newborn sleeping

Welcome to the late-night club of ‘figuring out newborn sleep’. If you’re tirelessly searching for ‘newborn sleep tips’ while juggling diapers and lullabies, you’re not alone. I’ve been there, wide-eyed and wishing for just a few more hours of shut-eye.

In this article, I’m sharing some nifty tips that I wish I had known when I was a new mom. From cozy cuddles to soothing sounds, these are simple, tried-and-tested tricks to help your little bundle drift off to dreamland. And the best part? These tips are easy to follow and gentle for both you and your baby.

This post may contain affiliate links. Full disclosure here.

Understand Newborn Sleep Patterns

Understanding the newborn’s sleep pattern is so important for new moms. The more you know,the better you will care for your baby. 

Have you noticed how your tiny bundle of joy seems to have their own mysterious sleep schedule? Well, that’s because newborns have their own unique way of snoozing, and it changes a lot in just a few weeks!

Let’s break it down. A 2-day-old baby is like a tiny sleep ninja, snoozing almost all day but waking up frequently for feedings.

Fast forward to 2 weeks old, and you’ll start to see a bit of a pattern – still lots of sleep, but maybe a few more moments of those adorable baby eyes looking back at you.

Now, when your baby hits the 2-month mark, things start to get a bit more predictable. Their sleep stretches start getting longer (yay for you!), and you might even catch a few more Z’s yourself.

The key here is to remember that all these stages are completely normal for newborns. They’re not just sleeping to escape diaper changes; this is their way of growing and developing. 

By tuning into these sleep patterns, you’ll start to feel like a baby sleep detective, understanding your little one’s needs better each day.

So, don’t worry if you’re still figuring it out. You’re learning the secret language of your baby’s sleep, and soon you’ll both be on a more predictable path to dreamland!

Typical newborn sleep pattern:

Newborns sleep a lot, about 14-17 hours a day, but it’s in short bursts of 2-4 hours. 

In the early weeks, they don’t distinguish between night and day, leading to frequent wake-ups for feeding. As they grow, especially around 6-8 weeks old, they start sleeping more at night. (by “more”, I mean a few more hours)

Newborns also spend more time in light, REM sleep, which is why they often seem restless. 

Every baby is different, but this is the general pattern you’ll see in those first few months.

No Schedule But Routine

Think of your newborn’s day like a gentle flow rather than a strict timetable. 

It’s true, setting a rigid schedule for a newborn is like trying to predict the weather in a storybook – pretty unpredictable! 

But here’s a secret: routines are your new best friend.

A routine is more about a pattern of activities rather than watching the clock. It’s about doing certain things, like feeding, bathing, and cuddling, in a similar order each day. 

This doesn’t mean feeding at exactly 10 AM every day, but rather feeding after wake-up time, followed by some play, and then maybe a nap.

Why does this matter? Well, routines give your little one a sense of security. 

They start to understand what comes next, even if they can’t tell time yet. It’s like creating a cozy rhythm to their day that’s comforting and familiar.

And here’s a key part: establishing a bedtime routine is a must to help your little one start understanding night from day.

If you are looking to get your newborn to sleep at night, read this.

Tightly Swaddle When Sleeping

Swaddling your newborn is like giving them a cozy, snug hug for sleepy time. 

When it’s time for bed, wrap them up tight to help them feel secure and drift off to dreamland. 

But when they’re awake? Loosen that swaddle so they can wiggle and explore.

And if you’re looking for the perfect swaddle that doesn’t loose up, check out the Halo Velcro Sleep Sack. It’s like a baby burrito that stays wrapped all night. No more midnight re-swaddling! It’s snug, safe, and oh-so-easy to use.

Curious? Just click here to see why it’s a game-changer for many parents. Trust me, you and your little one will love it!

Baby Massage

Did you know giving your newborn a gentle massage can be like a magic spell for better sleep? 

Newborns tire out easily, and a soothing massage once a day, especially before bedtime, can work wonders. It’s like pressing a little ‘relax’ button, helping them unwind and sleep more peacefully.

And here’s my secret ingredient – chamomile-infused oil. It’s like a lullaby for their skin! 

Massaging your baby with this calming oil not only helps them relax but can also send them off to dreamland quicker and for longer.

I always recommend using chamomile-infused oil for that bedtime massage. It’s gentle, soothing, and just perfect for helping your little star drift into a peaceful night’s sleep.

