Baby sleep has always been a struggle for us, and I know we’re not the only ones with this problem.
Ask anyone, and they’ll have something (or a lot of things) to tell you about baby sleep. It’s a very widely discussed topic and it seems like everyone and their dog has an opinion on different baby sleep techniques. They’ll tell you what you HAVE to be doing, and if you don’t do it, you’re a bad parent – then they’ll go on to list a dozen different things you can never do, and if you do do them… well, you’re doomed.
Even though it is such a popular topic with many different answers, it’s still one of the biggest struggles all new parents face.
As a new parent, learning how to navigate parenthood is hard. Never mind learning how to navigate it while you are extremely sleep deprived and spend every night walking laps around your house just trying to get your baby to sleep.
Since so many parents struggle with baby sleep – myself VERY MUCH included – I’ve reached out to 36 different moms who have been there 1, 2, 3, or even 6 times themselves and asked for their very best tips on how to get your baby to sleep (better and longer).
Who better to ask than moms who have been there and done that time and time again, moms who have struggled with the very thing that you’re struggling with right now?
Remember that each and every baby is different, so there is no one right answer that will solve all your baby sleep problems… but, these 36 moms have graciously offered their very best baby sleep tips – things that helped their babies sleep. Since every baby responds differently to stuff, you may find your baby doesn’t respond well to some of these things, but you might hit the jackpot and find the very one thing that works like never before.
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Experienced mom’s baby sleep tips
I reached out to 36 mom bloggers and they got back to me with their very best tips. Here are the two baby sleep questions each mom got asked:
- What product or tip would you recommend to new parents to get their baby to sleep?
- What are the top mistakes that parents make when trying to get their baby to sleep?
All in all, all 36 answers can be drilled down into one single thing:
Babies are creatures of habit – they crave consistency. When you deprive your baby of that consistency and let them nap willy-nilly and keep them up far later than they should be, you’ll be making the whole baby sleep struggle a whole lot harder on yourself.
Why do babies crave consistency?
Because consistency allows them to know what to expect next.
Your brand-new baby doesn’t know the daily routines like you do. That’s why being consistent with them from a very young age will help set them up for success. It will help your baby learn what comes next. If you have a bedtime routine for your baby where you bath, feed, read a book, then put them to bed, eventually, as soon as they hear that bath water being drawn they are going to know what to expect. And by the time you get to the “read a book” portion of the bedtime routine, they’re going to know that sleep comes next.
Babies don’t naturally know what to expect, but by setting them on a (sometimes loose) schedule from day 1, you’ll have a well-rested, and in turn, happier baby. But don’t worry if you’re long past day one with your baby… you can start following a routine at any time in your baby’s life – just remember that the sooner you start following a routine, the easier it will be on both you and baby.
While that’s the most effective baby sleep tip, there are DOZENS of other tips from each and every mom in their individual answers below.
(The thing I love most about this is that each mom has experienced the same struggle: baby sleep. And, while some answers are nearly identical, all of the moms have their own unique things that worked for their babies, since each baby is different. If you’re struggling to get your baby to sleep well, you’re bound to find some great tips and advice from these moms!)
Here are just a few things you’ll learn in this massive roundup from dozens of moms:
- Using routines and schedules with your baby from a young age will set them up for the best sleep possible later in life
- Using a sound machine (like this one) can go a LONG way in helping your baby sleep better and deeper
- Well-rested babies sleep far better than overtired babies (in other words, don’t skip naps with hopes that your baby will sleep longer at night)
- It takes babies time to learn good sleeping habits, so give yourself some grace and rest when the baby sleeps so you have energy to be up with them at night
And, for your convenience, here are a few quick links to some of the best baby sleep products mentioned in this post:
Are you a new parent?
Here’s everything you need to know about the fourth trimester and how it plays into your baby’s sleep. (The first three months outside the womb are vital).
The most unique tip I found throughout all the different baby sleep tips was bouncing on a yoga ball. My son personally loves to be bounced. Walking around sometimes just isn’t enough – he needs the gentle, quick movements of bouncing, so sitting on a yoga ball and bouncing him to calm him down is a smart idea! (How did I never think of that?!)
