Inside: 10 baby sleep strategies that focus on getting baby to sleep through the night so you can finally get some rest
You’ve probably ended up on this page because you need sleep. And for you to sleep, your need your baby to sleep.
So, your number one goal in life right now is probably getting baby to sleep through the night! Ok, let’s go back a step, maybe you just want more than 3 consecutive hours sleep. Just 2 hours?
I’ve been there. I need sleep like I need chocolate: frequently and in large quantity.
I know you’re keen to dive right in and get your baby sleeping, but first, there are a few things worth noting…
For example, understanding the differences between adult and newborn sleep should give you a few ‘ahhh’ moments!
(If you’re really desperate, you can skip ahead to the 10-step strategy using the handy table of contents.)
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Why Is Sleep So Important For Babies?
The importance of sleep in adulthood is well documented and there’s no better reminder of this when you’re getting none. Ie when you have a brand new baby!
Sleep is even more important for babies.
Sleep is critical for growth and development – the majority of which occurs when babies are sleeping! Less sleep = less growing time.
This is why babies (are meant to) sleep A LOT! They have a lot of learning and developing to do in an incredibly short space of time.
(In 18 months my daughter has learnt to smile, walk, high-five, draw on the walls, say no…. And exactly how to push her brothers’ buttons. Meanwhile, I’ve just about mastered my new slow cooker. It has one button, with three settings…)
So, for the sake of my sanity and the healthy development of my babies, encouraging good sleep early on, was an absolute must.
And while I’m not totally against sleep training and/or cry-it-out (SUCH a personal and controversial topic) I have discovered that these 10 strategies below can eliminate the need for either of these.
Yup, you can have a baby that sleeps through the night without needing to sleep train!
If you want to read more on the importance of sleep for mother and baby this is a great read.
Newborn And Baby Sleep Patterns
It’s helpful to understand a bit about newborn sleep patterns in order to establish good sleep and ultimately get that baby to sleep through the night.
In brief, like adults, newborn sleep is characterized by the different sleep stages of light sleep, deep sleep and Active sleep (‘Active’ because this is when the brain is very busy – termed ‘REM’ sleep in adults and it’s when we dream). But there are a few key differences:
There are two important take-aways from the above:
- Babies may look restless a lot of the time and fool us into thinking they’re going to wake up when they’re not!
- Babies often wake briefly but will settle back to sleep if they’re still tired and not hungry or in any discomfort.
Both are VERY significant (see strategy #9).
Firstly, What Is Considered Sleeping Through The Night?
When people talk about a baby ‘sleeping through the night’ there’s often confusion about what this means.
Now, my two toddlers sleep around 11/12 hours from 7.30pm-ish until 7am-ish. That definitely counts as sleeping through the night.
When they were between 3 and 6 months it was more like 11pm-ish until 7am. I’d say that counts as sleeping through the night, since I can get a good 8 hours. (Bedtime has always been around 7pm, but at around 10.30pm I’d give them a quick top-up or dream feed – strategy #7 below.)
Yes, you heard that right, your baby can sleep 8 hours straight, ie through the night, without a breastfeed or bottle from 3 months old!
Secondly, When Do Babies Sleep Through The Night?
So this one’s not quite so easy to answer. All babies are different and there seems to be lots of different opinions on this.
The first question to answer is: when do babies sleep through the night without feeding? I.e. when are they CAPABLE of going an 8 hour stretch in between feeds.
From all the reading I’ve done (a lot) it seems babies are CAPABLE of sleeping through, without feeding, at around 3 months. Some even earlier, as early as 6 weeks.
Then it’s a matter of them not needing your support or comfort when switching between sleep cycles or when they wake easily during that very light, ‘Active’ sleep. Remember, they are in Active sleep 50% of the time.
If your baby can fall back to sleep on their own (self-soothe or settle themselves), they can sleep through the night by 3 months, or 6 weeks, or whenever it is they are physically capable of that long stretch between feeds.
Thirdly, Can Breastfed Babies Sleep Through The Night?
