limit loud noises like the tv/radio and company. You want to relax your baby and get her ready for sleep.

5. Bath your baby at night

This one is completely optional, I’ve been told that some babies get all riled up after a bath, but we were advised by our maternity nurses to bath our daughter at night. A warm bath is soothing and the routine of bathing every night will signal to your baby that it’s almost bedtime.

In the early stages we wanted to establish a routine but didn’t want to dry out her skin with daily use of soap, so to avoid that we opted to only use soap in her bath every other night.

Some would rather bath their babies in the morning or sometime during the day and that’s great, do what works for your family. I would recommend doing something in place of a bath at night to establish a routine though, like reading a bedtime story, something your baby can connect with bedtime.

Get Your Newborn Sleeping | Parenting Tips | Create a Schedule | Newborn Nighttime Schedule |

6. Dim the lights

Just as you want it to be bright during the day, you want it to be dark at night, so we would dim the lights after her bath while we were putting her pajamas and a fresh diaper on. You could even go as far as dimming the lights at bath time or even when you start quiet time.

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7. Use a nightlight

When your baby wakes you (a couple hundred times) in the night, try not to turn on the lights. Use a nightlight that is bright enough to feed but still dim enough that your baby knows it’s night time at those late night feeds.

When we had our daughter in her pajamas and ready for bed we would turn out the light and I would nurse her in the dark. I feel like every little bit helped!




8. Don’t interact with your baby during the night feeds

Try not to talk when getting up to feed your baby, keeping it quiet will help lull them back to sleep.

If your baby is like mine and seems wide awake in the wee hours of the morning, I went as far as not making eye contact with her either. It’s a wonderful feeling when it takes just one look into your eyes to make them crack a smile, but at 2:00 am you just want them to focus on eating then sleeping, heartwarming smiles can wait till morning!

9. Set a bedtime

I saved this one for last because it’s completely optional. I personally stuck to a bedtime quite rigidly for the first few months to get her on a schedule, and now I sometimes wait till she gives me signals she’s ready for bed (which is usually pretty close to the bedtime we chose). Setting a bedtime also gives you some consistency; knowing that she sleeps till about 8:00am gives me a chance to have some time for myself in the mornings.

We still use most of these techniques for bedtime and our daughter has always been a good sleeper (minus the occasional bump I  the road), she is now 8 months and sleeping 9-10 hours straight!

I hope that you try these techniques and that they work as good for you as they did for us! Having a newborn is such an incredible time, I hope that getting your baby to sleep will help you savor the moments 🙂

Xx,

kate sig

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36 Comments

  • Reply
    Tashi
    May 24, 2016 at 8:25 am

    How early can these tips be implemented? My son is 1 month old and 1 week. Thanks! When (what age) did you start doing this and when did it take affect?

    • Reply
      Kate
      May 24, 2016 at 8:44 am

      Hi Tashi! Honestly, we implemented all of these steps literally the first day home from the hospital. I wanted our daughter to know when bedtime was and that night was for sleeping right away! I’d say it started to pay off within the first month or so, my daughter has always been a pretty good sleeper and I owe it all to having a good routine and sticking to it! Good luck with your new little one!! Xx

    • Reply
      Justeen
      September 27, 2016 at 7:23 am

      I do all this with my 4 month old and he is still waking every 2 to 3 he’s a night.😢😢

      • Reply
        Kate
        September 27, 2016 at 9:49 am

        I’m sorry to hear that Justeen! All babies are different and you can only do what you can do. I found my daughter would go through rough patches when she just seemed to need to nurse all the time. You’ll get through this!

  • Reply
    Nikita
    May 31, 2016 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks for the great tips Kate, I am saving this for when the baby arrives late this year.
    I will let you know how I go 😊

    Nikita
    X

    • Reply
      Kate
      May 31, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      Please do! And congratulations!! Best of luck
      Xx

  • Reply
    Shraddz
    June 6, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Useful tips

    • Reply
      Kate
      June 27, 2016 at 10:31 am

      Thank you Shraddz 😊

  • Reply
    Ashlee
    June 27, 2016 at 10:07 am

    How did you do a consistent bedtime? Our days with My son (3 weeks old) are very different. Some days he may nap till 7 then cluster feed till 9 when I can finally put him to sleep others he is awake after 5-6 and goes to bed between 7:30-8. Not sure how to do a consistent bedtime if he is all over the place.

