You’ve just had a newborn and you couldn’t be more thrilled. You’ve already built the baby room, outlined your daily routine, and bought some cute clothes to swaddle them in.
There’s just one problem: sleeping.
Newborns are notoriously fussy when it comes to their sleep. They need a lot of it, but sometimes wake up prematurely and drive their parents crazy. If you’re confused on how to get the sleeping aspect of being a parent down, keep reading.
We’re going to talk about where -- and how -- your newborn baby should sleep.
Where Should a Newborn Sleep?
It’s scary leaving your newborn alone to sleep. They’re not just fragile, they’re in the formative years of their life.
Responding correctly to your newborn’s sleep necessities is key to healthy development. This means they need to stay in their crib (or cradle) throughout the night. That doesn’t mean they should be far away!
Your crib, bassinet, or cradle should be located nearby so you can jump up and attend to them at a moment’s notice. Make sure the room is of a moderate temperature and consider using soft noises (such as rainfall) to soothe them into sleep. Don’t keep a bunch of blankets or pillows in the crib, as they can roll over and choke themselves.
Sleep training is one of the biggest growing pains for parents, but your newborn will adapt before you know it. The sooner you get started, the better off everyone will be!
Safe Sleep Tips for Newborn Babies
Sleep is an art form, and even adults need help with it sometimes! Your newborn baby is learning how to sleep properly, so make sure you don’t miss out on these essential tips.
Alongside a moderate room temperature and the no-pillow rule:
Don’t Let Baby Share Your Bed
You might be scared to leave the baby alone for hours at a time. Sharing a bed is tempting but can put your baby at risk of a few dangers.
It’s possible to roll over and crush your baby while they’re sleeping, and you can also accidentally push the baby off the bed and hurt them. Remember these risk factors next time you let them snuggle next to you as you fall asleep.
It’s much safer to leave your newborn in their cradle than laying them beside you.
Are you a new parent? 123BabyBox is happy to provide new mothers with the tools and advice needed to take the fear out of parenting a child.
Be Careful Letting Your Newborn Sleep in the Carseat
It’s one thing if the baby snoozes while you’re driving. Leaving the baby in the car seat, however, isn’t good for their health.
The posture of the car seat can have them leaning at a crooked angle, which can hurt their delicate neck muscles. Sleeping in a car seat can also affect their ability to breathe due to obstructing their airways.
You might be tempted to let your newborn snooze so you can finally have a break, but it’s best to take them to the cradle. They’ll sleep better and experience fewer health risks.
Swaddle Your Baby Before Bed
“Wait...if I can’t put a bunch of blankets and pillows in the crib, why is swaddling okay?”, you might be asking. While you need to keep the crib clear of items, swaddling is an integral part of a healthy sleep cycle.
Swaddling is wrapping up your newborn in a tiny blanket cocoon. Doing this achieves multiple things for your newborn’s physical and emotional development:
- Recreating the safety of the womb
- Reducing their risk of rolling over onto their side or stomach while sleeping
- Keeping them warm and cozy
Related: When to Stop Swaddling Your Baby
How To Get Your Baby to Sleep at Night
Now that you know the pros and cons of different sleep styles, it’s time to get to the meat of the issue. How do you get your newborn to sleep at night?
Your first step is to adjust your expectations. It will take time for your newborn to become accustomed to their sleep schedule. Babies usually start sleep training at around six months old, but some can start a little sooner.
The Check and Console Method
This is the most frustrating technique on the list, but one of the most effective. This involves checking on the baby every fifteen minutes or so as they cry.
Checking and consoling teaches them your continued presence, reducing their anxiety and encouraging them to sleep. Remember, babies don’t have object permanency yet! While it’s common for babies to only sleep when they’re in your arms, they must learn a little independence early.
Change Feeding Times
It’s not good for adults to eat too close to bedtime. Why would it be different for babies?
Babies see things very plainly: if you constantly feed them before bedtime, they’ll associate you with bedtime. That means sleep time won’t feel complete without a parent! Feeding them earlier will help them treat bedtime as a separate occasion.
Helping your newborn learn how to sleep is an ongoing process, but one you can speed up by understanding their psychology. Trust that your baby wants to sleep just as much as you do!
Resist the urge to leave your newborn in the car seat or have them sleep next to you. Get comfortable swaddling your baby and having them sleep in their crib. Reducing feeding times or trying the check and console method will help even more.
Do you need a little extra help nurturing your newborn? Contact 123BabyBox today to see how a new subscription can help you and your little one adapt a little faster!