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How to Help Your Baby Sleep at Night

If you are looking for some ideas on how to get more sleep, here are some practical tips and techniques to help you.


After sleeping all day, is your baby having trouble sleeping at night? Being a parent is a tough job, especially when you aren’t able to get a good night's rest. If you are looking for some ideas on how to get more sleep, here are some practical tips and techniques to help you. 

It doesn’t come naturally for newborn babies to know the difference between night and day. The confusion about what is night and day is the reason that some newborns sleep all day and are awake all night.

Parenting expert and author of the Baby Bedtime Book by Fi Star-Stone, states that it can take several weeks, or possibly even months before your baby is able to keep night and day straight- sleeping more at night and only napping during the day.

While you wait patiently for your baby to learn the difference between night and day, there are some simple things you can do to help your baby sleep at night and up more during the day.

1. Follow a routine

“A regular bedtime and regular daily naps around the same time each day, will certainly help your little one get into good sleep habits. Combine this with regular mealtimes, playtimes and activities and you’ll help your little one to understand what happens at different times of the day. Children thrive on routine, babies in particular, it really is the magic key to a happy bedtime.”

2. Make them different

“You can help your baby along by gently teaching them the difference between night and day.” says Fi. “To do this - make things a little louder and lighter during the day. Make activities a little more stimulating such as surrounding them with nice bright shapes or blankets to look at and getting out and about for nice walks in the fresh air. In the evenings make everything a little darker, calmer and more gentle. Eventually your baby will fall into the day and night patterns of sleep.”

3. Have them take naps in their crib

Rather than sleeping in a car seat, stroller, or bouncy seat - have you child take their naps in the crib. The more they sleep in the crib, the easier it will be for them to understand that they need to sleep when placed in their crib for bedtime.

4. Make sure they don’t get overly exhausted 

Before your baby gets overtired, make sure you are putting them to bed.  Pay careful attention to their “cues”- things like eye rubbing and fussing indicate that your baby is starting to get sleepy. When you see signs of tiredness, start preparing them for bed right away. When your baby is overtired, it’s harder for them to fall asleep on their own. If you place your baby to bed when they are drowsy, they are more likely to fall asleep faster and for longer periods of time.

5. Give your baby a massage 

Giving your baby a massage before bedtime, as part of their bedtime routine, can help them relax and drift off to sleep at night. Some research indicates that babies who are regularly massaged have higher levels of melatonin. Melatonin is a hormone that helps us all sleep better. There is a chance that your little one won’t care for a massage, so follow their lead on this one. 

6. Place baby to sleep in the crib while they are awake

“To help your baby to settle in their cot at night, try to avoid rocking or snuggling them to sleep on you or in your bed before transferring them to their cot, and instead have a cuddle with a story and then put them into their bed while they are awake,” suggests Fi.  “That way - they fall asleep in their bed without the need for cuddles or rocking. This is especially important as during the light REM sleep phase they will wake needing the thing that settled them to sleep, rather than gently stirring and falling back to sleep unaided.”

7. While your baby is sleeping, get some rest yourself

Your newborn won’t come with a sleep pattern in their first few weeks of life. With so much that needs done, it can be tempting to spend your little one’s nap time running around and doing chores. It’s very important that you get rest too, so take the opportunity to catch a nap yourself.

8. Don’t spend time worrying 

Every parent will go through sleepless nights with their baby. For most parents, it’s a phase that passes quickly.  If you find that one suggestion doesn’t help- don’t give up, just try a different tactic. Your baby can help guide you in what’s going to be effective and what won’t work for you.

If you have concerns about sleep issues that won’t go away, make sure to talk with your child’s doctor to see if they have any insight that can help.

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