Yes. More difficult in my opinion but the answer is a resounding yes. I breastfed both of mine far beyond the point at which they started sleeping through (as did many moms I spoke to regarding their own baby sleep experience.)
How I Helped My Babies Sleep Through The Night
“When did your baby sleep through the night?” I hear you say. Well, we have two little baba’s, complete opposites in most ways.
Baby number 1 was sleeping through the night by 11 weeks
First, came our happy, chilled-out baby boy, who went to sleep unaided for most naps from 7 weeks. By unaided I mean WITHOUT feeding to sleep, rocking, jiggling, driving around the streets… you get the picture.
He was sleeping through the night by 11 weeks. It wasn’t luck, that I’m sure of.
After several weeks of broken sleep I started researching ‘how to get a baby to sleep through the night’ EVERY SPARE MINUTE. I tried lots of different things. A LOT. I was determined. VERY. I needed to sleep. DESPERATELY.
I’m absolutely certain that the strategies I will get to shortly were fundamental to this success.
Baby number 2 was sleeping through the night by 12 weeks
Second, came our ever-fussy baby girl, who had reflux. She brought up a lot of milk, at nearly every feed (think 4 different outfits by lunchtime for her and at least 2 for me) and often I could not put her down for hours at a time such was her discomfort.
I used the same sleep strategies, starting pretty much the first night home. They didn’t all work and some I adapted slightly. She first slept through the night at 12 weeks.
I’m not going to lie, she was consistently inconsistent with her sleep, depending on how much milk she’d managed to consume vs. how much she’d deposited all over herself and myself and how uncomfortable she was.
But as soon as solids were established at around 8 months (she wasn’t keen on the solid stuff), the reflux calmed down and she slept 12 hours straight fairly consistently.
Not that sleeping is ALL about eating – but if a baby is hungry, they will wake to feed.
Check out the last section, after the 10 strategies, for more on tackling sleep when your baby has reflux, colic or is very gassy.
Do other moms have trouble getting their baby to sleep through the night?
Such is my interest in baby sleep, I recently asked 20 normal moms when their babies started sleeping through the night Check out the post here.
A Short Disclaimer
I’m not an sleep ‘expert’ as such and am not medically trained, but after a few weeks of broken sleep with a newborn baby, a lot of reading, experimentation, some chance discoveries from friends and A LOT of perseverance, I feel fairly well practiced!
I want to add that, like all things parenting, there is rarely a “right” or “wrong” way – you must ultimately do what you are comfortable with, what works for you and your family and ignore the rest!
Having said that I think you’d be mad not to give all or most of these a go!
THE 10 STEP STRATEGY: How To Get Baby To Sleep Through The Night
#1 Swaddle Your Baby For a Good Nights Sleep
What is swaddling?
Wrap your baby up like a burrito
WHY you should swaddle your newborn for sleep
To prevent the “Moro Reflex” or “startle” reflex from waking them.
The Moro and startle reflexes are natural reflexes that healthy babies are born with. Yeah for your healthy baby! It turns your sleeping little beauty into a startled starfish. Deep sleep to awake in seconds! Hence the swaddle.
A swaddle is better for a newborn than a sleep sack for this reason.
HOW to swaddle a newborn correctly
Sign up to our free swaddle course, with step-by-step video tutorials and printables for the easiest and most effective ways to swaddle, you know, so baby actually stays put when that pesky Moro reflex strikes.
“But my baby hates the swaddle”, I hear you say, “she’s out of it in minutes”.
Yup, these swaddle methods and tips will keep even your mini Houdini wrapped up and asleep.
TIPS FOR SUCCESSFULLY producing a tight swaddle
If you’re anything like me and when you wrap a burrito half your food falls out soon as you pick it up, you need to practice. Take the swaddle course, find a friend with a baby, borrow a baby doll, go swaddle.
#2 Follow a simple routine of milk, awake and active, then sleep
IN A NUTSHELL
Feed baby, short period of awake time/activity, back to sleep
WHY is a routine for a newborn beneficial for sleep
This serves two main purposes:
- Having just woken up, your baby feeds when most awake and alert, this therefore encourages a full feed
- Separating feeding and sleep with a short period of awake time reduces the chance of the sleep association of feeding to sleep developing
HOW TO implement this routine
- Baby wakes from nap, or you wake baby (Yes, you read correctly, you may need to wake that baby sometimes. More on this later.)
