Once you have a newborn, your life becomes chaotic because you cannot set a schedule with the newborn's care. Their needs are too demanding to the point that parents are clearly unable to set a routine. Newborns need to be fed, changed, and held often until they are at least 2 months old when they can fall into a routine which includes them starting to sleep through the night. And, at that point, they seldom need to be fed in the middle of the night more than once.
However, even though you cannot create a schedule when it comes to caring for a newborn, you can use tips to help them sleep at night. And the sooner they get used to sleeping at night, the quicker they will get their days and nights together. And, they will actually start sleeping through the night. Here are 5 tips on how to get a newborn to sleep:
1. Swaddling - You have to remember that babies have been tucked away in a fetal position in the womb for months. And, the only way they will feel secure in the outside and the unfamiliar world is if they are still feeling tucked away like they were in the womb. This is why babies will only feel secure when they are swaddled in blankets until they are old enough and acclimatized enough for them to sleep without needing any swaddling. And the one sign to look out for when babies get to this point in their development is when they try to undo the blanket that has been wrapped around them. The best blankets to get for swaddling are, of course, swaddling blankets which are available on Amazon and at baby stores.
2. Feeding Before Sleep - Newborns will fall asleep quickly after being fed at night and may stay asleep for a good 4 hours. However, once they reach 6 to 8 weeks of age, you will want to start feeding them an hour before putting them to bed. This way, they will not associate being fed with going to bed. It is not a good idea for them to develop that correlation once they become older and more aware of their surroundings.
3. White Noise - If you think about it, if you have a fan or a white noise machine on for when you go to bed, that helps lull you to sleep. Newborns will also be lulled to sleep with white noise. There are apps and machines that will produce white noise and don't put a fan in the nursery as the chill can be quite uncomfortable to the newborn.
4. Change The Baby's Diaper Before The Middle Of The Night - If you change the newborn's diaper right before putting him or her to bed for the night, then there is a good chance that your baby will not wake up too quickly in the night due to having a full diaper. This is what you call strategic diaper changing. And that means you must change the diaper right before the bedtime even if it is not wet or soiled. A fresh diaper will allow your baby to sleep longer.
5. Put Your Baby Into The Crib Or Bassinet While Awake But Drowsy - A newborn that is wide awake will not sleep, and the trick is to get your newborn drowsy so you can put him or her to sleep. You can rock the newborn back and forth while sitting in a rocking chair or use rocking motions. However, once your baby becomes older and more aware, then you no longer will want to lull your baby to sleep by rocking him or her. Otherwise, the baby will become dependent on rocking before bedtime. But a newborn will not especially before the age of 6 weeks.
With these 5 tips, you will be able to get your newborn to sleep for a few hours in the night. And, eventually, your baby will get the hang of sleeping at night. Once he or she is showing signs of that, then other tips will need to be utilized to help a baby sleep through the night!