5 Ways to Help Your Newborn Sleep

Want to get your baby to sleep?

I am a Mother of 2 daughters and the handsome little guy is the newest addition to the family.  Since I know a lot of new moms and moms-to-be, I wanted to share some tips that have helped me get my babies to sleep.  Although I am not an expert yet, all of my children have slept through the night at 2 months and are still great sleepers.  Some moms have told me that their children didn’t sleep through the night until the age of 2!  That means they didn’t sleep either.  Sleep deprivation is not fun! I hope these tips will help you  and your baby get more sleep. The post below contains affiliate links.  Please read my disclosure for more info.

get baby to sleep

 

1. Hungry Babies Aren’t Happy Babies.


, use Promotion Code Trueaim40 TODAY!So get your baby to nurse for at least 20 minutes, or take 2-3 oz of formula. This may take an hour to accomplish because of the sleepy and gassy nature of your baby.  If you must, keep your baby awake by undressing him, changing his diaper, even tickling his toes.   The end result will be a satisfied baby that sleeps longer.

2. When in Doubt, Burp it out.

I am convinced burping is a learned action and does not come naturally to your baby.  If you can’t get a burp right away, lay your baby flat for a few minutes and then try again. Still no burp?  Keep trying.  Unfortunately, without a burp your baby won’t sleep very long.  If he does wake up early from his nap crying, try burping him again. If you do get a burp out, try putting him back down to see if he falls asleep.

To reduce his chances of becoming gassy, prop him up when you feed.  You and I don’t lie down while we eat, so baby shouldn’t either.  I like to use the “football hold” for this when they are very tiny.  I use it exclusively for the first 3 months.  So, prop your baby up while feeding and, “when in doubt, burp it out.”  Your baby will sleep better without a belly full of bubbles.

3. Order is everything.

Follow this order of operations; feed, wake, sleep.  During wake time, I try to keep my baby upright for an hour, which includes feeding time.  Your baby’s digestive system is still developing and is very sensitive.  It’s like an active volcano.  He will get gassy if he lays down right after a big meal.  He doesn’t need to be alert and awake before you lay him down, but make sure you are not feeding your baby to sleep.

The reasoning goes along with tip #2.  If you skip burping your baby he will either wake up right away, or 30 minutes later, acting like he is hungry.  A vicious cycle ensues.  You try feeding.  Baby eats a little and falls asleep.  You put him down again, but he wakes up right away acting hungry again.  You think to yourself, “This kid is a glutton!”  So, you feed him again and guess what happens?  He throws it all up because he wasn’t hungry.  He was gassy!  The feed, wake, sleep order helps your baby’s stomach settle and helps him learn what to expect.  Many new parents get this order mixed up.  Remember, the feed, wake, sleep, order is key to helping your baby consistently sleep.

4. Got a Schedule?

If you don’t have a schedule, I would make one right now.  A schedule will help you accomplish more, reduce stress, and help you get more sleep.  When it comes to my baby, I like to stick to a 3hr schedule for the first 3 months.  That means, 3 hours from the start of one feeding to the beginning of the next.  I will wake him up to feed, except at night when I let him wake up on his own after 10pm.

Think about it.  If you get over-hungry how do you feel?  Does your stomach grumble or feel queasy?  Do you get grumpy, or emotional?  I think the same idea applies to your baby.  When you let him get really hungry, he may be harder to feed because he is grumpy and his tummy hurts.  A schedule helps you determine what your baby needs.  You don’t have to stick to a rigid schedule.  Every baby is different.  Some babies are hungrier and might need more food. Some are fussy and more demanding. I highly recommend a schedule, but adjust it according to your baby’s needs and to your unique parenting style.

5. Don’t Set Your Hair on Fire.

Stress is a daily battle for all mothers, but we can’t let it get the best of us.  Things are suppose to go wrong.  Our babies are going to cry and fuss.  These tips will definitely help, but sleepless nights will happen.  I remember being very stressed out with my first baby.  My worry became despair, my despair became an urge to set my hair on fire, and then my husband stepped in to stop the madness and encouraged me.  He reminded me that the phrase, “don’t act like a baby” wasn’t created out of thin air.

Babies cry and sometimes there is nothing you can do to stop it.

Be confident in your mothering skills.  No one is perfect, no one is perfect, NO ONE IS PERFECT!  This stage in your baby’s life will flash before your eyes. So remember, don’t stress and enjoy the precious time you have with your new bundle.

5 Ways to help baby sleep

Congratulations to those of you who are New Moms!