- Change your baby’s nappy – this ensures baby is properly awake and more likely to take a full feed
- Breast feed or bottle feed
- Awake and active – in the early days this may be as simple as a few minutes lying on a play mat or a bit of tummy time. Or may also be non-existent!
- Check nappy
- Magical sleep environment (see strategy no. 5)
- Back to sleep
This cycle may only take 45 minutes in the early days but as your baby grows the awake periods will lengthen.
At 6 months old this cycle may take as long as 2 hours, but probably no longer.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Don’t stress if the awake period is very short or even non-existent in the beginning!
Tiny babies are not awake very much at all. Make the most of this, it probably won’t last long.
This only becomes a problem if your baby is awake at night for hours with little or no awake periods during the day. If this is the case your baby may have days and nights confused.
If so check out: Newborn Sleeps All day? 10 fail-safe tactics to fix day night confusion fast!
Don’t have baby awake too long – at 3 months old, babies can normally only manage a maximum of 2 hours awake (that INCLUDES the time taken to feed them.)
More detail on figuring out your baby’s awake time here (with a handy awake time chart to guide you)
#3 Make sure baby gets plenty of milk in the day (between 7am and 7pm)
IN A NUTSHELL
Feed your baby often in the day
WHY should I feed more often in the day?
Reduces night wakings through hunger
HOW TO get your infant to feed more in the day (meaning longer sleeps at night)
Newborns need to feed frequently (Golden Rule No. 2 for Successful Breastfeeding.)
But how often?
The first table below is a good rule of thumb for the TOTAL feeds your baby is likely to need in a 24 hour period (in accordance with the American Academy of Pediatrics among many others).
Key is to MAXIMIZE the number of feeds during the daytime hours (7am to 7pm) in order to MINIMIZE the number of feeds your baby will need during nighttime hours (7pm to 7am).
So, you want your baby to feed every few hours between the daytime hours of 7am and 7pm, as in the second table.
I’ve incorporated these tables into a handy pin sized image so you can pin it and refer back to it easily.
Where it says ‘every 2 hours’, this time is from the beginning of one feed to the beginning of the next. So, if your baby took 45 mins to feed then there’s only 1 hour 15 mins until your baby is likely to want to feed again.
THIS IS CRUCIAL – you want your baby to feed frequently IN THE DAY (Between 7am and 7pm) in order to get longer stretches at night. If your baby is asleep when due a feed, wake that baby up!
Baby feeding more frequently?
If this is the case you may want to try encouraging baby to take a bigger feed. This should mean baby can last a little big longer until the next feed which will in turn encourage a bigger feed at the next feed. Quickly you will find the intervals between feeds increasing.
What you want to avoid is a serial snacker. I.e. a baby who likes to feed for a few minutes, every half an hour, day and night…. (I had one of those!)
You also want to avoid comfort feeding. Try to only feed baby when hungry as a too full tummy can become uncomfortable. (A baby 6+ weeks old and rooting to suck could be seeking comfort. Unless you’re sure they’re hungry, try to calm baby using other methods: swaddling, colic hold, carry them in a sling.)
So stretch out the feeds until you’re feeding every few hours, as per the chart above. You’ll then be on a loose and flexible newborn breastfeeding schedule (always feed baby if hungry).
Ultimately the intervals between night feeds will also increase, eventually eliminating them altogether.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
3 main ones worth noting:
- Keep an eye on the clock so you know when you last fed your baby. There are lots of apps for keeping track of breastfeeding and all things baby, as mentioned here.
- Ignore people who say “No! You can’t wake a sleeping baby!” (I found this hard in the beginning but found my confidence to ignore this particular comment!)
- Try and encourage bigger/full feeds as much as possible (as mentioned above)
If you want something a bit more structured, with set feed times, to help ensure baby feeds enough in the day, you may want to try this sleep and feeding schedule.
