6 Proven Baby Sleep Tips Every Parent Should Know

6 Proven Baby Sleep Tips Every Parent Should Know

6 Proven Baby Sleep Tips Every Parent Should Know

My second baby is due in just a few weeks, and I am over-the-moon excited for almost every aspect of her arrival.

Snuggles and cuddles? Yes!

Those very first smiles? Bring ’em on!

That new baby smell? Cannot wait!

The only thing I’m decidedly not looking forward to? Sleep deprivation, of course!

Fortunately, now I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve that I learned when my son was an infant. Here are 6 baby sleep tips that worked for us the first time around (after much research and trial-and-error on my part). No doubt I’ll be using these techniques again with baby #2!

6 Baby Sleep Tips Every Parent Should Know

1. Get baby comfy.

If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that all babies are different—and therefore have different sleep preferences.

Many infants love being swaddled nice and tight, but others can’t stand it (and still others prefer the arms-out half-swaddle). Similarly, some babies like a cooler room for sleeping, while others snooze better when it’s slightly warmer.

Play around with these factors until you determine exactly what makes your little one most comfortable.

2. Make it dark.

My son started sleeping longer in the mornings as soon as we added blackout window shades to the room. You can imagine what a glorious day it was when we discovered this simple trick and actually got to sleep in past 5:30am!

3. Add sound.

Because we adults generally sleep better when it’s quiet, it’s easy to forget that our newborns just spent nine months sleeping inside the womb—which is not exactly a silent place!

That’s why many babies sleep better when there’s some kind of white noise in the background. I’ve heard of parents using fans or even the radio turned to static, but we relied on a white noise machine that mimicked the rhythm of mama’s heartbeat.

sound-machine

This device saved us all so much sleep that I remember my husband and I panicking the first time it ran out of batteries! After that we stocked up on Duracell batteries, which *last longer in 99 percent of devices versus the next leading competitive brand.

So expectant parents, add them to your registry now! And new parents, stock up! You won’t regret it, I promise.

4. Choose beverages wisely.

Some breastfed babies don’t mind if mama needs a regular dose of caffeine to keep her going, but others simply don’t tolerate it well. Even small doses of caffeine can keep them from drifting off to dreamworld.

So if your baby isn’t sleeping well, consider how much caffeine—in the form of coffee, tea, soda, and even large quantities of dark chocolate!—you’re consuming in relation to when you nurse your infant.

5. Fill up the tummy.

Some moms swear by cluster feeding, which is when you feed your baby at extra intervals (think every hour) in the evenings to ensure that little belly is nice and full before bedtime, theoretically leading to a longer interval before the first wake-up.

Other moms—myself included—relied on what’s called dream feeding. This is when you actually wake your baby for a feeding before you yourself head to bed, except that your little one is actually just barely awake.

I’d put my son down around 8pm, then pick him up and nurse him ever-so-gently around 10 or 10:30. Believe it or not, he really was eating in his sleep! Then I’d head to bed and be ensured at least a few hours before I needed to wake and feed him again. We used this routine until he was about 4 months old.

6. Prioritize sleep.

Lots of new parents mistakenly believe that if they keep their baby awake for longer intervals during the day, it will help their infant sleep better at night.

Logical? Yes. Accurate? Nope.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, overtired babies (or older children, for that matter) rarely fall asleep quickly and easily. Instead, they become fussy, irritable, and wired, and will often appear to be “fighting sleep.”

So even though it’s not always easy or convenient, it’s worthwhile to prioritize regular naps and bedtimes. Doing so will greatly improve your baby’s sleep, not to mention the bags under your own eyes.

What’s your best baby sleep tip? Leave an answer in the comments below and you will be entered for a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card!

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130 responses to “6 Proven Baby Sleep Tips Every Parent Should Know”

  1. These are all good tips.. I would say play some light music in the background for peaceful sleeping

  2. Fill baby up is the best tip I can give. Starting at around 5 p.m., decrease the time between your child’s feedings. For example, if you usually feed her every three hours, do so every two hours in the evening. This kept my son full longer and he slept 5 hour stretches at 2 weeks!

