Infants sleep a lot – usually between 16 and 17 hours a day. They also wake frequently, sleeping only around two to four hours at a time. It’s important to find ways to help your baby sleep so that you can get some rest too. Here are a few techniques decades of parents have found successful.
- Swaddle your newborn.
Babies are born with a startle reflex that causes them to occasionally jerk awake. Wrapping infants securely in a swaddling blanket or sleep sack can keep them snug and prevent the startle reflex. Learn how to safely swaddle your baby.
- Keep daytime naps short.
If your baby spends extra time snoozing during the day, he or she will sleep less at night. Try limiting daytime sleep to around two hours per nap. Wake your infant after the limit, feed him or her and play for a while before the next nap.
- Follow a bedtime routine.
A familiar routine about the same time every night will help your baby recognize when it’s time to go to sleep. Help your baby relax with a warm bath, then sing a lullaby or read a story.
- Turn on white noise.
Thumps, talking and other sounds can keep a newborn awake. Help drown out noises by turning on white noise in your baby’s room. A crib aquarium, white noise machine or fan placed near – but not inside – your child’s crib should help him or her fall and stay asleep.
- Let your baby self-soothe.
Lay your infant on his or her back in a crib while he or she is still slightly awake. This will allow your baby to learn how to fall asleep without you holding him or her. When your baby wakes during the night, wait a few minutes before picking him or her up to see if your infant will fall back asleep on his or her own.
Another way to help your newborn sleep soundly and safely is by following the ABC’S of Safe Sleep. Learn them here: https://new.bootheelbabies.org/safe-sleep.
Always speak with a medical provider if you have questions or concerns about your baby’s health and well-being.