    • Reply
      Kate
      June 27, 2016 at 10:37 am

      Hi Ashlee, it’s definitely not easy in the beginning to stick to a certain bedtime. We didn’t always have my daughter in bed exactly when she was suppose to be either because like you said they can be all over the place! My best advice would be try to aim within an hour or so of bedtime, your son won’t know the difference between 7:30 and 8:30 but make sure you stick to your routine even on days when you can’t stick to bedtime. If you bath him before bed, I feel like maintaining that structure is more important than maintaining an exact bedtime. That way he learns that when he has a bath (or whatever your bedtime routine is) that it’s bedtime after that, that’s what they’ll pick up on. I really hope this helps! Good luck and congrats on you son! 😊

  • Reply
    Mrs. Cook
    July 28, 2016 at 7:54 am

    Love the article… One little edit… It’s patience, not patients (doctors have patients).
    Sorry, I am an English teacher and I just can’t help myself!

    • Reply
      Kate
      August 13, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Haha good catch, thanks you!

  • Reply
    Crystal
    October 23, 2016 at 10:03 pm

    Question, my pediatrician told me I had to feed my newborn every 2 hours.. I would set an alarm throughout the night to feed my baby.
    He sleeps all through the night now(he is now 4 months), but should I have let him sleep rather than waking him up to eat?

    • Reply
      Kate
      October 25, 2016 at 7:53 am

      Hi Crystal! I would always recommend listening to the professionals when it comes to your newborn. I’m by no means a doctor and I know that in the first few weeks, babies need to be feeding regularly. I think you were right to be following the recommendations of your pediatrician and this post is not meant to replace that advice, but to build off of it to encourage your baby to sleep through the night when they are developed enough to do so. I also woke my daughter to feed at the beginning and although it seems counterproductive, newborns do need to feed often and waking them as newborns wont necessarily effect their sleeping patterns as they get older (that’s where these tips come in!). Thank you for your comment and congrats on having your son sleep so well at 4 months!!

    • Reply
      Lauren
      March 7, 2017 at 4:13 pm

      Your doctor is correct. When they are newborns for some time they need to be woken up every 2 hours for feeding. Many babies have died from dehydration because parents have let them sleep through the night. The constant feeding at that age is very important.

  • Reply
    Sandra
    October 28, 2016 at 3:03 am

    Hi. I am actually doing everything you wrote to the point, and he usually sleeps from 8pm but wakes for feedings every 3-4h at night and at 6am we are already up, even if he is not hungry. Recently I started to feed him formula in the evening with semolina but still 3h later he wakes up and is hungry again. Do you have any advice to prolong his sleep to at least 6h? To have just 1 feed at night?

    • Reply
      Kate
      October 30, 2016 at 10:53 am

      Hi Sandra, it seems like your doing everything in your power to make sure your little guy sleeps at night. Unfortunately, I don’t have any advice on getting him to sleep longer. Every baby is different and he may just need to eat every 3-4 hours still. I’m sorry I can’t help, but just know that it will get better! Thanks for the comment, xx

  • Reply
    Jessica
    November 15, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    I think you’re really lucky to have had a good sleeper from the start. It’s nice to think that these tips are what made your baby sleep so Well, but as a mom who tried all of these things and more religiously, let me just say: you either get a baby who likes to sleep or you don’t. Our son woke every 2 to 3 hours for his entire first 16 months. Some nights were every 1.5 hours or less. Then hr went through 6 months where he got up for 3 hours every night (1to4 or2to5, 3to6). Never asked to have the light on or play. He tried his hardest to lay there and go back to sleep. There was never any rhyme or reason. He’s now 3 and still wakes up 2 times at least 2 or 3 nights a week.
    Just thank your lucky stars that you got a sleeper and know that for some babies, no amount of tips or tricks will work.

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 18, 2016 at 7:07 am

      That’s so true Jessica, every baby is different. And I definitely do feel grateful that my daughter is a good sleeper. With baby #2 on the way, I’m praying that everything I did the first time will work as good the second time. I completely understand that these tips wont work for everyone, but if it helps even just a few people get some sleep, I think it’s worth it! I hope your little one becomes less restless soon! Xx

  • Reply
    Telisha
    November 27, 2016 at 8:36 am

    Once your baby started sleeping longer what happened to your milk? I read one women was blessed with a long nights sleep but then because baby usually feeds at night she was painfully engorged in the morning. What was your experience?

