What parent couldn’t use a few tricks to get newborn to sleep through the night? I recently partnered with/received compensation from Babywise.Life to write about this hot topic for moms and dads everywhere. Affiliate link in post.
If it’s one thing I’ve learned over the years, it’s that parents must do whatever works for them. I’ve watched as family members and close friends tackled parenthood so differently, yet it was exactly what they needed.
Every family is different. Every circumstance is different. And yes, every baby is different.
As for my family, we’ve had one child. A beautiful little girl who balances being as hilarious as her daddy and as studious as her mommy well.
It seems just like yesterday that she came home from the hospital. Ahhh…but it’s been a while. And if there’s one thing I remember, it’s the challenges of those first few weeks. Heck, truth be told, that first night back in our home was troubling. She went from being the angel in the hospital nursery to nonstop crying as soon as we walked in the door. At least that’s what my memory tells me.
My preconceived notions of how that first night home as a family of three were long gone. Little did I know that she suffered from acid reflux (something we discovered after a gut-instinct told me to take her to the pediatrician weeks later). Medicine helped the situation immediately. Problem solved.
But there was still the notion of sleep. Mom wasn’t getting any (and if you know me, you know I need my sleep.). I was breastfeeding and trying to avoid caffeine (when I needed it most) . I couldn’t wait for the moment when I could get my newborn to sleep through the night.
When did my newborn sleep through the night?
At exactly 8 weeks.
But (and it’s a big but) don’t fall into the trap of comparing yourself to everyone else. Each baby is so different. It’s a hard lesson for new parents, one I learned when realizing that my daughter was always “behind the pack” when it came to physical milestones. She didn’t crawl right away. She didn’t walk until 16 months. On the other hand, she talked and formed sentences early.
The thing to remember – everything (from walking to talking to sleeping) will happen eventually. Your newborn WILL sleep through the night.
Once my daughter slept through the night, everything changed. For baby. For mom. For dad. So I thought I would share 6 tricks to get newborn to sleep through the night (and mom too).
6 Tricks to Get Newborn to Sleep Through the Night
Create a Consistent Routine
With kids (from newborn on), consistency is key. My daughter has always thrived on routine, and in my experience, even those kids who fight it, tend to do better with a bit of structure.
While so much of the newborn experience is new to us, the focus is really on eating, changing diapers and sleeping. So consistency here makes sense.
Though newborns sleep a lot, it’s broken up throughout the day and night. Early on, I found it beneficial to do something different to make the evening sleep stand out. Do something to tell baby this time is different than all the other naps.
For us, that meant a warm bath and a story. For others, it might be a special swaddle in a dark room.
- TIP: I always thought it worked best to have my baby learn to sleep in a well-lit room, so she could sleep anywhere and didn’t need it to be dark. You can’t always control your environment.
- TIP: I never focused on keeping the house quiet for the same reason. You can’t always control your environment and they should learn how to sleep with and without noise. That meant at times running the dishwasher, talking on the phone, or keeping the television on just outside the nursery.
- TIP: Check out this post on 4 Baby Sleep Facts Every New Mom Needs to Know.
Bottom line…consistency is key.
Put Away the Phone/Social Media
It can be so tempting when you are rocking your baby to sleep to have your smartphone in one hand, baby in another. Do your best to limit this.
The emails and facebook updates can wait, I promise.
The glare from computer and phone screens are said to be a hindrance to falling asleep for adults. Surely the same is true for babies.
Fix the Temperature of Baby
When I first brought baby home, I swaddled her up for sleep-time. I had practiced the “swaddle” for months. I was actually excited every time I got it just right. Problem was, and I didn’t realize this for a while, she was sweating inside the swaddle.
Swaddling was not to be (even with our A/C set to a great temperature).
Comfort is key for successful sleeping. It is for you and I. It is for baby too.
Investigate Potential Medical Issues
We quickly ran into a situation – crying all day long. This affected not only the times she was awake, but it also affected how well she could sleep.
She wasn’t sleeping. I wasn’t sleeping. She was crying all day and night long.
My gut told me something wasn’t right, though I couldn’t “see” anything wrong. The pediatrician confirmed my mama instinct. She had acid reflux. The minute I gave her medicine she stopped crying. Life was back to normal.
Most importantly, she slept.
Don’t Run In
This is mostly for those of you who don’t co-sleep (we didn’t). It’s natural to run in the direction of the nursery every time you hear a whimper or small cry. Try waiting a few seconds to see if they can settle themselves down.
- TIP: We followed the principles found in the bestselling book, On Becoming Babywise – Giving Your Infant the Gift of Nightime Sleep, which really worked for us in getting our daughter to sleep through the night so early on.
Sing a Disney Song
When all else fails, sing a Disney song!
Okay, that may not be your thing, but it was mine. Think of that Friends episode with Ross and Rachel singing to their little Emma. While it wasn’t the most child-friendly song, it worked. There’s something about music and melody and listening to a voice the baby has heard for months and months.
To this day that kiddo is a Disney fanatic. I started early.
Remember, your baby will eventually sleep through the night. Be patient. And enjoy the snuggles while you can. Trust me, it all goes by too fast.
What are you best tips and tricks for getting newborn to sleep through the night?