Recognize Sleep Cues

Getting the hang of your newborn’s sleep cues is a bit like learning a secret language. These little signs are your baby’s way of whispering, “I’m ready for some dream time!” Here are some cues that your newborn might be ready for sleep:

  • Staring into the Distance and looking Uncomfortable: This is often the first clue. Your baby might gaze off into nothing and seem a bit out of sorts. It’s like their way of saying, “I’m starting to check out here.”
  • Fussiness: If your usually content baby suddenly becomes fussy, it might not be just hunger or a diaper change they need. It could be their way of signaling that they’re tired.
  • Yawning: Just like adults, yawning in babies is a clear sign of tiredness. It’s nature’s way of telling us it’s time to rest.
  • Ear Pulling: Surprisingly, babies might pull at their ears as a way of self-soothing when they’re tired.
  • Waving or Jerking Arms and Legs: These movements can be signs that your baby is fighting sleep and getting overtired.

If these cues are missed, your newborn might become overly sleepy, leading to:

  • Hysterical Crying: This is a clear sign that your baby is overtired. They’re way past the point of being just sleepy and now are feeling the stress of it.
  • Arching of Back: An overtired baby might arch their back, almost as if they’re stretching out discomfort.
  • Clenched Fist: Tightly clenched fists can be a sign of tension or stress from being too tired.
  • Becoming Inconsolable: When super tired, some babies reach a point where it’s hard to calm them down. This is often when they are overtired.

Understanding and responding to these cues can help you get your baby to sleep before they become too tired. Each baby is different, so you might notice one or more of these cues in your little one. 

Click here to find out how to soothe an overtired baby quickly. 

Do Not Rock Them To Sleep

Rocking your baby to sleep might seem like a magic solution at first. It’s cozy, comforting, and yes, it often works like a charm to send them off to dreamland. 

But here’s the thing: if you always rock your baby to sleep, they might start needing it every time. 

And let’s be honest, there will be times when rocking for hours just isn’t possible (or you might just need a break!).

It’s like giving your baby a crutch. 

They might get so used to it that they won’t know how to fall asleep without the rocking motion. 

This can be tough, especially as they get heavier and as your arms get more tired! (I’m guilty of making this mistake)

So, what can you do? Try to put your baby down when they’re drowsy but still awake. (This practice will help you sleep train your baby earlier).

This way, they get the chance to learn how to fall asleep on their own. 

It’s not always easy, and yes, there will be times when a little rocking is needed, but gradually they’ll get the hang of it.

Create The Day And Night Difference

In the early weeks, your newborn’s sleep might seem like a round-the-clock, unpredictable affair. 

But here’s a pro tip: you can gently guide them towards understanding the difference between day and night. How? By associating daytime with activity and nighttime with calm.

Daytime Vibes: 

During the day, keep things bright and lively. Engage in more active play, chat with your baby, and don’t worry too much about everyday noises like the phone ringing or the washing machine whirring. It’s about creating an environment that says, “It’s daytime, and it’s more active!”

Nighttime Calm: 

As evening rolls in, switch gears. Dim the lights, reduce the noise, and start winding down. Your evening routine might include a warm bath, a gentle lullaby, and some quiet cuddles. This shift in the atmosphere helps signal to your baby that night-time is for quiet and sleep.

In the first 2-3 months, your baby will likely still wake up frequently, but by consistently differentiating between day and night, you’re laying the groundwork for healthier sleep patterns. Babies who experience this distinction tend to adapt to the conventional sleep schedule faster than those who don’t.

Use White Noise

Okay, new moms and dads, let’s talk about a secret weapon in your baby-soothing arsenal – white noise. It might sound like a fancy term, but it’s really just a steady, soothing sound that works like a charm for sleepy babies.

Why White Noise Rocks: Picture this – your baby has spent months in a pretty noisy womb. It’s like constant background music in there. So, when they come into our oh-so-quiet world, it can be a bit too silent for them. Enter white noise – it’s like a comforting reminder of their pre-birth days.

Types of White Noise: It can be anything from the sound of a fan, to a static channel, or even specially made baby white noise tracks. There are also cool gadgets and apps for this (hello, 21st-century parenting!).

The Magic: White noise works wonders in masking other sounds that might wake your baby. Doorbell? Dog barking? No problem! White noise keeps your baby’s sleep undisturbed.

But remember, it’s about having it as a gentle background sound, not a rock concert. Keep the volume down to a safe level.

According to AAP guidelines, “When using a white noise machine for your baby’s sleep, it’s important to position it at least 7 feet (about 200 centimeters) away from where your baby sleeps. Also, keep the volume moderate – under 50 decibels is ideal, which means it shouldn’t be set to the highest volume level.

So, don’t underestimate the power of white noise. It’s like a sleep spell that can turn those fussy, restless moments into peaceful snooze time.

I hope you find these tips helpful, but wait, there’s more.

That’s it just for Part 1 of our newborn sleep tips! Excited for more? Head over to Part 2 for even more sleep-saving secrets. Click here to keep the snooze journey going!

Similar Posts