One of the most common challenges parents face is a baby that resists sleep or wakes often. As parents navigate their own lack of sleep and change in sleep schedule, many wonder if there are ways to help their baby sleep better. The good news is that there are many tips for getting your baby to sleep! Finding what works best for your baby may take some trial and error, be patient, as that is normal. Keep reading as we share some tips for how to get your baby to fall asleep so that you and your baby can both get some much-needed shut-eye.
Ways to Get Your Baby to Sleep
Table of Contents
- How can I get my baby used to night and day being different?
- Where should my baby sleep?
- Signs that your baby is ready to sleep
- Establish a routine to get your baby to fall asleep
- How to get your baby to fall asleep: 0-6 months
- How to get your baby to fall asleep: 6-12 months
- Is my baby getting enough sleep?
- When is waking during the night considered a sleep problem for my baby?
- How to get your baby to fall asleep on the go
- Other tips to help your baby fall asleep
How can I get my baby used to night and day being different?
Babies, especially newborns, can need some adjustment to “daytime” and “nighttime” being different. As you can imagine, they recently lived in a dark womb with no difference in time. There were no cues or schedules they had to differentiate between. This lack of ability to differentiate typically begins to fade over time, but here’s how you can help their circadian rhythm sync up a bit more smoothly.
- Light and stimulation during the day: Sunshine and stimulation can help naturally cue your baby when it’s time to be awake. Providing your baby with stimulation during the day will help them start to recognize that there is fun to be had when the sun is awake too. While naps are necessary during the day, it’s important to keep an eye on if naps become longer than sleep duration at night. Another helpful tip for naps during the day may be to avoid making rooms fully dark and quiet.
- Dark and quiet at night: Nighttime should be quite the opposite regarding stimulation and light. When your baby wakes during the night, it helps to keep the room dimly lit for feedings or changes and keep your voice low. This will aid in keeping your baby less stimulated to help them get right back to sleep.
Where should my baby sleep?
Practicing safe sleeping means putting your baby down only where it’s safe. There are plenty of sleeping options to keep safety a top priority while your baby comfortably sleeps. Places that can be safe when used appropriately for your baby to sleep include cribs, bassinets, and other portable-style cribs. Be sure there’s nothing else in the crib, whichever sleeper you choose. This includes pillows, stuffed animals, and even blankets.
Signs that your baby is ready to sleep
It’s important to know the signs that your baby is ready to sleep—and not to ignore them. If ignored, you may end up with an overtired baby who can become rather fussy or upset. Not all babies show the same signs, and as time goes on, you’ll naturally begin to recognize when your baby is ready to sleep. Signs that your baby is ready to sleep are called sleep cues. Here’s a list of some of the cues you may see when your baby is tired and ready for a nap:
- Staring or gazing off
- Rubbing of the eyes
Here are some cues that your baby may be overtired:
- Crying frantically
- Rigid body or arching of their back
- Pushes you away, or turning away from you
These signs may mean it’s time to get to a dark and quiet room to allow them to calm down, avoiding any more stimulation.
Establish a routine to get your baby to fall asleep
One of the best ways to get your baby to sleep is by following a routine. The most important part of establishing a sleep routine is keeping it consistent so your baby learns the cues it’s time for sleep. This can mean always putting your baby down in the same spot or creating the same environment for sleep time. For example, always having a dark and quiet room. A routine will look different for everyone, so it may take some adjustment as you go.
How to get your baby to fall asleep: 0-6 months
At 0-6 months, it’s common for your baby to wake frequently through the night. Here are a few tips for helping your newborn to sleep:
- Rocking to sleep: This can be done with the support of your Tushbaby carrier. Simply rock your baby until they start to doze off. Before they’re fully asleep, you can then lay them in their crib.
- Swaddles: Used in the first 3-4 months of your baby’s life, swaddles can help a newborn fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer.
How to get your baby to fall asleep: 6-12 months
At 6-12 months, your baby will likely start to have a more consistent sleep pattern. This doesn’t mean they won’t wake throughout the night, as every baby develops different sleep patterns. Along with soothing techniques, establishing a consistent sleep routine will help ensure your baby knows when it’s bedtime.
Is my baby getting enough sleep?
It’s common for parents to question if their baby is getting enough sleep when they themselves are feeling sleep-deprived. Insufficient sleep for babies can lead to problems as they develop and grow, and the recommended hours of sleep per day will vary as your baby gets older. Keeping an eye out for signs of overtiredness will help ensure you get your baby rest when it’s needed. You can also talk with your pediatrician or care provider about sleep schedules and recommended sleep duration.
When is waking during the night considered a sleep problem for my baby?
There are many reasons a baby will wake through the night, from nighttime feedings in early stages to disruption from teething pain when they are older and much more. Trust your gut. If you sense that a larger issue needs to be addressed with your baby’s sleep and wake habits, check with your pediatrician.
How to get your baby to fall asleep on the go
As much as we can try to avoid it, there will come a time (or many times) that your baby will be due for a nap while you are on the go. Safety should be the number one priority for naps on the go, so be sure you have a safe place for your baby to nap. This often will be their car seat or a stroller. Playing soft music, quiet walks in the stroller, or rocking your baby to sleep with the support of your Tushbaby carrier can help soothe your infant to sleep for their nap on the go.
Other tips to help your baby fall asleep
Getting a baby to sleep can require some practice, patience, and soothing techniques. While you may be frustrated or tired, enjoy the journey as much as possible, as it won’t last forever. If you have a fussy baby, check out our page about calming a fussy baby. Pacifiers can also be used to help calm your baby down; learn more about sleeping with a pacifier here.
While we wish we had the secret for getting any baby to sleep, every baby is unique—and that’s part of the beauty of parenthood! What we can tell you is that a carrier your baby loves will help you keep them calm and happy while they’re awake, and it can also help calm them before a nap or bed. Parents love the Tushbaby carrier as it’s ergonomic for carrying and can double as breastfeeding support. Moms often use it for breastfeeding as it allows for an easy handoff to the crib.