I hope these tips help.  Do you know any new moms?  Please share this post with them.  If you are a veteran and have a tip for new moms, please leave a comment.

Don’t forget to checkout:

5 Things That Help Your Baby Sleep!

5 things that help baby sleep

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Comments

  1. I was all about the feed, wake, sleep routine. It was pretty much over and over every 3 hours and it worked great for us! I still follow it 8 months later and he’s very routine now. Also, swaddling was our life saver! We didn’t start until about 7 weeks, but it was very helpful and he slept through the night at about 2.5 months and has been every since.

    • Im glad to hear that you had success with it! I swaddled too, until he started to kick out of it. Now I like to use a sleep sack like the one you made on your blog. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Hi,
    New follower from the blog hop please come follow me back :)
    http://lifewithtwinsandadramaqueen.com/

  3. Thanks for linking up to Mom’s Monday Mingle. I am a new follower of yours! follow back when you get a chance. Your blog has some great info for moms ;)

    http://naptimeshopper.blogspot.com/

  4. Melissa Ray says:

    Hi, Janine
    Awesome site… I love it! You do some awesome work in each area you focus on. I think the most helpful thing I did when I was a new mom was remembering to rest when the baby rested… Of course it doesn’t work so well if you have more than 1 child, but without it I didn’t produce the amount of milk needed to nurse, and was not too enjoyable myself. ;) Also, the BOPPY was amazing… I swear by that thing for nursing!

  5. Hi Janine. This is Kristy (Strayer) Adams and I met you back in college. I have a 20 month old and have just got back from a month long visit in Idaho with my son and while I was there I had to rock him to sleep. I’m back home and have been having a hard time getting him to bed. We let him cry it out at night and he sleeps after 15-20 min but I don’t like to let him cry it out when he wakes in the middle of the night. I can’t just walk in and soothe him because my presence stimulates him even more. I have been trying to keep a bedtime routine by bathing and letting him play and then story then bed.

    If I give him a snack before bed won’t that give him more energy to stay up longer? I’m really at a loss right now. My husband wakes up early for work so I don’t like to interrupt his sleep.

    These are really good tips for helping an infant sleep but what about a toddler?

    • Hi Kristy,
      I am so sorry you are having a rough time right now. I would love to give you some good advice, but it all depends on the situation. If he has been doing this all his life and you want to break him of it, I would wait until your husband has some time off to support you, (i.e. hold you back from going into your son’s room when he cries.) However, if he just started doing it, then it could be a lot of different things. Maybe his internal clock is messed up from the Idaho visit? Maybe he is growing, having nightmares, or becoming more scared of the dark? Maybe he is becoming more aware of when he goes in his diaper? My eldest daughter woke up in the middle of the night occasionally around the age of 2. I would go in, check her diaper, comfort her, and put her back down to sleep. The way you handle the situation is totally up to you and your parenting style. If it doesn’t bother you to wake up and go into his room to comfort him, then do it. If you are afraid he is developing a habit, and you want him to stop then let him cry it out. In any case, don’t stress! I don’t think there is a right or wrong answer as long as your son is safe and healthy. Thank you so much for asking my opinion. I hope that my answer helped. Feel free to ask me more questions. I love to talk about this kind of stuff.

    • I haven’t been checking his diaper. I do think a couple nights ago he woke up when he drooled a lot and left a wet spot. I had to change the sheet but he still didn’t want to lay in his crib. I’m sure he has developed a habit because he has that whiney cry at first and reaches out to grab me.

      Last night he woke up and I went into him and rocked him for a little bit but was so weary and exhausted I put him in the crib, kissed him, and said goodnight and he cried for about 30 min. He was quiet for 15 min and started back up again, so I went back into him and rocked him, but he was so tired it didn’t take long.

      I appreciate all your input, thank you.

      Kristy
      My husband works pretty consistently and only has weekends off, but also teaches Sunday school so I don’t want to keep him up Saturday night either. I just have to do it now regardless of my husband.

    • Sorry my comment somehow got disorganized, lol.

    • I hope you start getting more sleep soon! Let me know how it goes.

  6. Definitely some interesting tips. We had a hungry little girl who also had reflux, so I got barely any sleep for almost her first year. Let’s hope this next one doesn’t have the same issues!

