Baby and Newborn Sleeping Tips for Exhausted New Parents

Your baby is a beautiful new addition to your life. At night, your baby needs lots of sleep though, and so do you. There is often a great deal of disagreement between parents when it comes to the best ways for babies to sleep. Inexperienced parents are often desperate for guidance in this area, and experienced parents have a variety of different tips to offer. Here are just a few baby and newborn sleeping tips that may help you to develop a better sleep routine if you are currently struggling as a sleep-deprived new parent.

Baby and Newborn Sleeping Tips for Exhausted New Parents
*This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author. This post may also contain affiliate and/or paid links. Rest assured that we only work with companies and individuals that we trust. While some of those companies and individuals may work in the medical field, this post is not intended to be a substitution for medical advice. Always speak to your doctor if you have concerns about your mental or physical health.
Baby and Newborn Sleeping Tips for Exhausted New Parents
.

Develop a Regular Nighttime Sleep Routine

A regular sleep routine is important for people of all ages looking to improve their sleep habits. Try to put your baby to bed at the same time each evening or at least around the same time each evening. You can also regularly give your baby a bath before bedtime, or develop other regular routines that will help your child to realize that it is bedtime and wind down for the night.  One of the best baby and newborn sleeping tips is to start getting them into a good routine from the moment you bring baby home

Use Relaxing Music to Help Your Baby Sleep

Relaxing sounds and relaxing music are easy to find on music and video streaming apps. White noise machines and radios also offer options for a gentle sound that may help a baby to fall asleep and stay asleep. Research has been done about classical music and baby development and experts on the topic generally suggest that it is a good idea to expose a newborn to classical music, especially at bedtime.

Should You Hire a Sleep Training Professional?
.

Co-sleep Safely with Your Baby

There are many different options for new parents to select from when it comes to choosing a newborn baby bed. A crib is a classic option, but some parents find that co-sleeping helps their baby to sleep through the night better. There are beds for newborn babies that can allow both of you to sleep safely and securely without any worries if this is an option that interests you.

Breastfeed at Nighttime

A hungry baby will not be able to sleep through the night well in most cases. If you breastfeed your child, it is a good idea to do so soon before putting your newborn to bed. A full tummy will prevent him or her from waking up as quickly as to scream for another nighttime breastfeeding. The physical closeness while breastfeeding will also relax your baby. Even if you do not regularly or exclusively breastfeed throughout the day, you may want to try it at night to help with your baby’s sleep.

Avoid the Stress of Sleep Training
.

Read to Your Baby or Tell Stories

It is never too early to read to your baby. Babies and young children learn by example and early reading habits are best encouraged by reading to your baby at a young age. The sound of your voice is comfortable, familiar, and relaxing for your baby as well. Even if they do not yet understand the content of books and stories, these things can help them to fall asleep at night feeling positive and relaxed. Be sure to read in a gentle, calm, and even tone of voice so that you do not startle or wake a baby that is starting to doze off.

Avoid Exposing Your Baby to Digital Screen Time and other Stimuli Before Bed

It is generally considered a bad idea to put your newborn baby in front of the TV in order to get them to fall asleep. Too much screen time does not benefit the neurological or other development of a newborn baby. It is a better idea to use other tactics like calming music, gentle massage, and story time.


Author Bio

Joyce Kimber is an entrepreneurial writer. She always finds new ways to improve her work performance and productivity. Connect with her on Twitter via @joyce_kimber91.

6 Ways to Make Sleep Training a Positive Experience

Are you dreading the thought of sleep training? 

With all of the horror stories floating around out there, it’s hard not to… Sleep training isn’t easy.  As a parent, it’s one of the first opportunities to teach a child how to do something on their own, so it’s a task riddled with pressure, questions and self-doubt.  If sleep training feels like the right decision for your family, then there’s no need to fear it.  A positive sleep training experience is entirely possible.

