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Top 5 Tips for Getting Your Newborn to Sleep

Updated: Jun 20

Getting your newborn to sleep can be a challenge, but these tips and tricks will help you put your little one to bed and enjoy some much-needed sleep.

Newborn sleep feet

While having a baby is exciting in every possible way, let's be honest - it's also hard, especially when you are exhausted and sleep-deprived. But don't worry: This sleepless phase won't last.

Newborns have a lot on their plates when they come into the world, and because of that, we need to keep realistic expectations and simple goals regarding their sleep. Here's everything you need to know to promote the best sleep possible in your newborn.

It's a good idea to teach your baby that night-time is different from daytime from the start. During the day, open curtains, sing songs and don't worry too much about everyday noises when they sleep.

Establish a day time routine early: Eat, Wake, Sleep.

During the day, we will try to offer a full feeding every 2-3 hours. Practice the routine of breaking up feeding and sleeping, when possible, by helping your newborn to stay as awake as possible during feeding time.

Then, keep them awake a bit longer for a little activity. Activity for a newborn will be as simple as changing a diaper / nappy, kissing them, singing or talking to them, skin-to-skin cuddles, a short tummy time etc. Its important to do that while exposing them to day light (not direct sun) as it will help them define between day and night time.

After that, put your baby to sleep (keep reading and you will get to know HOW).

While the baby is sleeping, it's Your Time! Your time to shower calmly, enjoy a hot coffee or herbal tea, eat calmly etc. Please keep at least one 'You Time' to YOURSELF, and not to house chores or sitting in a dark room. You will thank me later for that tip.

Establish a bed time routine from day one.

A consistent bedtime routine can work wonders. The order is up to you or the method you choose to follow, but it usually involves a soothing bath, a story, and one last feeding. I also like to add a quick massage with lotion, gently squeezing and releasing the baby's knees, wrist, elbows, and shoulders, wherever there's a joint. Then you might do a final 'closing up' of the day by saying: Now we turn out the light, now we say 'Thank you for a beautiful day', now we give the last cuddle, now I lay you down and say 'Good night'—and that's the signal that it's time to sleep.

Observe your baby's and write a sleep log.

Logging your baby’s sleep is easy and straightforward. You simply need to keep track of wake times, nap times, nap lengths (can be 20-120 minutes and it's ok) and bedtime. You can also add information about feeding times. You’ll need to do this for 1-2 weeks before you will be able to see patterns in your baby’s sleep.

Recommended wake time for a baby in the first three months of their lives is between 60-90 minutes. Meaning, from the moment they wake up until they need to go back to sleep is about an hour. If they feed for about 15-20 min, you will have about half an hour to change nappy, sing and enjoy baby before they will need to sleep again.

When you recognise the patterns, put your baby down to sleep even if they look alert and not tired. This way you create a schedule for your baby and avoid putting your baby down overtired (which can shift quickly).


'Swaddle your baby', is the first piece of advice I give to new parents. Swaddling is a simple technique in which you wrap your baby up in a swaddle blanket in order to soothe them. Among the great benefits, it keeps your baby warm while providing him/her with a sense of safety and security by mimicking the snug environment of the womb. Swaddling can also reduce reflexive movements that may disrupt baby's sleep. Although swaddling is usually fine to do in your baby’s first couple of months, pediatrics recommend that you stop swaddling once your baby is able to roll over, which may happen around the time they turn 3 months old.


Now, that we observed our baby, and know their sleep patterns, we need to work on how to put them to sleep.

The good news are that you can assist your newborn to sleep, because until 3-4 months of age, our babies don't produce enough Melatonin (the "sleep hormone") and are not always able to fall asleep easily unassisted.

When it's time to sleep according to their sleep patterns OR a schedule you would like to follow OR your baby was awake for considerably long time (even if they don't show signs of tiredness), you should swaddle your baby, kiss them, say "sweet dreams" and put them in bed, awake.

This way, they will fall asleep fairly quickly and with very little to no help from you. This is called The Sleep Window Opportunity.

However, if you will miss the sleep window opportunity or wait too long for a yawn or other sleep cue, the baby can get overtired in just seconds and you will need to work hard to make them sleep.

If you did miss the window, and your baby is crying and is overtired, assist and do whatever it takes to put them to sleep. Try bouncing, swaying, stroller ride, white noise, pacifier/dummy etc. Try not to overfeed your baby, as that can make your baby's tummy too full and will cause a stomach pain and vomiting which will make it even harder for him/her to sleep a long stretch.

Be consistent and follow your baby's schedule, and you will be on your way to a good sleep.

Keep calm and ask for help.

Newborn babies invariably wake up repeatedly in the night for the first few months, and disturbed nights can be very hard to cope with.

If you have a partner, ask them to help. If you're formula feeding, encourage your partner to share the feeds. If you're breastfeeding, ask your partner to take over the early morning changing and dressing so you can go back to sleep.

Once you're into a good breastfeeding routine, your partner could occasionally give a bottle of expressed breast milk during the night.

If you're on your own, you could ask a friend or relative to stay for a few days so you can get some sleep.

Try to remember, 'small kids, small problems'.

Joking, it does get better !

Contact Us, and we will help you to lay good foundations for healthy sleep habits.

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