  7. These are great tips and ones I have used!

    I am your newest follower from Mom’s Best Nest! I hope you have a happy Tuesday

    http://mommy2allgirls.blogspot.com

  8. I suffer from sleep deprivation but it is more about my chronic insomnia than it is about my 6 children. I’ve had insomnia since I was 13 years old. :(
    But I love how you stressed in your last paragraph that no one is perfect!!! Its funny that we all logically know this, but yet we expect that of ourselves. We need that reminder from someone else to give ourselves a little grace.
    Thank you for this great contribution to {Magic of the Mundane}; there is nothing more magical than a well-rested mom who hasn’t set her hair on fire! LOL! ;0

    • Six kids is quite the load. Maybe someday I will catch up to you:) I can’t imagine having insomnia! That is horrible and I am so sorry you have to deal with that. I hope that you can find something that will help. I support Moms against SYHOF! LOL.

  9. Burps were our bane as first time parents. Seemed like they just never came out. Lol, that and the fact that no one told us that schedules were great but they change every few months.:)

    • Those baneful bubbles! I feel like babies just don’t want to let them come out. I would get so desperate I would cheer my baby on, “Get those burps out. You can do it! Burp, Burp, Burp.” LOL! Yes schedules help, but you are right, they need to be flexible.

  10. Great post! Thanks for joining us on our Mom’s Monday Mingle Blog Hop and I’m now following you back. I’m playing catchup with all the entries we had. :) Hope to see you hop with us again.

    Jessica @ At Home Take 2

  11. thanks for linking this up to tip-toe thru tuesday! i actually pinned this the other day :)

  12. Heather says:

    I have a 6-month-old, and I have to say — I don’t understand the whole schedule thing. He has always eaten more frequently than he was “supposed to” and he rarely naps. So I feed him when he’s hungry and am grateful if he sleeps for 20 minutes in the middle of the day. He’s generally happy when he’s awake and sleeps well at night, but all this time my husband and I agreed: if a person who was bent on having a schedule had our boy, he’d be a sad baby.

    • A schedule, for me, just helps to organize my day so I am better prepared for those times when my baby needs something. Also, my newborns have all been very sleepy and so I will wake them up to feed so they don’t wake up on their own really really hungry. If I wait until they are crying and upset, sometimes it is harder to feed them and they get more bubbles in their tummy. It seems like it works better for you to not have a schedule. Every baby is different. Thanks for your input!

  13. A completely different approach worked for me! We hardly ever had any trouble with gas, even though my son very often nursed lying down and fell asleep immediately after eating–maybe it’s some difference in my diet that affected my milk, or he just had a good digestive system. He was very much an “eat, sleep, wake” baby, although the other schedule would have been fine with me, too.

    • You are lucky! All my babies were pretty gassy. You are right, that is a very different approach. My first child hardly slept at all during the day and woke up several times at night for the first month. I was really stressed and very tired. We had her in the same room with us and I fed her on demand. When I implemented the above tips, it was like I had a whole new baby. Now I know to take a little more time feeding and burping them when they are brand new and to not stress so much if they cry.. I am so glad that you found a technique that worked for you!. Thanks stopping by!

  14. I don’t have little ones anymore, mine are now 17 and 13. When they were young these ideas worked well for me. Great post. I loved the title of the fifth tip. It made me smile.

  15. my wee ones have all grown, 11&16 now but your ideas are spot on! lots of mom’s could benefit from your tips… and hopefully get a good nite’s sleep. Thanks for sharing at Tip Toe Thru Tuesday!
    Kim
    tiarasandbowties.blogspot.com

  16. This might sound like a strange question, but did you learn this technique somewhere? The schedule? And do you ever feel guilty about it? I’m working on some research for a post and just now started to see different, real techniques for schedule setting. And am just curious how other real mothers feel and think.

    Great post by the way. I do agree with the need for a schedule, and for sleep! Thanks for sharing.

    • It’s not weird at all. In my first year of marriage my husband suggested that I get on a schedule. I told him, ‘those don’t work for me,’ ‘I don’t like schedules,’ ‘schedules are demotivating,’ but after I had my first child I was so busy. I knew something had to be done. I got a home organization book, I forget what it was called, but the author suggested a schedule for the baby, 1 hr awake 2 hrs nap. I don’t really understand your question about the guilty part. I see a schedule as an outline to my day. I am its master, not the other way around. If my baby needs something, I am always there. So some days the schedule goes out the window. I hope that answers your question and if you have anymore I would be happy to answer them. Thanks so much for commenting.

    • Marissa, I understand why you would ask about guilt. If the parenting resources that you read are the more natural or Attachment Parenting type, you could easily associate the whole idea of schedules with the “cry it out” or “parent-directed feeding” approaches, especially the more extreme versions of these approaches which can cause serious problems, so then you might feel that ANY attempt to schedule your baby is harmful and wanting to do it means you’re a bad mother. Then, of course, you’d feel guilty!