#4 Check how much your baby is sleeping in the day (between 7am and 7pm), adjust as necessary
IN A NUTSHELL: Wake a sleeping baby!
Ensure baby getting the right amount of sleep in the day. Handy sleep chart coming up
WHY you should wake a baby who is sleeping too much in the day
Too much sleep in the day = baby wants to party all night.
Wake that baby up in the day if you need to!
In addition, if baby is sleeping too much, likelihood is he or she will not be getting enough milk in the day and will have to catch up at night.
Enough naps in the day = well rested, happy baby that shouldn’t fight bedtime.
This may seem counter-intuitive – you want your baby to sleep all night long. Surely that’s more likely if they’ve been awake all day?
Overtired babies can be almost impossible to settle and do not sleep well at night. Do not be fooled into thinking that if you keep your baby up for very long periods in the day, or even the whole day, she will sleep well at night!
More on why this happens in this overtired baby post.
Driving round the block, jiggling, rocking, baby wearing is where you’ll be.
HOW TO keep a baby awake during the day
Following the schedule of milk, awake/active, back to sleep (strategy #2) should ensure your baby is having enough naps in the day AND getting enough milk.
Wondering how much sleep baby needs in the day? You can use the two sleep charts below as a guideline (note I said guideline!)
In the first chart ‘BABY SLEEP CHART’, the far right column has suggested number of hours day sleep (between 7 am and 7 pm).
The second chart ‘BABY DAY NAP CHART’ breaks down day sleep into number of naps and includes maximum ‘awake times’ – it’s key not to keep baby awake too long, as noted already at strategy no. 2.
For a full explanation on how to use the charts, check out this baby sleep chart post.
BABY SLEEP CHART – TOTAL DAILY SLEEP BY AGE AND SPLIT BETWEEN DAY AND NIGHT (See the baby sleep chartpost, for details on how to use the chart.)
BABY DAY NAP CHART – HOW MUCH SLEEP IN THE DAY, HOW MANY NAPS, IDEAL NAP SCHEDULE & MAX AWAKE TIME (See the baby sleep chartpost, for details on how to use the chart.)
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Like the last one: keep an eye on the clock and ignore people who say “No! You can’t wake a sleeping baby!”
If you fancy something more structured, a sleep and feeding schedule may be the way to go. This will help ensure your newborn doesn’t sleep too much in the day AND help ensure baby drinks enough milk in the day (as per step #3).
I used the schedules in this post: Starting A Newborn Sleep Schedule That You And Your Baby Will Love
Both my babies and I loved following a schedule! Lots of benefits of starting a flexible newborn sleep schedule for baby, mom and the whole family.
#5 Create a magical sleep environment EVERY NAPTIME and extend this to a bed and bath time routine in the evening
IN A NUTSHELL
Dim the lights, play some relaxing music, cuddles and kisses….(Similar to a night with your other half before baby came along)
WHY do I need to create a special sleep environment?
This baby sleep strategy helps avoid negative sleep associations (the ones you resort to to get baby to sleep in stimulating environments) and create positive ones (soft music, dim lights, cuddle + swaddle = time to sleep)
HOW TO make your baby comfortable for bed
Create a sleep-inducing environment is as simple as stated above:
- Dim the lights – Light suppresses the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Dim the lights, let the melatonin flow
- Put on some soothing music, white noise or another dull background noise – The idea is to replicate the noisy gurgling’s of the mother’s womb. This also drowns out slamming doors, busy toddlers and anything else that might turn your baby into a startled starfish just as they’re falling asleep
- Last breast or bottle-feed – Make sure that tummy is full!
- Cuddle, rock or sway – Nothing more sleep inducing than a cuddle while rocking gently in that lovely nursery glider… (try not to fall asleep too!)
In addition to the above, preparation for sleep in the evening ideally consists of one or all of the following:
- Warm bath
- Baby massage
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Try to make sure you leave enough time to give this a shot – at least 15 mins to do the bare minimum (lights, music, milk, cuddle) or 30 mins for a full bedtime routine.