Let’s jump right into the best baby sleep tips that answer the question, “how to get my baby to sleep”:
The ultimate list of baby sleep tips from moms who have been there and done that
Nicole | The Baby Sleep Site
The top 2 mistakes parents make with their baby’s sleep is 1) keeping them awake too long in hopes of the baby being more tired and 2) rocking/bouncing or feeding the baby all the way to sleep.
Over-tired babies typically have a much more difficult time falling asleep and, more importantly, staying asleep since our bodies release hormones to fight fatigue. So, better napping during the day and not too much awake time before bedtime typically yields a better night’s sleep. And, if you can put your baby down slightly awake, they can learn better how to get themselves back to sleep throughout the night.
Nina | Baby Chick
When it comes to baby sleep consistency is key. Babies sleep better when they have a consistent routine—good naps throughout the day, full bellies and a bedtime routine.
Products that can help soothe your little one are: a sound machine, age appropriate swaddle or wearable blanket, a pacifier, and a safe place to sleep (crib, bassinet, cosleeper). A common mistake is to keep babies awake so they are more tired at night, but this actually works against them. Babies thrive when they are getting the recommended about of naps and have an earlier bedtime.
Jilly | Baby Sleep Made Simple
As a baby sleep consultant, I see these top mistakes parents make:
Feeling too nervous or worried to even try sleep training. Almost every mom thinks her baby will never be able to learn new sleep habits. They think their baby is more attached to feeding or rocking to sleep, than other babies. I’ve found that the overwhelming majority of babies do better than parents expect with sleep training. You just have to take a leap of faith!
Having an inconsistent sleep schedule. Half the work of sleep training is setting your baby’s body clock to sleep at predictable times each day. One of the easiest sleep tips I have is to get your baby’s naps and bedtime happening at the same time each day.
Picking the wrong sleep training method. There are many different ways to teach babies to sleep well. I’ve found that when parents pick a sleep training method that suits their baby’s temperament and energy levels, they find more success. For example, sensitive babies do best with a slower approach where you change one aspect of your baby’s sleep routine at a time. And adaptable (or “easy babies”) respond well to quicker sleep training methods.
I recommend that sleep-deprived parents join my free Exhausted Mom’s Survival Kit. It walks parents through the essential steps of setting baby up to sleep well at night.
Kate | A Hundred Affections
I highly recommend a noise machine and room darkening curtains. We had a noise machine made for babies originally, but it wasn’t loud enough. We ended up getting a Conair noise machine and that was loud enough to drown out the house noise and let us live our lives while our boys were sleeping.
Room darkening blinds were also a life saver! I also used the advice in Happiest Baby on the Block (Dr. Harvey Karp) and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child (Dr. Marc Weissbluth), and both were a huge help!
I think getting your baby on a sleep routine as soon as possible (after the first 3-4 weeks) is important. It doesn’t have to be a set schedule, but getting a routine where they wake up, eat, play, then sleep.
A lot of new moms will nurse their babies to sleep or give them a bottle to fall asleep, but that makes them dependent on that to fall asleep. By feeding them once they wake up and having a different soothing routine for sleep, that eventually will lead to them being able to fall asleep without needing that crutch.
Also, I think not having babies on a tight nap schedule is a big mistake, too! Once my boys got a little bigger, I had them on a consistent nap schedule and basically lived my life around their sleep. Sleep for babies is SO important. They are so much happier when well-rested, and it’s so important for them developmentally. It’s totally worth whatever sacrifice you need to make to see that they are napping regularly (and in their usual sleep spot is best, not on the go, if possible!).
Ashley | Mom Like You Mean It
To help your child sleep well you must first create a bedtime routine to cue your baby that it’s time to sleep. Keep your bedtime routine between 20-30 minutes and stay consistent.
Additionally, the best tip I could give to new parents would be to create a sleeping environment in which your baby can easily recreate by themselves when they inevitably wake in the middle of the night.
Putting your baby down drowsy, but not fully asleep really is key; this way your baby learns to fall asleep by self-soothing.
When babies are itty bitty they have a startle reflex (called the Moro reflex) that causes their arms to shoot up as if they’re falling. This will wake most babies up, so we found swaddle sleep sacks to be the perfect solution to this problem for our little girl. We’d wrap up our babe in this and she wouldn’t wake from the startling at all. She also napped like a champ once we got the swaddle sleep sack, too!