Here are some tips for a positive sleep training experience.
6 Ways to Make Sleep Training a Positive Experience
* This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. ** Furthermore, I am not a sleep training expert, just a mother who’s been there and lived to tell the tale.
6 Ways to Make Sleep Training a Positive Experience

1. Make the bedroom a sanctuary

“Go to your room” is something I heard a thousand times growing up as a kid, and I’m guilty of saying it to my older children now.  But when it comes to sleep training, the bedroom should never be used as a place for punishment to avoid associating it with something negative.  Designate a different room or area for time-outs.  The bedroom should be a safe and comfortable place.

Before (and throughout) the sleep training process, spend plenty of time in the baby’s room playing or reading books and never force baby to stay in their crib or their room if they clearly don’t want to. 

The more comfortable baby is in their room, the less they will dread it at bedtime.

Tips for decorating children's bedrooms without wasting money
.

2. Start early

Babies are actually born with naturally good sleep habits. They sleep when they feel tired and don’t know any different.  Sleep training a younger baby can make for a positive sleep training experience.  While young babies don’t sleep for long stretches, they do normally fall asleep on their own without much of a struggle.

Encourage that behavior – because the ability to fall asleep without help is the KEY to sleep training!

Newborn Sleep Training
.

3. Conduct trial runs at nap time

While daytime sleep should be different from nighttime sleep, naps are a good way to get a feel for what sleep training will be like.  The daytime is much less intimidating to begin sleep training.  Both parent and baby will be somewhat more well rested than at the end of the day and there’s not as much pressure to get it right since naps are much shorter sleep periods.

While there’s no need to perform an entire bedtime routine at nap time, the key things to practice will be putting baby to sleep in the same place where they’ll be sleeping at night, and putting baby down while they are drowsy but not actually asleep.

If you can successfully get baby to go down for a nap on their own, then you’ll have a lot more confidence moving onto to bedtime.

4. Choose a realistic bedtime routine

Obviously sleep training involves some level of sacrifice, at least at first.  But that doesn’t mean you should be wearing yourself out every night with baths and massages and stories and missing out on your social life.  A bedtime routine doesn’t need to be elaborate.

Consistency is the key to a good bedtime routine so keep it simple and achievable.  It could be the simple task of changing into pajamas and reading a special book (check out this list of the best bedtime books). Or maybe there’s a lullaby you like to sing.  Even a special stuffed animal or blanket that’s reserved specifically for bedtime can do the trick.  Diffusing some calming essential oils around bedtime can also help to calm the minds of both parent and child.  Try to find one thing that soothes and calms each of the five senses.  These simple habits, when done consistently, will give your baby the signal that it’s bedtime, no matter where you are or what time it is.

Having the option to be flexible in your baby’s bedtime routine will keep you from resenting the task altogether.

8 Creative Ways to Deal With Bedtime Excuses
.

5. Eliminate the pressure

There is SO much pressure on parents to get sleep training just right.  A common question new parents often hear is “is the baby sleeping through the night yet?” implying that something is wrong if they aren’t.

And if that wasn’t pressure enough, there’s also so much contradictory information about sleep training.  Everyone has a method that they promise is the BEST and you always seem to be on the wrong side of the cry-it-out vs no-cry-it-out debate.

Accepting that all babies are different and sleep training is not a competition, or even a milestone, will help to take some of the pressure out of it.  Sleep training will only be successful if both parent and baby are ready, and not because another baby who’s the same age or weight (even a sibling) was ready.  Whatever method you choose to sleep train your baby should be the one that works for your baby and your family and no one else’s.

Remember that sleep training is not an all or nothing situation. It’s perfectly fine to take a break and try again another time.

Avoid the Stress of Sleep Training
.

6. Ask for help

Sleep training is not for everyone.  Some babies have a much harder time sleeping than others and it can lead to a very unpleasant experience.  Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you’re struggling with it.

While it’s great to have your spouse or partner around to tag team during those late nights, a friend to talk to (especially another mom who’s been there and done that) can do wonders for building up your confidence.

If the sleep deprivation is really getting to you and you’ve tried every method of sleep training without success, it could be time to call in an expert.

Should You Hire a Sleep Training Professional?
.

Read my review of The Baby Sleep Site for more information about getting a professional sleep consultation.