If out and about or travelling with your newborn you may have to shortcut so just do what you can (this is when I favored a bit of cuddling, rocking, pushing in the buggy to help my baby to sleep, rather than letting them get overtired).
#6 Learn when your baby is tired so you can act on it
IN A NUTSHELL: pay close attention to your baby’s sleep cues
Watch your baby like a hawk! Put baby to bed when tired.
WHY is an overtired baby a nightmare?
Take that baby into that magical sleep-inducing environment at the first signs of tiredness and let her drift off. Massive melt down and possible sleep association hopefully averted or minimized!
HOW TO recognize your baby is tired and ready for sleep
Once you’re following the cycle of feed, awake/active, sleep or a more structured sleep and feeding schedule, you should quite quickly learn the signs that your baby is getting tired, since you know when your baby last slept.
Remember that small babies cannot stay awake very long at all. 2 hours is the limit for most under 3 months.
Common signs of overtiredness include:
- Rubbing eyes
- Avoiding eye contact
- Chewing on fingers
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Avoid over-stimulation once you notice signs of tiredness. That includes bright lights, sibling cuddles, even eye contact.
So no more, one more game of peekaboo with Aunt Doris who’s traveled from half way across the world just to see her darling niece.
If you are following any sort of routine and detect your baby is overtired much earlier than scheduled, rather let her have a short catnap and try get back on track with timings later on.
#7 Dream Feed to help baby sleep through the night
What is dream feeding & how does it help a baby sleep longer?
A “Dream Feed” is when you feed your baby in a dream-like state i.e. without fully waking her (although as a teeny tiny newborn you will need to ensure she’s fully awake and alert in order to take a decent feed).
Feeding just before YOU go to bed, should delay the first night waking so you can get more sleep.
WHY you want to dream feed at night
To make sure your baby is as full as possible and can sleep as long as possible before waking hungry
HOW TO dream feed and keep your baby’s belly full
Wake your baby just enough for a decent feed, then put them back down to sleep. It’s a very simple concept but there are a few intricacies worth noting to dream feed successfully.
So much so that I’ve dedicated a whole post to the subject: The Dream Feed: An insanely simple solution to dramatically more sleep
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
If baby is too sleepy to feed try removing some sleepwear, a damp cloth, moving to a brighter room, blowing on them or anything else you can think of to rouse them. Simulate a second nappy change if they fall asleep halfway through or repeat the above! Check out the dream feed post for more details.
#8 Make sure the room your baby is sleeping in is pitch black FOR EVERY NAP
IN A NUTSHELL: light disturbs your baby’s sleep pattern
So your baby’s sleep environment must be as dark as possible
Light disturbs sleep… So it’s often the reason babies wake up too early in the morning. I.e. at the crack of dawn, when it starts to get light.
Light can also be the reason your baby won’t sleep longer than 45 minutes in the day (the light waking them in between sleep cycles).
HOW TO make sure your baby’s room is dark – AT HOME
The most important part of prepping for baby is not organizing the closet, organizing baby clothes in the dresser, shelf decor, painting the crib or choosing the paint for the walls. It’s getting the curtains right!
Invest in blackout curtains or use blackout blinds.
Or if you want absolute pitch black (I did) line the window itself with blackout material (leave the curtains hanging as normal over the window). This means no chinks of light can sneak out at all (curtains and blinds do not have a perfect seal).
You can either attach a square of blackout material over the window (a bit messy, involving glue, velcro and sewing) or try this blackout window film. (We went the messy DIY option but if I’d been able to get my hands on the window film I would have – looks a winner!)
For more blackout blind recommendations, check out: 18 Best Blackout Shades/Curtains For Baby’s Nursery (2023 UPDATE)
HOW TO blackout a room – ON THE MOVE OR WHEN STAYING AWAY
My portable blackout blinds (yes I have many!) have been worth their weight in gold when traveling away from home with my newborn. And for sleep on the move, there are some awesome products on the market to keep the buggy and car seat dark (I used a Snoozeshade for both).
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
This is such an easy baby sleep strategy there’s no reason not to try it. I’m also sure it’s why none of my babies have regularly woken between 5am and 6am even though this is when my husband gets up for work and our house is tiny!
