If you want to help your baby sleep through the night so that you can get some sleep, too, you’re in the right place! I’ve been right where you are. Read on for a solid plan and lots of support. You got this. You’re on your way to a better night’s sleep for you and your baby.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
When my kids were babies, I found myself constantly Googling how to help your baby sleep through the night! Sound familiar?
My hope is that these tips to help baby sleep through the night will give you some hope that the sleepless nights will end soon.
Baby Sleep Tip #1: Early Bedtime
A bedtime between 6-8 pm ensures that your child will be able to get 11-13 hours of sleep during the night. By having an early bedtime, your baby gets all the rest they need for his or her rapid growth and development. Putting your baby to bed early allows them to enjoy longer stretches of sleep, making them feel cozy and well-rested.
Why is an early bedtime important for babies?
The first half of the night is generally more important for baby sleep, especially when it comes to restorative deep sleep and physical growth. During the first half of the night, babies experience a higher proportion of deep sleep, also known as slow-wave or non-rapid eye movement (NREM). This stage of sleep is essential for the body’s restorative processes, such as tissue repair and growth hormone release.
During deep sleep, the body works on repairing and building tissues, supporting the development of muscles, bones, and the immune system. Additionally, deep sleep is crucial for cognitive development and memory consolidation, which are vital for a growing baby’s brain.
As the night progresses, the sleep cycles change, and the second half of the night typically contains more periods of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. REM sleep is associated with dreaming and also plays a role in memory and learning. While REM sleep is essential, deep sleep in the first half of the night tends to be more restorative and beneficial for physical and neurological development.
Establishing an early bedtime routine can help ensure that babies get enough of this important early deep sleep. Keep in mind that individual babies may have different sleep patterns, and some babies might naturally have longer deep sleep phases later in the night.
Baby Sleep Tip #2: Consistent Bedtime Routine
Even babies thrive when there’s a good routine in place, and having a special bedtime routine can help them recognize that bedtime is on the way and it’s time to go to wind down and go to sleep.
A consistent bedtime routine is incredibly important for babies for several reasons. Creating a predictable and soothing routine before bedtime helps babies understand that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Here are some reasons why a consistent bedtime routine is beneficial for babies:
- Signal for sleep: Babies thrive on routine and predictability. Having a consistent bedtime routine acts as a clear signal that it’s time to sleep. It helps them transition from wakefulness to a calmer state, making it easier for them to fall asleep.
- Comfort and security: Going through the same bedtime routine each night provides babies with a sense of comfort and security. They feel reassured knowing what to expect, which can reduce anxiety and make them feel safe and relaxed.
- Sleep association: Over time, a consistent bedtime routine becomes associated with sleep. As babies experience the same calming activities before sleep, their brains start to link these cues with bedtime. This association can help them fall asleep more easily and stay asleep longer.
- Regulation of circadian rhythm: A regular bedtime routine helps babies develop a more stable circadian rhythm, also known as the sleep-wake cycle. When their bodies get used to a specific sleep schedule, it becomes easier for them to sleep at the right times and wake up more refreshed.
- Parent-baby bonding: Bedtime routines provide a special opportunity for parent-baby bonding. Whether it’s cuddling, reading a story, or singing a lullaby, these moments strengthen the emotional connection between you and your baby, fostering a sense of love and trust.
- Improved sleep quality: A consistent bedtime routine can lead to better sleep quality for babies. When they are relaxed and comfortable, they are more likely to have deeper and more restful sleep, which is crucial for their development and overall well-being.
- Setting healthy habits: Establishing a consistent bedtime routine early on helps set the foundation for healthy sleep habits as your baby grows. These habits can carry on into childhood and beyond, promoting better sleep hygiene and overall health.
Remember, every baby is unique, and finding the best bedtime routine for your little one may take some time. Be patient and flexible, and pay attention to your baby’s cues to adjust the routine as needed. Establishing a comforting and loving bedtime routine becomes a cherished part of the day for both you and your baby.
I have a whole post dedicated to establishing a realistic baby bedtime routine that will give you lots of great ideas as you decide what you want your routine to look like.
Baby Sleep Tip #3: Pause
I first learned about “the pause” in Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting. I thought it was interesting and wanted to try it right away. When your baby makes a noise in the night, French parents don’t immediately run into the baby’s room. Instead, they wait a few minutes to see whether babies will settle on their own, a technique the author calls “the pause.”
- Druckerman, Pamela (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 432 Pages – 09/30/2014 (Publication Date) – Penguin Books (Publisher)
French parents listen closely to their babies’ sounds, which helps inform them about when they really need attention and when babies are just making noises in their sleep. If it’s the latter, they let them settle on their own. I learned pretty quickly that my baby was sometimes just “crying out” and not “crying.” Sometimes she would settle herself down, and my going in the room would have disrupted that.