  3. My best baby sleep tip is winding baby down a hour or so before bed time, and make sure baby is comfy.

  4. I sleep with a fan, so I can attest to the sound part. It definitely helps.

  5. I wish it were that easy! We did all of those things, but the best thing for us was swaddling!

  6. A good rocking chair is very helpful in soothing cranky babies. I am having my second baby in Sept. I need to buy a rocker…it’s been years since I needed one.

  7. Congrats on the new baby!! So exciting. My daughter slept better than my son, so I did have to utilize special tips with him. He loved quiet dark rooms and a full belly!

  8. Do what works best for you and don’t let anyone else convince you there is a ‘right’ way to do it. It will ease your stress and that alone will help.

  9. My baby always falls asleep when I put her in her rocker. Also, make sure your baby is wrapped in lots of blankets so he/she does not get cold at night

  10. These are great tips. We always made noise because we didn’t want kids that couldn’t sleep without a silent room (cuz that never happens in our house anyway)!

  11. You have some great tips there. Love them. My tips is maintain a comfy temperature for your baby. my son loves a lower temp room while my girl loves it warmer. 🙂

    amy [at] utry [dot] it

  12. Great tips to share. We struggled iwht both of our kids but thankfully using these tips and others we now get a full nights sleep.

  13. We couldn’t have lived without a baby swing to help get our child to sleep. It was either that or carry her around for half an hour!
    madelinebrubaker {at} gmail [dot] com

  14. My best baby sleeping tip is to have a routine that is very calm and never try to keep things super quite get baby use to sleeping with noise!

  15. Definitely my favorite ways to calm is rocking. Whether it’s reading a story, singing a song, or just being quiet and cuddling, I think it soothes both of us.

    chambanachik(at)gmail(dot)com

  16. For sure the white noise machine helps our girl, as does ensuring she gets solid naps during the day. I will have to invest in a blackout curtain – hadn’t thought of that but summer is here and I think it will be useful!

  17. I don’t know if this makes me a cluster feeder, but in the evenings I would add one feed that my babies didn’t request. My oldest and youngest were always good sleepers, and though my middle needed more at night I think the extra feeding gave me a nice stretch at the beginning of her night sleep.

  18. We have little bath time, and then get lotion, and jammies and maybe a little song or look at book, no tv or electronics stimulating, just white noise in background, and nurse or bottle in her room and she gets the idea it’s bed time…and doesn’t always like it..but we are working on it :/ !!

  19. My best tip is to keep a routine because your baby’s internal clock will adjust and I like rocking best to soothe them.

  20. Just before you leave the room or sneak away from the co-sleeper, repeat the same “night-night” phrase to your baby, signaling that bedtime is over and sleepytime has begun!

  21. My 4.5 year old still doesn’t sleep through the night, so don’t take my advice!!! But #2 is due in September, so I’m definitely saving all these suggestions.

  22. Give your baby a nightly routine. Give him a warm bath and a full tummy. Read a book to your little one or sing.

  23. Rhythmic movement like a swing or rocking seemed to be the key for my kids. It relaxed them and got them to sleep easily.

  24. Give your baby a few minutes before instantly picking him up when he awakens during the night. I was surprised a few times, even when my daughter was very little, to find she put herself back to sleep without me.

  25. Rock the baby back and forth while gently humming will sooth the infant and help aid sleep.

    Hope to win!

  26. My best tip is to tap their bottom as you hold them. Both of my girls loved it and went right to sleep just about every single time I did it. thank you!

  27. My best sleep tip was that there should always be sound. That way, when older kids make noise or someone closes the front door, the baby doesn’t immediately wake up 🙂

  28. I find with my grandbaby that she prefers a certain way to lay in my arms and up against my chest. If she is comfortable, it’s much easier to sway her to sleep.

  29. This was a great post with a lot of awesome tips. For me, the swing and a full belly always did the trick. By 6 months, most babies can have a little baby cereal in their bottles or mixed with water. It really helps to keep them full through the night and they sleep much better

  30. Best baby sleep tip is soothing music playing at bedtime with NO vocals especially when they are younger.

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