      The natural AP-style approach did work very well for my family, but we also kept to a schedule to some extent. The way I thought of it is that *I* have a schedule and my child is relying on me to teach him what we people do, so I’ll fit him into my schedule as much as possible without neglecting his needs.

      Janine’s approach sounds good to me because it’s flexible enough. Some approaches to scheduling babies are very rigid, claiming that you have to break the child’s spirit now or she’ll never obey you, you should let your child cry until she vomits and not comfort her until it’s scheduled, etc. But a gentler approach like Janine’s is nothing to feel guilty about!

    • I agree with you Becca. People can be too extreme and quick to criticize. I didn’t know anything about Attachment Parenting until I read about it on your site. Although it is different, I do use some aspects of it. Thanks so much for your support and for helping me answer Marissa’s question.

  17. Thanks for joining our Big Family Blog Hop!

    My kiddos are older now but I couldn’t agree more about scheduling. It makes a big difference.

    I also agree that the key to full night sleeping is making sure they aren’t hungry. I fed my kiddos very runny rice cereal (made with formula) for “dinner” starting at 6-8 weeks and they slept through the night.

    Great tips for new moms!

  18. Love this I was very regimented with my older two, but now with my third she has to go with the flow. Luckily she is easy going and sleeps through the night.

  19. Love your tips! Stopping by from the weekend blog hop:)

  20. i just wanted to let you know that this was one of the most clicked links at last week’s tip-toe thru tuesday party! i’ll be featuring it on tuesday!

  21. These are such great pieces of advice! I really love the last one–babies are so unique and it’s really important to stay calm! Thanks for sharing at Teach Me Tuesday!!

  22. We love this post!! Very helpful! We are so glad to have you join us for our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. See you again next week!! -The Sisters

  23. This is a great post – I agree with you that a schedule is very important. I put both my girls on a schedule (I just didn’t call it that) and it worked well with them (they are now 34 and 28) The 28 year old is about to deliver our first grand baby and I’ll be sure to show her this post.
    Hugs -
    Carol

  24. Following you from Flock Together! Thanks for these tips. Our baby had a rough start with sleeping, but he now sleeps 10 hours straight every night :-) Yay!

  25. Thanks for this post! My first baby is due in July and I am very appreciative of advice from moms who have gone before me. Thanks!

  26. Good tips… we still struggled. And I am sure that the next baby will be completely different.

  27. I clicked on the link just because of that photo! OMG…so cute!!!!

  28. Great tips! I have a 3 month old, so these really help. ;)

  29. What great tips!! Thank you for sharing at Sharing Saturday!!

  30. My youngest is a week old now and I’ve been using “The Baby Sleeps Tonigt Plan.” Your tips sound very similar!! I’m hoping they work because my 2 year old took quite while to sleep through the night!

    Following from MOm’s Musings =)
    Visit me @ http://www.laughwithash.blogspot.jp

  31. I found your blog through the Aloha Friday hop and you have gained a new follower! I am 33 weeks pregnant with my first and I can already see that your blog will be a great resource for me! Thanks in advance!!

  32. I agree with the burping!!!! My three month old loves to fall asleep while taking his back patted.

    http://www.amycoleman1.blogspot.com

  33. Great post – I so wish I had better mastered the burping and keeping upright after feeds with mine as colic was a nightmare.

    Would really love for you to link this up at the Baby Shower a link party for all things pregnancy and new baby – Alice @ Mums Make Lists xx

  34. Thanks so much for linking up at the Friday Baby Shower Alice xxx

  35. I do almost all of these things, and the schedule is what I think works best for us. It worked like a charm with my little girl (we also used a 3 hr. eat, wake, sleep) and right now a 2.5 hour schedule is working great for my newborn son. Thanks for the tips, Janine!
    Jelli recently posted…How to Bless a New MomMy Profile

  36. Hi there! Great post! I have a question though – right now my 8 week old is on a feed, sleep, feed, wake schedule! (Lots of feeding!) how do I get her onto a feed, wake, sleep schedule? All I know is to nurse to sleep! Thanks for your help!