I would say the biggest mistake parents make is providing their babies with too many sleep crutches.
Whether that’s rocking your baby to sleep, or nursing your baby to sleep, or even giving your baby a pacifier to sleep – the less sleep crutches, the better. Babies wake a lot during the night, and if they wake and things aren’t exactly like they were when they fell asleep, you’re in big trouble. And they’ll likely be crying out for you to come nurse/rock/etc before they are willing to go back to sleep.
Julie | Jules & Co
When your baby won’t sleep it seems like your world is crumbling. So my best baby sleep tip is this: ask for help!
As moms we are sometimes so hesitant to lean on someone else when we are struggling. But it is totally OK to accept a helping hand when your baby won’t sleep. When my firstborn was an infant I remember a sweet friend who came over to visit and ended up putting my son down for a nap. I was so grateful! She showed me a few tips that helped him get to sleep more easily. And more importantly she showed me that I wasn’t alone! So, ask a friend, sister, or grandma for help. And don’t allow yourself to feel guilty one bit! Even the best moms have trouble getting their babies to sleep at times.
(Here is Julie’s foolproof newborn schedule that works for newborns and toddlers alike.)
Learn more about how to get your baby to sleep…
Mallory | Mama on Parade
The one thing that really helped me get my baby to sleep was a yoga ball. My son didn’t like to rock, he liked to bounce. No matter how worked up he was, a few minutes bouncing on that ball could calm him down almost instantly.
I think the biggest mistake that parents make with their baby’s sleep is the fact that most parents, especially brand new parents, tend to rush to their baby’s side the moment he makes any noise. I know I am guilty of doing this. My son talked in his sleep when he was a newborn, and I believe that there were times that I woke him up because I felt the need to check on him.
Once I stopped immediately rushing to his side and let him figure out how to settle himself, everything changed. He’s been sleeping around 12 hours a night since he was roughly 2 months old.
Jen | Minnesota Momma
I have to hands down recommend Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit for helping your baby get to sleep! It truly changed our life! Our baby went from only napping in our arms to taking 3+ hour naps on his own in his crib. It meets safe sleep standards, so parents can feel good about using it!
There are two things I really feel are big mistakes that parents are making when it comes to baby sleep. The first mistake, is not being consistent. Try to have a set bedtime, a bedtime routine, and a consistent environment (darkened room, white noise, etc.).
The second is getting too hung up on getting baby to sleep through the night right away. Many babies wake up at least once a night for many months, and parents do not need to feel bad that their baby isn’t sleeping through the night by 3 weeks! It’s okay, don’t be too hard on yourself! Eventually your baby will sleep.
Caroline | Swaddles n’ Bottles
It’s hard to pick between a sound machine and a GOOD swaddle to help baby sleep. The womb isn’t silent and a newborn in a space that mimics that helps them sleep! A good sound machine that stays on throughout the night is essential. More than that, recreating the snugness they felt in mamas belly is so relaxing to baby. I love the Halo Sleep Sacks since they keep baby snug all night long.
I think one of the biggest mistakes new parents make when it comes to sleep is not sticking to a schedule. Knowing how long baby should be awake and ensuring they do not get over tired makes falling into a steady routine so much easier.
Ros Emely | Stress Free Mommies
What helped all three of my kids sleep through the night was taking them a bath and feeding them before bedtime. I also made sure I had pitch black curtains, that way it helps them sleep longer, even during nap time!
Having a humidifier is great to help moisten the air. If your baby starts crying during the night, try patting him back to sleep without giving him a bottle or breastfeeding. But, of course if your baby is still crying make sure you feed him. I honestly didn’t do anything extraordinary. I was very consistent with my kids sleeping schedule and did not give in. They all managed to sleep through the night by their second month. Yay!
Brandi | Chicken Scratch Diaries
Whatever your method you use to get your baby to sleep, be consistent with it. Babies (and humans in general!) are creatures of habit. They will learn to expect whatever you do from day one, whether you lay them in the bassinet drowsy or nurse them to sleep every time.
