Top 6 Newborn Sleep Tips For Your Best Night’s Rest

Of all the skills your baby will learn from you, the first and most important skill you’ll teach your baby is how to sleep. Unfortunately, sleep isn’t a skill babies are actually born with – it must be taught. 

Newborns sleep 16 or more hours a day, but often in stretches of just a few hours at a time. Although the pattern might be erratic at first, a more consistent sleep schedule will emerge as your baby matures and can go longer between feedings.

The first few months of baby’s life is the best time to lay the foundation for healthy sleep habits. This will help them take more consistent naps  – giving you an opportunity to shower, enjoy a cup of coffee or do a little yoga – as well as sleep more soundly at night so you can get your own well-earned shuteye. 


Start putting these tips into action right away and they’ll continue paying off for years to come.


1) Avoid an overtired state. When babies are awake for too long, they can become overtired. When this happens, the stress hormone cortisol floods their brain and makes it even more difficult for them to fall asleep. To prevent this from happening, offer a nap every 60 to 90 minutes from when your baby last woke up.

2) Swaddle your baby. All babies feel most secure once they’re swaddled. Swaddling helps prevent the Moro reflex from startling them awake. As a result, your baby is better able to stay asleep and connect sleep cycles, leading to longer naps and nighttime sleep. In most cases, if your baby is breaking free from the swaddle it means that the swaddle isn’t snug enough. Read our step-by-step guide on how to safely swaddle your baby

3) Use a firm, flat mattress in a safety-approved crib. A firm sleep surface maintains its shape and will not indent or conform to the shape of the infant’s head when placed on the surface. Soft mattresses can create a pocket (or indentation) and increase the chance of rebreathing or suffocation if the infant is placed in or rolls over to the prone (face down) position. Also, the crib should not have bumper pads.

4) Put baby to bed drowsy, but awake. This will help them associate bed with the process of falling asleep. Remember to place your baby to sleep on his or her back, and clear the crib or bassinet of blankets and other soft, loose items. Babies who sleep on their backs are much less likely to die of SIDS than babies who sleep on their stomachs or sides.

5) Offer a pacifier. If your baby has trouble settling down, a pacifier might do the trick. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that using a pacifier during sleep helps reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). If the pacifier falls out after your baby falls asleep, you don’t have to put it back in.

6) Follow a calming bedtime routine. Overstimulation in the evening can make it difficult for your baby to settle to sleep. Play active games during the day and quiet, peaceful games in the evening, especially toward the end of the routine. Many babies enjoy bathing right before bedtime, which calms them down. Keep activities the same and in the same order, night after night.

5 Ways To Get An Overtired Baby To Sleep

New parents quickly learn that one of the most important things to avoid is letting mommy and daddy’s little angel get overtired. Overtired babies are hard to calm down and have a harder time staying soundly asleep once they are finally settled. 

Getting an overtired baby to sleep is probably one of the most common problems you’ll face. That doesn’t mean you can’t help your tuckered one out to get the rest they need. Here are overtired newborn symptoms and sleep tips for solving them.

How To Know If Baby Is Overtired?

They are zoned out — Your baby may stare off into the distance or avoid eye contact. This is often a missed signal that they need sleep.

Rubbing eyes or face — Some babies will also tug on their ears or hair when they’re tired. Respond promptly by getting baby down for a nap.

You know, that cry — Your baby uses different cries to communicate their needs. The overtired cry is often accompanied by symptoms, like getting easily frustrated.

They’ve hit their ideal wake time — Babies are awake and happy for a limited time, depending on their age. Tracking your baby’s ‘wake windows’ and keeping a consistent sleep schedule will help prevent overtiredness. 

Getting An Overtired Baby To Sleep

Watch your wake times carefully with your baby, and if baby becomes overtired try these tips. 

  1. Go through baby’s bedtime routine — Usually that means a feed, bath, cuddles, lullabies, a book, etc. That is baby’s signal it’s time for sleeping.
  2. Hold baby on tummy — Holding your baby belly-down against your chest can soothe them. However, make sure to not put baby in the crib on this stomach. Always place baby on her back when sleeping in the crib or bassinet.
  3. Master movement — You can use movement to get an overtired baby to settle down, such as a swing or rocking baby into drowsiness. Also, a gentle and relaxing massage on a baby’s foot using thumbs and finger tips can help baby relax and induce sleep.
  4. Swaddle baby — Swaddling provides a similar environment as the womb. Try putting baby down drowsy in a snug swaddle to help baby feel safer. 
  5. Use white noise — A sound machine can help calm an overtired baby. Babies are used to the loud noises of the womb and silence can be deafening for them. 


How To Prevent Baby From Getting Overtired

Responding promptly to sleep cues will help prevent your sleepyhead from getting overtired in the first place. 

Making sure your baby gets enough daytime and nighttime sleep will go a long way. Following a consistent nap and bedtime schedule and limiting stimulation beforehand are all important.

Once you’ve gotten baby back on track, more restful nights are on the horizon.