I heard a lot of complaints from friends and often read about babies being ready to start the day at 5am so if you have the same issue you’ve just got to try this!
#9 “Pause” – don’t run into the room with every little noise your baby makes
IN A NUTSHELL: this can start bad sleep habits
Don’t jump up, rush in and pick baby up every time he or she makes a noise! Pause first
WHY & HOW pausing is an important baby sleep strategy
It’s CRUCIAL to avoid creating poor sleep associations.
Remember babies are noisy sleepers (in active REM sleep HALF the time) so your baby may be stirring while asleep.
They may even appear to be crying in their sleep, as they often cry out when transitioning between sleep cycles.
Or baby may have woken up for no reason in particular; that’s just the nature of newborn sleep.
So even if your baby has woken up, give her a chance to settle herself.
You risk waking your baby up fully if you rush to her too quickly and then will inadvertently aid her back to sleep…
Soon enough you will have a sleep association that could have been avoided.
Let me just clarify, if your baby is screaming the house down or is obviously hungry/hot/cold/sick then pick that baby up! Do what you need to do.
Pausing encourages self-soothing
“Pausing” encourages baby to settle on her own or “self-soothe”. This is probably the single MOST important baby sleep strategy of the lot for getting baby to sleep through the night beyond the newborn phase.
If baby can fall back to sleep on waking in the night (since all babies do) without your assistance, hunger is satisfied and other needs are met, baby will be sleeping through in no time.
Read more about the relationship between ‘pausing’ and self-soothing here.
HOW TO pause and encourage longer sleep for your newborn
Pause, before you go to your baby. Give that baby chance to settle. Just a minute or two, 5 if you’re brave. Whatever you’re comfortable with.
Again – if your baby is screaming the house down or is obviously hungry/hot/cold/sick then pick that baby up! Feed her, dress her, undress her, cuddle her, whatever it is you think she needs
TIPS to keep from running into the room
Just give it a go!
And just to drive the point home, here are those newborn/adult sleep differences again with the key takeaways and the need to PAUSE!
#10 Try to put down baby awake!
IN A NUTSHELL
Place baby in bassinet awake (but tired and sleepy), walk away.
What??? Yes, you did hear that right and yes it’s possible! But I can see why this might seem like the most far-fetched one of the lot but hear me out.
WHY putting baby down awake helps them sleep through the night
You should have noticed by now, that there have been a few mentions of “avoiding sleep associations”.
If baby can fall asleep unaided you have unlocked the key to getting your baby to sleep through the night. Babies will likely wake several times a night so it’s key that they are able to get back to sleep on their own if you want a full night’s sleep.
HOW TO put your infant down awake but drowsy
If you follow the cycle of milk, active, sleep in the day then when it comes to nap time baby should be full, tired but not over-tired.
So set the stage with your magical sleep environment and let that baby go to sleep!
TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Just try it. If you end up helping your baby to sleep, so be it. Just try again next time!
Dealing with sleep & a reflux, gas or colicky baby during the night
My second baby had reflux, as I mentioned early on. The same 10 steps apply but they’re not going to come nearly as easily (some were complete non-starters with my reflux baby).
You need to get to the cause of the reflux first and foremost. That’s what’s going to really help your baby sleep.
IF BABY IS STRUGGLING WITH GAS, COLIC OR ACID REFLUX, THEY’RE GOING TO STRUGGLE TO SLEEP.
FIRST AND FOREMOST TACKLE THE CAUSES.
But firstly, you’re probably wondering what symptoms to look for, right?
Symptoms of reflux, gas pains and colic
If baby spits up a lot (at most feeds, during or after), arches her back and sometimes screams in pain, it could be reflux.
If baby wriggles and writhes and looks uncomfortable, clenches fists and flails arms and legs and fusses a lot, particularly during or after a feed, trapped wind or gas could well be the problem.
If baby cries “inconsolably” that’s pretty much the modern-day definition of colic. Truth is, babies rarely cry without reason. Gas pains are nearly always a factor in colic and excess gas can cause reflux too.