It’s harder to break habits later on than to stick to a plan from the start and do it the same way every time. I learned this the hard way! When you’re really sleep deprived, it’s even harder to start a new routine, so reading up on different baby sleep methods and picking one early on (before baby arrives) can be really helpful.
I did an interview with Jilly from Baby Sleep Made Simple and I really wish I had invested in a program like this whenever I was a new mom – it would have made such a difference!
Ivy | SAHM, Plus
What are the top mistakes that parents make when trying to get their baby to sleep? Keeping baby awake! I found that if I let baby sleep whenever and for however long they would sleep, they learned to trust their body’s sleepy cues instead of teaching them to fight it. Newborns and infants need a LOT of sleep, so, trying to keep them awake later or missing a nap is actually counter-productive to getting them to sleep longer at night.
Stacey | Milkology
I love using a white noise sound machine to get babies to sleep. If you introduce it as soon as possible after birth and only use it when you’d like them to sleep (at night and during naps) the baby will start to associate the noise with sleep and it’ll help soothe them to lullaby.
A top mistake parents make when trying to get their child to sleep is not introducing a bedtime routine. Keep things consistent before bed so they get used to the idea that it’s time for bed and can wind down.
Do whatever routine you like but we’ve always used the 1. bath 2. book 3. bed method and it works great. (it’s never too early to start reading every night to your baby either!)
Liz | Oops and Daisies
SwaddleMe swaddles. These were a lifesavers with my two little ones! I could never figure out how to swaddle with blankets like they did with my newborns in the hospital. But these swaddles, with Velcro, made it easy to keep them snug and warm. It was like a little cocoon and helped them fall — and stay — asleep. Bonus: as the kids grew and started to learn to roll, I put one arm out, and then two, to transition them out of the swaddle.
Nataly | Lovely Momhood
Establishing a routine and sticking to it is extremely important in getting babies to sleep well.
Even if it doesn’t happen right away, conditioning the baby with the same night routine every single day helps the baby get used to his new sleeping role.
The main mistakes I see parents make, including myself with our first child, is give up when it gets tough. It is frustrating and oftentimes we even feel guilty about establishing a night routine, but it is imperative for a successful night sleep.
Brandi | The Cultured Baby
The #1 tip I recommend to get your baby to sleep is to put them to sleep with a full belly. Once they hit four months old, you can begin adding Gerber single grain rice cereal. I would add 1-2 tablespoons of rice cereal mixed with breast milk (you can surely use formula or water too) and feed it to my baby girl with a syringe or baby spoon. She would sleep four-hour stretches! A long stretch for just a little tyke.
The biggest mistake that parents make when trying to get their baby to sleep is allowing the baby to stay up late. When you let the baby stay up late so she can visit with Dad when he comes home from work or put the baby to bed when you go to sleep, she will be overtired, cranky, and will end up refusing sleep. Don’t wait until the last minute when your baby is showing signs of overtiredness, or it will be no sleep til’ Brooklyn.
Cindy | Living For the Sunshine
Use white noise, but don’t bother with an expensive white noise machine. You can download an app on your phone.
We use an old iPad that’s too slow for much else. It stays in the baby’s room so I don’t have to give up my phone during nap time!
My advice for parents is to try not to look at the clock during night feedings/wake-ups if you can help it. I would stress myself out about how little sleep I was getting.
In reality, I could get by on not very much sleep, but I would convince myself I couldn’t and would have a rotten day because of it.
Ray | Stork Mama
I’d recommend a noise machine for parents. A white noise machine is good but a pink noise machine is better. For young babies it won’t help them to sleep but it will keep them calm as it will be similar to noises they heard in your womb. For older babies, research has shown that it can cause a deeper state of sleep and make your baby less likely to wake due to ‘things that go bump in the night’.
It’s so important to give your baby as much stimulation as possible during the day, preferably outdoors. This allows you to spend quality time with your baby, as well as limiting screen time and exposing your child to daylight. All of these will help your baby develop melatonin which is vital for sleep regulation as they grow.
Liesel | Mommy Labor Nurse
My biggest tip for parents struggling to get baby to sleep, is to put baby down more frequently!