    • Hi Kim, Thanks for stopping by. Great question! Have you tried laying him down while he is still awake? I would try feeding him when he first wakes up in the morning, give him a good burp, wake him with a diaper change if he falls asleep during feeding, try feeding him again to see if he is still hungry, and try to keep him up for a least 10-15 minutes before laying him down for a nap. Try singing him songs, reading a book, having tummy time, or just looking at Dad. He might cry for a little bit, but just see if he will fall asleep after 10-20 minutes of fussing or whatever you feel comfortable. You can then comfort him, try burping him again, but don’t feed him. Just make sure you have burped him and he is not hungry, gassy, or wet before you lay him down. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any more questions, I would be happy to let you know what I’ve done in the past. Thanks again!

  37. Holy cow! A mommy blog that ACTUALLY applies to me and my baby AND works! Thank you so much for sharing! I always say “Behind every great child, is a mother whos pretty sure shes screwing up!” lol!

  38. Hi,

    I have a three week old baby and I’m having a rough time with sleeping! Been bottle feeding him on demand as advised by midwife but instead of getting better he’s much worse – he sleeps less and less every day and I’m convinced he’s over tired and over hungry most of the time! he wakes up desperate and crying for a feed but then refuses to take his bottle and keeps crying!

    So I came across your post and I’m going to give it a go, it seems to make sense for what I’m seeing with my baby. My question is, let’s say I start the three hour schedule at 6 am. I feed at 6, 9, 12, 3, 6 and final ‘woken’ feed at 9pm. I then let him wake up when he wants a feed during the night. What if we wakes up, let’s say, at 1am and at 4am. When would my next scheduled feed be? Three hours after he woke up by himself during the night (eg 7am)? Or would I go for the 6am one again to keep the schedule the same times every day?

    Thank you, fingers crossed this works!!!

    • Hi Monica! I’m so excited for you and your baby to start getting more sleep! Since your baby is very young, I would try a 2 1/2 – 3 hour schedule. So yes, if he wakes up at 4 am then you can start the morning at 6-6:30 am if that is when you want the day to start. Remember not to let him go to long during the night without a feeding, no more than 5-6hrs.

      Also, keep in mind that gas is probably a huge factor for him since he is refusing to take his bottle sometimes. This means that he might be extra fussy at night because of all the gas collected throughout the day. He might not not take his evening nap and will seem like he wants to eat every 1/2 hr. This can be really frustrating, but just know that it is REALLY common for newborns to be fussy in the evening.

      Please let me know how it goes or if you have any more questions! Thanks so much for reading!

  39. hi-
    Just wondering if you kept your babies up for the hour even over nights, or would you burp them and put them to sleep right away? Thanks so much, hoping this schedule works for my little girl as we’ve been having some rough nights! :)

    • Hi Katelyn! During the night, I burp them and put them back to sleep right away because we want them to sleep through the night, right!? :) Once you have a better schedule during the day, usually the night time will go a lot smoother. It seems like if they take good naps, they sleep better at night! Please feel free to come back and ask any questions that you have. Thanks for stopping by!

  40. Hello!

    I have a 8.5 week old and he doesn’t seem to be taking any schedule that I am putting him on. I’m currently feeding him every 3.5-4 hours but recently he’s been showing that he’s hungry earlier so I am switching him to every 3 hours. Do I have to cut back the formula oz if i change the hours in between feedings? And when do I know when he’s ready to go more than 3 hours in between feedings? It’s hard to keep him up for the hour after feeding but I do try (recently fixed day/night confusion issue.) If he naps more in the day, would this stop him from sleeping longer at night?

    He also doesn’t sleep through the night and I’m wondering what’s the cause of this. I put him down around 7-7:30pm and he’ll usually sleep until 1:30-2am, then again at 5am and he’ll wake up at 7am. Do I feed him again at 7am to start the day?

    I apologize for all the questions but reading this post and seeing such support is really great for a stressed out new mom like myself!

    • Hi Valaya, Your baby may not be ready to sleep though the night for a couple more weeks. The last feeding of the night could be 10pm and then make sure you burp him really well and put him down. then he should sleep until 5 or 6am based on what he is already doing. That is really good considering it is 6-7hrs. That is sleeping through the night for his age. As he gets older, you can push back the time of his last feeding.

      As for the eating during the day, he might be going through a growth spurt and need more food so I would not cut back on the formula and keep the every 3 hours. You can try pushing it to 3 1/2 hrs after a couple days to see if the growth spurt has passed.

      You do not need to keep him up the full hour if he is sleepy, just make sure you burp him well and if he wakes up early you could try to see if he has a burp first before trying to feed him again. More naps do not necessarily mean less sleep at night. Usually an overstimulated baby who has trouble sleeping during the day, will have trouble sleeping at night too. I hope that helps and please let me know if you have any more questions. Thanks for reading!

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