The first few months with a new baby are hard, but hopefully these tricks to getting a good night’s sleep with an infant will help you get through it.
You’re exhausted from the moment you bring home a new baby, but you’ll quickly remind yourself the experience of being a parent is worth every late night. Every 3am feeding or diaper change is just part of the journey, or at least that’s what you tell yourself when you wake up for the sixth time that night. Wouldn’t it be even better if you could practice getting a good night’s sleep with an infant? While every baby is different, we have a few tricks that may help you get more sleep with infant and feel more well rested.
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How to Get More Sleep with an Infant
- Practice a Bedtime Routine: It will be hard at first, and some days it may not feel like it’s working at all, but practicing a bedtime routine is the best way to start getting a good night’s sleep with an infant. Try giving them a bath at the same time every night – even if it’s just a splash of warm water sans soap – to calm them and induce drowsiness.
- White Noise: Using sleep apps or noise machines can be a great way to start inducing sleep. Starting this practice with an infant, you can find smartphone apps with “shushing” sounds, lullabies or soft environmental noises to put them to sleep. As your kids get older, white noise can still be a great way to get them to sleep. It’s worth warning that using white noise to help kids sleep repeatedly can make it a habit, so your older children may still require the noise to fall asleep. Whatever works, right?
- Your Bedtime Feeding: After you put the baby down for bed at night, you might take a break to relax with your partner or catch up on chores before heading to bed yourself. Before you do, consider waking up your baby for a quick nursing session or bottle-feeding. This routine may help your infant wake up less often. After feeding, simply lay them back down while they’re full and still drowsy.
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- Make Bedtime Earlier: Enforcing an earlier bedtime – particularly when your little ones become toddlers – can actually make them sleep longer. You certainly won’t be sleeping until 9am, but they may sleep for a total of ten hours.
- Self-Soothing: It’s incredibly difficult for many parents to follow the controversial “cry it out” method. That said, self-soothing is a necessary step in sleep training an infant. If you really want to get more sleep with an infant, you have to train them to self-sooth in their crib sometimes. Relying on methods like being rocked to sleep or driving them around are a quick fix to induce sleep, but then you’ll have to follow this pattern every single night. As soon as they wake up in their own crib, they’ll want to be soothed back to sleep instead of learning to fall asleep on their own.
- Crib Naps: Generally, you’ll just be happy when your infant falls sleep – no matter where that is. However, some experts recommend infants have at least one nap per day in their own crib (as opposed to a car seat or on your chest). Trying this early in the day can set them up for the rest of the day.
Do these tricks feel like they’d be helpful in getting a good night’s sleep with an infant? We hope so! The first few months with a new baby are very taxing, but trying to maintain a schedule can bring you some sanity. The best you can do is all you can do, mamas!
Do you have any other tricks for getting a good night’s sleep with an infant at home?