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When babies sleep better their parents do as well. So when your baby isn’t sleeping well, chances are that you aren’t either.
And if you aren’t getting enough sleep, functioning throughout the day is nearly impossible. This is one reason that many parents often look for advice to get their newborn baby to sleep better.
I can just remember back when my first baby was fighting sleep and everything I tried didn’t work. Being so incredibly tired, I felt completely overwhelmed and just needed to get some rest.
It wasn’t until I had my second baby that I really learned how to properly get my baby to sleep before he was overtired and irritable.
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Watch For Cues That Your Baby Is Getting Tired
Most new parents don’t realize that babies actually tell you that they are getting tired way before they reach the crying stage. When they start to cry they are most often overtired and much more difficult to get to sleep.
Here are a few different signs that your baby may be getting tired:
- pulling at their ears
- rubbing eyes or face
- staring off into space
- clenched fists
- startling easily
- jerky movements
1. Bedtime Routine
One super important thing to establish in your baby’s life is a bedtime routine. Children literally thrive on routines. Knowing exactly what to expect during the day makes preparing for it that much easier.
So having a bedtime routine is perfect for teaching your baby to prepare for bedtime.
In our family, we start our evening routine just after dinner. We have a calming bath with Lavender Baby Wash and then get dried off and dressed in pajamas.
We then try to have some time for what we call “winding down” or basically calming down for bed. During this time we can read a book, sing a song, and say our prayers. This routine has worked amazingly for years and even now our kids know exactly what to expect.
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2. Feeding Before Bed
Whether your baby is breastfed or formula-fed, having their tummy filled before bed can really help with getting to sleep.
I have been both a formula feeding and breastfeeding mom. And I’ve noticed that no matter how they were being fed, going to bed with a full belly really made a difference.
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3. Try a Pacifier
Does your baby need to suckle to get to sleep?
This is completely natural. Many babies have a strong need to suck – even when they aren’t hungry.
In fact, both of my babies had to have a pacifier to get to sleep. It was a way for them to self-soothe and calm themselves back to sleep if they woke up in the middle of the night.
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When babies are first born, most of them love to be swaddled and wrapped up snugly. This is mostly due to the fact that they spent nine months in a very cramped uterus.
Since this was all they knew it’s only normal for them to want that comforting feeling of being wrapped up in a blanket.
And if you aren’t that good at swaddling with blankets you can also try some other options like:
- swaddle blanket
- wearable blankets
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5. Lay Baby Down Awake, But Drowsy
Many new parents assume that you have to always get your baby to sleep before you can lay them down, but you really shouldn’t make a habit out of this.
If you put your baby down after they have already fallen asleep chances are that they won’t learn how to soothe themselves to sleep. Of course, this may not seem like a huge deal when you have a newborn baby, but eventually, they need to learn to get to sleep on their own.
This way they can learn to put themselves back to sleep if they wake up throughout the night.
6. Keep The Room Dark
When it’s the middle of the night and your baby wakes you up to get fed or changed, your first instinct may be to turn the lights on. But whatever you do keep the room mostly dark.
The reason for this is that turning bright lights on in the middle of the night might give your baby the wrong idea. Instead of going back to sleep, your baby may see that the lights are on and it’s time to play.
Of course, if you need a little night light that is perfectly fine. When I would breastfeed my baby at night, I had a faint night light in the corner so I could properly latch him without turning any lights on.
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7. Use Blackout Curtains During Naps
Most babies need to have a full night’s sleep along with a good 2-3 hour nap during the day to get enough rest. But many parents struggle with getting their baby to go to sleep for a nap during the day.
One really great tip for day time naps is to purchase some really good blackout curtains for your baby’s room.
Having the room already dark when you are preparing your baby for a nap is also really helpful for getting them to settle down and go to sleep.
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8. Baby Massage
Just like we as adults find a massage relaxing, babies do too. Giving your baby a massage has been proven to help your baby sleep and stay much more relaxed. Try these quick tips for massaging your baby
9. White Noise Machine
Does your baby seem to only fall asleep with noise in the background?
Most babies are used to having a white noise type sound going on just like there was in the uterus. Between the mother’s blood pumping and heart beating, there were tons of consistent sounds happening all around them.
Having a good sound machine in your baby’s room can really make a huge impact on them getting to and staying asleep.
10. Favorite Lovey
Okay, this may not be the best tip if you have a newborn baby for safety reasons, but if your baby is a bit older and can have a certain breathable blanket or lovey, you may want to put it to bed with them at night.
Sometimes just having that extra comfort item really helps with getting to sleep.
11. Keep Your Baby Close By
One thing that really helped me with soothing my babies back to sleep was having them sleep close by so that I could feed or change them as they needed. This made it less likely that they would have to cry to wake me up.
So when your baby is little having their crib or a bassinet in your bedroom can help with cutting down the time for you to get to your baby and meet their needs.
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12. Consider Cosleeping
Now let me be honest, I didn’t co-sleep with my first baby. And I actually never intended to with my second. It really just happened and it worked for us.
Since my second baby was breastfed I would often bring him in bed with me to breastfeed him at night so I didn’t have to get up and walk. After breastfeeding him one night when he was a newborn, we both just happened to fall asleep.
But let me tell you. It was the best night’s sleep both of us had up until that point. It really did help him sleep so much better and for much longer.
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