Skin to skin is GREAT in the beginning. However, in those first few weeks, if you can put baby down while he/she is sleeping, instead of snuggle and always hold baby, I’ve seen that those baby transition to sleeping on their own much easier! I think this is one of the biggest mistakes parents make, that someone is holding baby ALL the time during sleep.
Bridget | This Mom Life
Trust your Mom instinct more than the internet. Reading too much about baby sleep suppresses your natural Mom instincts and leaves you thinking that your baby should do X by this age according to the internet.
Your baby isn’t a textbook, don’t expect their sleep to “fit a mold.” Do what works for you and your baby and adjust when needed.
Yasmine | The Gentle Nursery
I am a believer in doing what it takes to help your baby sleep. For this reason, I swear by my yoga ball. I have bounced both my babies to sleep on that yoga ball for bedtime and naps. And don’t worry: eventually, they did learn to sleep on their own.
One of the biggest mistakes we as parents make is to live by a schedule. While it’s important to have a routine, being too rigid can also backfire. For example, if your baby isn’t going down for a nap and you have tried everything — take a break and try again in 15 minutes. It’s more important to respond to your baby’s needs than to try to follow an arbitrary schedule.
Kirsty | Navigating Baby
I would recommend the Floppy Sleep Game by Patti Teel – this is a lullaby track on Itunes which is actually a relaxation game when they become toddlers, but as babies is just very soothing and has been something we have used with all of our four kids.
I think when used every evening it actually just indicates sleep time to them so that as soon as it starts they begin to relax and so it aids a restful sleep and a calm bedtime. I would genuinely give Patti Teel a great big kiss if I ever met her as she has made a real difference to our family and tricky sleepers!
I think the biggest mistake parents make is walking a child around in their stroller or driving them around in a car to get them to go to sleep. This is creating a monster! I know as we did this with our first child and ended up having to walk around for like an hour each evening to get him to sleep and then trying to transfer him to his cot once asleep. He is now 8 and still really struggles to get off to sleep. I think we did that to him as he never really learnt to settle himself and go off to sleep.
Stormy | Pregnant Mama Baby Life
I absolutely loved using my Ergo baby carrier for getting my baby to sleep with nearly NO work. My baby was a terrible sleeper and would only sleep in arms. But once I got the hang of putting my baby in and out of my baby carrier it was life changing!
I could put my baby in awake on my baby, walk around the house doing a few chores and within minutes my baby would be asleep. I could then transfer him to a bed or just leave him while I did what I wanted.
[The top mistake parents make is] stressing over it all. The worst thing I ever did was stress my self silly over baby sleep. I wish I could have just relaxed and realized how fast it would all go by. Try a few different things and do what works for you and your baby!
Becky | Mom Beach
I put a used shirt in my baby’s crib to help him sleep easily. He slept in a bassinet in my room at first, but we moved him to his own room at 3 months. We also rubbed lavender doTerra oil on his feet to help sleep.
Some parents don’t respond when their baby cries during the night, hoping to train their child to sleep on their own. That’s a mistake because you need to always respond to a baby’s cry. They may need a diaper change, are hungry, need comfort or other necessity. A sound machine is recommended because babies have trouble sleeping when it’s super quiet. They need to hear a soothing sound like a heart beat, white noise, waves, lullaby music or other. My baby still sleeps with a heartbeat playing on his sound machine.
Christina | C’MON MAMA
[What product would you recommend to new parents?] The Dohm sound machine all the way. It’s not just a sound machine, it’s a straight up sleep machine. It has worked wonders with both of my children—from newborn on. My son is 4.5 and he still uses it/loves it. If you forget to turn it on at night he lets you know it, ha! It drowns out the background noise and is soothing, but more than anything I think it’s total conditioning—when they hear it come on, they know that means ZZZ.
One of the things I absolutely swear by in terms of getting your baby to sleep and be happy in their room is to not run in there at every noise they make…including cries. I’m not talking about CIO (cry it out), I’m talking about giving your baby the chance to learn how to feel comfortable in his or her environment.
Babies cry. They cry about all sorts of things. Sometimes they cry when they’re trying to go to sleep and sometimes they cry when they wake up. Sometimes they fall straight to sleep then wake up an hour later crying then go back to sleep. They’re letting their emotions out. It’s all so unknown to them. Everything is new and everything is different.
