How to Get a Newborn to Sleep: Tips for New Parents

How to Get a Newborn to Sleep: Tips for New Parents

Posted on December 20th, 2023

Bringing your precious bundle of joy into the world is an exhilarating experience, but it also comes with its fair share of sleepless nights and challenges. 

As a new parent, one of the most common questions that may keep you up at night is, "How to get a newborn to sleep?" 

In this blog post, we will share valuable tips and strategies to help your newborn sleep soundly. 

From establishing a consistent sleep routine to creating a sleep-conducive environment, we've got you covered with expert advice on ensuring a good night's sleep for both you and your baby.

The Importance of Sleep for Newborns and Moms

Sleep is a precious commodity, and for new parents, it can often feel as elusive as a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The truth is, getting adequate sleep is not only essential for the well-being of your newborn but also for your own physical and mental health. In this section, we'll explore the vital importance of sleep for both newborns and moms and why it's crucial to prioritize healthy sleep habits right from the beginning.

Reasons Why Sleep Matters for Newborns

1. Growth and Development

For newborns, sleep is more than just rest; it's a crucial part of their growth and development. During sleep, their little bodies release growth hormones, which play a pivotal role in their physical development. Adequate sleep also supports brain development, helping them to learn and absorb new information as they grow.

2. Immune System Boost

Sleep is nature's way of strengthening the immune system, and this holds true for newborns as well. A well-rested baby is better equipped to fend off infections and illnesses, which is especially important during the first few months of life when their immune systems are still developing.

3. Emotional Regulation

Newborns experience a wide range of emotions, from hunger and discomfort to joy and contentment. Adequate sleep helps them regulate their emotions and reduces fussiness. A well-rested baby is generally happier and more content.

4. Better Feeding Patterns

Proper sleep patterns can have a positive impact on breastfeeding. A rested baby is more likely to feed well and gain weight as needed. Sleep and feeding go hand in hand, contributing to your baby's overall health.

Reasons Why Sleep Matters for Moms

1. Physical Recovery

For new moms, sleep is a vital component of the physical recovery process after childbirth. Your body needs rest to heal from the strains of pregnancy and labor. Sleep also aids in postpartum weight loss and helps your body return to its pre-pregnancy state.

2. Mental Well-being

The postpartum period can be emotionally challenging, and sleep deprivation can exacerbate feelings of anxiety and depression. Adequate sleep supports your mental well-being, helping you cope with the demands of motherhood.

3. Bonding and Patience

Being well-rested allows you to be more present and patient with your newborn. It enhances your ability to bond with your baby and savor those precious early moments together.

What to Expect from Newborn Sleep

Understanding what to expect from your newborn's sleep patterns can help you prepare for the journey ahead. Here are some essential points to keep in mind:

  • Frequent Waking: Newborns have tiny stomachs and need to eat frequently, leading to frequent nighttime awakenings.
  • Short Sleep Cycles: Newborns have shorter sleep cycles compared to adults, typically ranging from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
  • Day-Night Confusion: Many newborns have their days and nights mixed up initially. They may sleep more during the day and be more awake at night.
  • Varied Sleep Duration: The amount of sleep a newborn needs can vary, but on average, they may sleep for 16 to 18 hours a day.

In the coming section, we'll explore how you can establish healthy sleep habits and get your newborn to sleep peacefully at night.

Tips to Get a Newborn to Sleep

Ensuring that your newborn gets the sleep they need is not only beneficial for their growth and development but also for your own well-being as a parent. In this section, we'll provide you with a guide on how to get a newborn to sleep soundly, offering practical tips and strategies to make those precious moments of rest a reality.

1. Establish a Consistent Sleep Routine

Consistency is key when it comes to getting your newborn to sleep, especially at night. Creating a predictable bedtime routine can help signal to your baby that it's time for slumber. Start by establishing a calming routine that includes activities such as bathing, gentle massage, and a soothing lullaby. Gradually, your baby will associate these activities with sleep, making bedtime a smoother experience.

2. Create the Right Sleep Environment

A conducive sleep environment can make a significant difference in your newborn's sleep patterns. Consider the following tips to create the perfect sleeping atmosphere:

  • Temperature: Maintain a comfortable room temperature, typically between 68-72°F (20-22°C). Dress your baby in layers to ensure they're neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Darkness: Use blackout curtains to block out excessive light during naps and nighttime sleep. Darkness helps signal to your baby that it's time to rest.
  • White Noise: A gentle, consistent white noise machine or fan can mask background sounds and provide a soothing backdrop for your baby's sleep.
  • Safety: Always place your newborn on their back to sleep in a crib that meets safety standards. Remove any loose bedding or toys from the crib.

3. Establish a Proper Feeding Schedule

Proper feeding plays a pivotal role in your newborn's sleep routine, especially during those nighttime awakenings. Here are some tips for feeding your newborn to encourage longer stretches of sleep:

  • Frequent Feedings: Newborns have tiny tummies and need to eat frequently. Aim to feed your baby every 2-3 hours during the day to ensure they're well-fed.
  • Nighttime Feeding: While nighttime feedings are expected, try to keep the environment calm and dimly lit to minimize disruptions. Avoid stimulating activities during nighttime feedings.
  • Burping: Proper burping can reduce discomfort that may disturb your baby's sleep. Ensure your baby is burped adequately after feedings.

4. Ensure Your Baby's Comfort

To help your newborn sleep better at night, focus on comfort and security. Consider these tips:

  • Swaddle Your Baby: Many newborns find comfort in being swaddled snugly in a breathable blanket. Swaddling can help them feel secure and limit the startle reflex.
  • Use a Pacifier: A pacifier can provide soothing comfort to your baby and reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Offer it during naps and bedtime.
  • Comfort Items: A soft lovey or a piece of your clothing with your scent can offer reassurance to your baby.

5. Teach Your Baby Self-Soothing Techniques

While newborns may wake up frequently due to hunger or discomfort, it's essential to begin teaching them self-soothing techniques as they grow. Encourage your baby to self-soothe by allowing them a few minutes to see if they can settle on their own before intervening.

6. Take Care of Yourself

Last but not least, it's crucial for new parents to prioritize their own well-being. Lack of sleep can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. Don't hesitate to seek support from family and friends, and consider enlisting the help of a Newborn Care Specialist like us at Carol's Newborn Care to provide you with expert guidance and assistance.

Related: The Importance of Hiring a Qualified Newborn Care Specialist


Helping your newborn sleep better at night requires patience, consistency, and a nurturing approach. By establishing a consistent routine, creating a sleep-conducive environment, focusing on proper feeding techniques, and gradually introducing self-soothing methods, you can promote healthier sleep patterns for your baby and the entire family.

If you're seeking personalized support and expert guidance on newborn care, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at Carol's Newborn Care. We specialize in providing top-notch Newborn Care Specialist services to families in Mesquite, Texas, and the surrounding areas. 

Contact us at (214) 287-2335 or via email at [email protected]. Your well-rested family is just a call away.