My daughter had reflux but this was made 100x worse by gas (caused in part by underlying digestive issues). I didn’t burp her often enough or well enough.
I share everything I eventually learnt about hard-to-burp babies and how to burp a sleeping baby in these posts:
- Is it OK to put baby to sleep without burping? (Yes, if you learn how to burp a sleeping baby)
- How to burp a newborn baby that won’t burp (5 tips for your hard-to-burp baby)
I also became fairly well-read re everything reflux, colic and gassiness…
Easing your baby’s reflux, gas or colic to help them sleep through the night
Just to reiterate, you need to tackle the cause and ease your baby’s symptoms.
These posts are must-reads – just start with the one you think is most appropriate.
- Reflux and all the REFLUX REMEDIES you need to know
- Got a gassy baby? 16 Common causes & remedies to fix them for good
- COLIC: causes & remedies (yes, there ARE some)
DO NOT FALL PREY TO THE COMMON MISCONCEPTION THAT ‘BABIES JUST CRY’
There’s nearly always something you can do to help your baby with her particular discomfort.
If you can make your baby more comfortable, sleep will come on in leaps and bounds.
It might not be easy, mind you!
In summary: getting your baby to sleep through the night takes time
Eliminating all the reasons why your baby might wake up are the first steps in getting your baby to sleep longer and eventually through the night. To recap:
- well-fed = so shouldn’t wake after a few hours hungry
- hasn’t overslept in the day = should be tired
- swaddled = no starfish maneuvers possible
- dark room = light won’t disturb
Following a cycle of milk, awake/active then sleep, ticks the first two boxes.
(If you want to take all the stress out of remembering when baby last fed and last slept, I really would recommend starting a schedule. This post here should have everything you need: Starting A Newborn Sleep Schedule That You And Your Baby Will Love – The Ultimate Guide
Swaddling and a dark room eliminate another two reasons for baby waking.
Then create a magical sleep environment and see if baby will drift off ON HER OWN.
Start with these baby sleep strategies in order to start on your journey of getting your baby to sleep through the night.
Your babys ability to go to sleep alone, and go back to sleep without your help when he or she wakes in the night (since all babies do), will help enormously.
And importantly (maybe this should have been no. 11)…
DON’T EXPECT MIRACLES OVERNIGHT
It takes time and patience to get baby sleeping better… especially in the early days, when they feed sooooo much and often have day night confusion.
Those early few days and weeks can feel like months! I know.
Start every day afresh and keep trying all 10 strategies. Some you’ll have success with, some you won’t. DON’T GIVE UP!
Give it 3 to 4 weeks and I’m sure you will see improvements (if not let me know and I’d love to try help).
PERSEVERE! Your baby will sleep through the night
Good luck and let me know how you get on. I so hope this sets you on the right path to a good nights sleep, it worked for me, I know it can for you.
I know I’ve made it sound simple and yes, all 10 strategies are simple, in concept! But I also know how hard it can be to put them into practice. My reflux baby gave me a run for my money – let’s just say I only just kept it together…I hung on by a thread.
I battled through the newborn phase, AKA the fourth trimester, and recently shared just quite how low I fell. For all those struggling, I really do know how you feel.
For my 4th trimester truths and my advice to you if you’re fighting the same fight, check out: Battling the 4th trimester? 6 harsh realities & the tips you need to stay sane
For more baby tips, check out:
- How to help a newborn poop instantly! 11 tried & tested ways to relieve poopy struggles
- 33 Easy & engaging activities for 10 month olds
- How To Keep Your Baby’s Hands Warm At Night (10 Practical Tips)
- When to start buying baby stuff during pregnancy & what to buy when
- 21 Best portable baby beds & toddler travel cribs in 2022
Need some nursery inspiration and info? Try:
- 49 Out of this World Space-Themed Nursery Ideas for Your Little One
- 75 Green baby nursery ideas: sage to olive, dark to light
- 49 Out of this World Space-Themed Nursery Ideas for Your Little One
- 15 best zero-VOC baby-safe & non-toxic paints for a baby room or nursery walls