I think it’s important that we let them feel and live their way into things a little bit. My children love their rooms and when they wake up they will stay in their bed/rooms until we go get them. They play happily with their loveys and sing and use their imagination, and I fully attribute that to the fact that when they would talk, cry, or make a little noise, I rode it out before running right in there. So they learned to feel secure in their rooms alone.
Carol-Ann | The NICU Nurse
My number one tip is to start mimicking the womb environment as soon as possible after birth. This is familiar and comforting and can help promote sleep from early on. In particular – keep baby’s sleeping area very dark and use white noise. Baby hears your blood flowing through your body so they aren’t used to total silence!
[The biggest mistakes parents make] Picking up and rocking baby to sleep every time they cry. I’m not necessarily in favor of the full blown cry it out philosophy, but there are other things to try besides picking baby up that won’t encourage baby to need to be rocked to sleep – like patting, rubbing, shushing, giving a pacifier, swaddling a little tighter, etc.
McKayla | Motivation For Mom
One tip I would recommend to new parents about getting their baby to sleep is to not expect more than what’s realistic.
It is not realistic for infants to sleep through the night, and you should try not to get frustrated when your baby wakes in the middle of the night. Your baby can sense your stress, and it will affect them as well. I know that’s easier said than done, but if you can be patient with your baby it will make you so much happier, even if you’re not getting a full night’s sleep!
I believe the biggest mistake parents make when trying to get them to sleep is waking them up to feed them. Your baby will wake up when they are hungry. Unless your doctor specifically says that your baby should be woken to eat throughout the night, you should avoid waking them. Waking them will result in them developing a habit of waking, which is exactly what you are trying to avoid.
Gina | Steps to Self
What product/tip would you recommend to new parents to get their baby to sleep?
A white noise or sound machine. I’m pretty minimalist when it comes to baby gear, but in my opinion this is a must-have. It gives much better quality sleep for baby and helps to drown out noise from a busy household with other kids. You won’t have to tiptoe around scared that every sound will wake the baby you finally got to sleep. I use one at home and don’t travel without one.
What are the top mistakes that parents make when trying to get their baby to sleep?
Thinking their newborn or young baby is going to be on a schedule. Newborns don’t have schedules, and trying to fit them into one will just drive you crazy. Of course follow your doctor’s advice as far as feeding frequency. But other than that, pay attention your baby’s cues, gently guide them, and they’ll establish a pattern over time as they get older. It will be really tough in those early days, but it will get better! Sleep when you can and give your baby what it needs. You’ll need to accept that you can’t control everything and let your baby lead.
Kate | Kate Martin
I definitely recommend new parents watch or read “The Happiest Baby on the Block” and learn about the fourth trimester and the five S’s. The basic premise is that babies are born too early, because they would get too big to come out if they were where they needed to be developmentally.
It teaches you how to calm a newborn by replicating some of the conditions of the womb. I was able to use some of the tips when my daughter was a newborn to help get her to calm down and sleep.
The biggest mistakes parents make is thinking that their baby is supposed to sleep through the night at an early age. Are there some that do? Yes. But so many more will continue to wake up for most of their first year if not more. Sleeping is a learned skill and some babies learn it faster than others, just like some will learn to crawl faster, or some children will learn math faster. And if your baby is breastfed, be aware that breast milk digests quickly – it’s totally normal for your baby to be hungry in the middle of the night!
Deb | The Cavemom
Use white noise (I use a cheap box fan on low, blowing into the corner of the room) and get blackout curtains [to help your baby sleep better]! The room doesn’t have to be pitch black, but everyone (babies included!) sleeps better when is darker.
Using props that you have to wean off of later (rocking to sleep, swing for naps, driving around until they fall asleep in the car) is the #1 mistake I see parents make.
It may work short term, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot for the future. It’s so much easier if you start the way you want it to be six months from now!
Christie | Christie Thomas Writer
In “Happiest Baby on the Block” I learned about the importance of helping babies feel like they’re still in the womb, at least for the first few months. The 5 S’s were critical: Swaddling, Side/Stomach position, Swinging, Shushing, and Sucking. When we combined all 5, the effects were almost like magic. Yes, it was work, but it helped our babies become well-rested, which in turn helped them sleep better.
