Although the saying goes ‘sleep like a baby’, many newborn babies struggle to sleep through the night.
Around one third of babies experience a disrupted sleeping pattern which is a challenge for babies and parents alike.
After spending months in your womb, your baby has developed a sleep cycle that changes the moment your baby leaves the womb and enter a new environment. However, knowing when and how to fall asleep, is a behaviour all humans have to learn, a skill that needs to be trained.
Read our tips and advice on how to help your baby sleep better
Baby not going to sleep?
Tips on helping your baby sleep through the night:
- Babies need to feel safe to fall asleep
Babies look for the comfort of their parents which is why man babies often struggle to sleep alone at first and can start to cry if they wake up alone. You can help your baby learn when it's time to sleep by establishing a bedtime routine for your baby. Keeping the lights low and reducing noise level are a good examples of what to include in a typical night time routine. It is important that the baby follows the same ritual every night to get into the habit of knowing when it’s time to sleep.
- Newborns need to eat often
Just like humans, if babies feel anxious or irritated, they will have greater problems falling asleep. This could be as a result of hunger. Babies have smaller stomachs, which is why they need to feed more regularly. Babies tend to fall asleep meanwhile being fed. Try to avoid feeding your baby right before putting them to sleep. Otherwise, they will start to believe that they need to feed in order to sleep.
- Let your baby nap during the day
Naps during the day will help your baby rest better at night. Not the contrary. The less they sleep the more restless they become since they are overtired. They will not sleep longer during the night just because they didn’t sleep during the day. However, make sure your baby does not nap too long during the day to avoid confusing day and night.
Baby restless sleep?
One common reason for a restless sleep is temperature. Babies struggle to regulate their temperature and toddler night sweats is a common problem. Babies actually sweat more than adults and overheating can lead to a restless sleep. Make sure that your bedroom is 16-18°C (61° to 64°F) and that your child is wearing the right baby pajamas that help to release excess temperature. Use a light blanket and don’t overcrowd the crib with toys and pillows.
Newborn not sleeping alone?
SECRET TIP: How to help your baby fall asleep alone
Your baby won't sleep in the crib? As soon as your baby falls asleep in your arms, lay them down into the crib. Lightly awaken your baby so that he/she is semi-awake, then walk away. This will help your baby to fall asleep and to stay asleep alone. This is a teaching process that may take a couple of weeks for your baby to settle into. The first few times the baby may begin crying again, however, it’s all about training the newborn to learn to fall asleep alone.
Getting your newborn to sleep at night is not an overnight process. Just like when you learn something, it may take a few weeks or months to get a hang of it.