    • Reply
      Kate
      November 28, 2016 at 6:06 am

      Hi Telisha, that could very well happen. When my daughter started sleeping longer I definitely woke up with full boobs, but I don’t recall them being super engorged or painful, but it’s different for everyone. Thanks for the feedback, Xx

  • Reply
    Kara
    December 27, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    We start our bed time routine at 8pm with our LO who is now 7weeks. Have been doing this for a month now. But it takes at least 3 hours before I am able to lay her down. (Two nights ago, bedtime routine started at 8, couldnt lay her down til 3:30.) She cries instantly when I try and lay her down. She will fall asleep nursing so I wait several minutes and then try to lay her down. Instantly knows she’s being laid down. I keep her to my chest all the way down too. When I’m finally able to lay her down, she may fuss a little but will eventually fall asleep and sleep 4-5 hours before waking up to nurse again. I would like to know how to get her to start her 4-5 hour stretch of sleep in under two hours after starting the bedtime routine?

    • Reply
      Kate
      December 28, 2016 at 9:19 am

      Hi Kara! That’s a tough one, every baby is different. I know some nights my daughter would take longer than other nights and I don’t know if there is a rhyme or reason to it. The only thing I could think to suggest would be to maybe bath her before bed, it might relax her a bit before that last feed. It sounds like your doing the best you can, hang in there girl! Xx

    • Reply
      dominique
      April 4, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      I dont know if I can put a tip on here.
      i found with my son it had to do with my smell.
      I took his sheets off his crib and slept with them one night and then i would take his blanket and stuff it under my sweater a half hour before i put him to sleep. Then when i put him down my scent was all around him and he started to stay asleep as i put him down.

      • Reply
        Kate
        April 5, 2017 at 2:59 pm

        Such a great idea Dominique!!

  • Reply
    Laxmikant yerekar
    January 25, 2017 at 2:21 am

    Thnx Kate, I am Expectant Father, and I have noted down this tips.

    • Reply
      Kate
      January 25, 2017 at 9:24 am

      That’s great! Congratulations and good luck!!

  • Reply
    Sarah
    February 1, 2017 at 10:58 am

    What time did you start the bedtime routine? Do you bathe and then feed or feed and then bathe? And after birth did you LO sleep in a bassinet in your room, in a co-sleeper in bed with you or in her crib? FTM mom here, totally clueless!

    • Reply
      Kate
      February 1, 2017 at 11:15 am

      Hi Sarah! Congrats on your first baby! It’s such a precious and exciting time 🙂 There’s no right or wrong answer to any of these questions, but I can tell you what we personally did and if that works for you, great! We started our bedtime routine at 8:00pm which started with a bath, then a feeding once we were in the dark room where she slept. But now with our second we are starting the bedtime routine earlier, it’s whatever works best for your family, I suggest playing around with it until you find what works for you. We made a very conscious effort not to ever co-sleep with our daughter, in my experience babies develop better sleep habits when they sleep in their own bed. She slept in a basinet in our room for a few months until she outgrew it (it was homemade and quite narrow). I hope this helps and don’t worry, all first time parents are a little clueless, but you figure it out pretty quick! Best of luck to you and your little one, Sarah! Xx

  • Reply
    Bebekco
    March 9, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    Initially dressing up her little one and taking the pics to give friends and family a little chuckle

  • Reply
    Anne ve Bebek
    March 16, 2017 at 10:51 pm

    Moms And Kids Some things are totally free, but many will require you to pay shipping. Often, it’s worth it, as the shipping is a fraction of the cost

  • Reply
    Deborah
    April 4, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    My baby is a week old and refuses to sleep anywhere but in our bed. I’m not for cosleeping but don’t know what else to do. She starts to cry the second she realizes she is being put down.

    • Reply
      Kate
      April 5, 2017 at 3:06 pm

      I don’t have a ton of experience here, but when we first brought home our son, he did the same thing. He would be completely asleep and as soon as I would put him in his bassinet he would wake up and cry, but if I laid him in our bed he wouldn’t wake up. So for two nights he slept with us, but I’m with you on not wanting to co-sleep. So I tried to make his bassinet as comfy as I could, I put a cozy blanket in (and tucked it in tightly so it couldn’t come up on his face) and just tried to get our smell into the crib. That seemed to help him and we haven’t had that problem again. I’ve also seen in the comments, Dominique suggests sleeping with the baby’s sheets for a night, or wearing her blanket under your clothes to get your scent on it. This sounds like a great idea. Hope this works for you! Xx

  • Reply
    melanie
    April 23, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Hi! I thought you might like to know that your content, like mine, is being stolen and used on this website – http://www.bundlesofjoy.com.sg/2017/04/22/9-steps-getting-your-baby-sleep-through-the-night/

    • Reply
      Kate
      April 24, 2017 at 5:57 am

      I did see that, I just don’t know what I can do about it. Any ideas?

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