The top mistake I made was assuming that one method of sleep training would work on all my children. We successfully managed a fairly severe sleep-training method with our eldest, but with the next baby, he never stopped crying. I needed to try something new with him. With the third child, we simply did whatever it took to get him to sleep, including co-sleeping. Once I remembered that goal was sleep rather than a specific method, I was able to love my babies for who they were and finally get the rest we all needed.
Donna | The Upward Blip
I found out that my babies slept better when their bedtime routine was met. I made sure to give them a bath and read them a bedtime story before they go to bed. Nature sounds should also be playing in the background every time. It has been working wonders for us up to now. Babies love routine.
Not establishing a bedtime routine is a top mistake parents make. As soon as you take your baby home, it is a must to establish such routine to help your baby be comfortable as soon as possible.
Toni | Becoming Schultz
Dream feeding is my number one parenting tip for breastfeeding moms. It will not only help your baby, but it will help you get a longer stretch of sleep.
A top mistake that parents make when trying to get their baby to sleep, is looking too much at books and “norms” not all babies are going to sleep the same amount. Some babies sleep a ton and some babies don’t. If you and baby are struggling take a step back give you and your baby some grace and try again in a little while.
Sheree | Darling Steps
I’d recommend every new mom have a Nose Frida in their arsenal. Never heard of it? It’s a fancy tubey device (don’t worry it’s pain free) that you plop right in tip of your babies nose to suck all the boogers out! (It’s clean too, I promise) This is my best recommendation for mamas preparing to get their kiddos to sleep.
One of top mistakes I see moms make is skipping over the basics. Seriously. You’d be surprised. Know you’re not alone. Make sure your little one is congestion-free & they’re one step closer to a sound sleep.
Sarah | Garden Full of Dreams
One of the biggest mistakes I made as a new mother was to try to sleep train my baby too early. I have 4 kids now and it took a failed attempt at this with my first for me to start figuring it out.
My two favorite resources are Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Weisbluth. It’s full of encouraging advice and sleep prescriptions for various baby ages and parenting styles. I liked that it isn’t judgey of parents who want to sleep train or of parents who want to do the attachment parenting thing.
I started sleep training after my babies were old enough (usually between 3-5 months) + fat enough. I knew it was time when they started having a longer stretch of sleep at night (4 hrs) followed by waking up every hour to nurse for 30 seconds in the second half of the night.
When I sleep trained, I used the book by Dr. Ferber and it was wonderful. I liked his step by step method on how to sleep train and contrary to what everyone says, it isn’t just letting your child cry it out. You control how much crying goes on. It worked pretty quickly and my kids started sleeping through that second half of the night much better. They also naturally adjusted their intake during the day to make up for any loss they had from the night time. It took several days for this to kick in.
Getting them to sleep through that second half of the night helped them be more well rested and less cranky. As a mom, it helped me to have more energy in the evenings when most babies are going through their cranky times.
I think you can find a balance. Perhaps you don’t want to cut out the midnight feeding but those frequent wakings between 12am and 6am are a great reason to sleep train without guilt.
Nina | Mama of Five
The best tip from me to get your baby into good sleeping habits is to put them into place from day 1. Try and get your child self soothing and to settle themselves. This means that if the baby does wake in the night they are able to put themselves straight back to sleep without the need for mom.
The mistake I made with my firstborn was rocking him to sleep and when that stopped working taking him for long drives in the car. I learnt from this and went on to teach my subsequent 4 children good sleeping habits, which I instilled from the day we come home from the hospital.
Learning how to get your baby to sleep can be a long, gruelling process, but once you find a routine that works for you and your baby and you start sticking to it, along with using a white noise machine, blackout curtains, and various other items mentioned in the post, you and your baby will both be well on your way to better sleep.
And that wraps up our giant post of 36 different mom’s experiences and tips with baby sleep.
What about you – do you have some baby sleep tips to share? What was your favorite baby sleep tip found in this post? Which tips have you tried that didn’t work for your baby? Which tips are new to you that you’re excited to give a try? I’d love to hear from you!