Baby Sleep Tip #4: Dark and Quiet Nursery
Now, you’ll need to create an environment that promotes good sleep. That means keeping their room dark at night (try these temporary room darkening shades), turning on a sound machine, and using a really great sleepsack.
Having a dark and quiet nursery is essential for your baby’s sleep. It helps them feel calm and secure. When the room is dark, they can rest better. A quiet nursery means fewer disturbances, so they can sleep longer and be happier. A consistent sleep environment also helps them develop good sleep habits.
A dark and quiet nursery is also good for your baby’s growth and development. It allows their little bodies to grow strong and healthy during sleep. Less noise helps them relax and recharge from all the stimulation they experience during the day.
Creating a dark and quiet nursery is also a special time for you and your baby to bond. During quiet moments, you can have precious moments together.
Read more here about using blackout curtains in your baby’s nursery to block out sunlight and streetlights. These curtains help keep the room dark and create a cozy sleep environment.
Baby Sleep Tip #5: Dress for Success
Choosing the right sleepwear for your baby is crucial for their comfort, safety, and overall well-being. First and foremost, it helps regulate their body temperature. Babies have limited ability to regulate their temperature, so the right nighttime baby sleepwear ensures they don’t overheat or get too cold during the night. This helps keep them cozy and content while they sleep.
Additionally, safe sleep practices are of utmost importance. Avoiding loose bedding, such as blankets or quilts, is essential to reduce the risk of suffocation. Opt for sleepwear specifically designed for babies to minimize the chance of accidental entanglement, providing a safe sleeping environment.
Comfort is key to a good night’s sleep for your baby. Soft, breathable fabrics and well-fitting sleepwear significantly affect their sleep quality. When they feel comfortable, they are less likely to be restless during the night, allowing for more restful sleep.
Practicality is another aspect to consider. Sleepwear that offers easy access to diapers is a great choice, enabling quick and convenient diaper changes without fully undressing your baby. This helps maintain a comfortable environment and minimizes disruptions during their sleep. We love baby sleep gowns because they make diaper access SO EASY!
Taking care of your baby’s skin health is essential too. Opt for sleepwear made from hypoallergenic materials, and avoid clothing with irritating tags or seams that could cause discomfort or allergies.
As your baby grows and reaches different developmental milestones, their sleepwear needs may change. For example, when they start rolling or crawling, you may want to transition to sleepwear that allows for more freedom of movement, supporting their development.
Finally, keep in mind that sleep associations can play a role in your baby’s bedtime routine. They might find comfort in certain sleepwear or bedtime rituals, which can make it easier for them to transition to sleep and create positive sleep associations.
Read More About What Baby Should Wear for Sleep:
- How to Dress Baby for Sleep
- Hands Down the Best Baby Sleep Sack to Keep Baby Comfy in All Seasons
- Best Baby Sleep Gowns
Baby Sleep Tip # 6: Hire a Sleep Consultant
If you’re so overwhelmed and feel desperate to get some sleep, don’t be afraid to call in the experts. Seriously, you DON’T need to suffer through months (or even years) of being sleep-deprived due to your child not sleeping through the night. I am a person who finds it very difficult to ask for help, so if you’re feeling hesitant, I get totally get it. But you don’t have to be a super mom. Your baby needs to LEARN how to sleep, and there are experts out there who know exactly how to TEACH them. No crying it out is necessary!
If you’re ready for some help, there’s a program I want to tell you about that’s been used by a ton of moms to help their babies sleep – it’s called the Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman.
This is the perfect program for you if:
- Your child wakes up multiple times throughout the night
- Your lack of sleep due to your child not sleeping it’s starting to take its toll on you
- You have to rock, bounce or take a car drive for your child to nap or fall asleep at night
- You’re frustrated, exhausted, and stressed out.
- Your child needs a pacifier to fall asleep (and if it falls out during the night, YOU have to wake up to put it back in…)
If you want to learn more, read our review of Dana Obleman’s Sleep Sense Program. We cover ALL the details and answer all your questions so you can decide if you want to let Dana help you and your baby.
Bonus: Our Favorite Baby Sleep Resources
- The Happy Sleeper: The Science-Backed Guide to Helping Your Baby Get a Good Night’s Sleep-Newborn to School Age
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child, 5th Edition: A New Step-by-Step Guide for a Good Night’s Sleep
Our Favorite Baby Sleep Products
Our readers top pick: The Sleep Sense Program by Dana Obleman, Professional Baby Sleep Coach
Other sleep coaches to check ou:
- The Sleep Lady’s Gentle Sleep Solutions for Children 6 months – 6 years
- Taking Cara Babie (Instagram’s Favorite Sleep Coach)
As a new mom, observing your baby’s sleep patterns and establishing a consistent baby bedtime routine can help promote better sleep for both you and your little one. If you have any concerns about your baby’s sleep or development, it’s always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician or a baby sleep professional for personalized advice and support.