Mom-Tested Baby Sleep Solutions
Would you rather win the lottery or get a full night’s sleep?
If you even paused to consider your answer, congratulations -- you must be a new mom! While your heart is bursting with joy, your eyelids are probably as heavy as bricks. Baby-induced sleep deprivation is something you just can’t understand until you live through it.
Try these baby sleep solutions to get a peaceful night for both you and your little one:
Baby sleep solutions: Newborns to 3 weeks
Your brand-new baby will sleep 16 to 18 hours a day but will probably wake up every 2 to 3 hours to eat. Of course, this will vary with every baby.
While a newborn’s sleep-wake cycle may be rough on you, it’s perfectly normal -- and necessary for your baby’s survival. A 3-week-old baby is incapable of being spoiled, and it’s important to create a sense of security by responding to your baby’s cries.
Even though he’ll be up around the clock, it’s also crucial to teach your baby the difference between daytime and nighttime. Be playful and interact with him when he wakes up during the day, but keep lights dim and your voice low when he wakes up at night. Eventually, he’ll start to sleep for longer stretches at night.
Many parents swear by the shush noise to help relax fussy babies. Make a loud (very loud!) “shhh, shhh, shhh” noise while gently swaying him back and forth -- this mimics the noises and sensations in the womb. Swaddling your baby can also help him feel secure.
And take heart: The first few weeks are rough, but your baby’s sleep routine will get easier.
Baby sleep solutions: 2 to 4 months
The fastest consolidation of baby sleep occurs in the first four months of life, which means your sweet baby will probably be sleeping for longer stretches soon, if he isn’t already.
The phrase “sleeping through the night” is a bit of a misnomer -- it can mean sleeping for stretches of eight hours, from midnight to 5 a.m., or from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Most babies sleep through the night by 2 to 3 months of age (yippee!), but some babies don’t until they’re much older.
However, you can help your 2- to 4-month-old baby develop healthy sleep habits -- which means you’ll sleep better, too! Your baby may wake up several times a night, even when he isn’t hungry. If he hasn’t learned to put himself back to sleep, he may cry for you. Putting your baby down when he’s drowsy but not completely asleep can help him learn to soothe himself back to sleep.
Babies often wiggle around and can make considerable noise when they sleep. When you hear a whimper, wait a few minutes before rushing to his aid. Give your baby a chance to put himself back to sleep.
Baby sleep solutions: Babies of all ages
There’s no need to crank up the thermostat or over-bundle your baby. If you’re comfortable in pajamas and a light blanket, he’ll also be comfortable in jammies and a sleeping sack or swaddle. Staying comfortable also means staying dry. Put him in a diaper that wicks moisture away and provides protection from leaks.
Finally, always put your baby on his back to sleep in a smoke-free space. Keep his crib or bassinet clear of blankets, toys, pillows, or crib bumpers, which can be suffocation hazards.