3 tips for helping your baby sleep

Hey there exhausted new parent! Read on for some simple tips on helping your newborn baby sleep…

Supporting your newborn to get to sleep and stay asleep is one of the most challenging aspects of being a new parent. However, establishing healthy sleep patterns early on can benefit both you and your baby in the long run. This guide offers practical tips and tricks to help your little one sleep soundly, from creating a calming sleep environment to establishing a consistent bedtime routine. Don’t worry though, I’m a firm believer in a gentle approach so you won’t find any recommendations for leaving your new little one to cry, just gentle little tips and tricks to help you both along the journey to a good night’s rest…

My top tips for helping your baby sleep

Understand Normal Newborn Sleep Patterns

Newborns typically sleep for 16-17 hours a day, but they do so in short bursts of 2-4 hours at a time. This means that they will wake up frequently throughout the day and night, and it’s normal for them to have irregular sleep patterns.

This can be a hard adjustment to make when you’re used to a solid 8 hours a night. I remember when my little sleep-thief was born, I thought I had a ‘broken’ baby until I did lots of reading and realised that this was normal! It’s so easy as a new parent to think you’re failing if your baby isn’t ‘sleeping through the night’ so rest assured, your baby is normal and you are doing a wonderful job!

Create a Consistent Sleep Environment

A calm and comfortable sleep environment is great for helping your baby develop healthy sleep. Make sure the room is dark and at a comfortable temperature. Using red light instead of a normal lamp is less stimulating and supports the production of the sleep hormone ‘Melatonin’.

Consider using a white noise machine to drown out any background noise and remind baby of the sound of the womb. If you’ve had a session with me you’ll know I’m a big advocate of white noise, it can work wonders! You might also have seen me use a hot water bottle on my beanbag in the studio. Warming your baby’s sleep surface will reduce the chance of them being started awake by the cold mattress and change in temperature from your warm arms.

Establish a Bedtime Routine or rhythm

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is so helpful for helping your newborn develop healthy sleep habits. I actually love the term ‘rhythm’ over routine, it feels less rigid and more realistic. It’s about creating a familiar and consistent flow when it comes to bedtime (as opposed to a set timeframe of tasks) so that your little one comes to know what to expect at the end of their day.

This routine or rhythm should be calming and predictable, and can include activities such as a warm bath, a story or lullaby, and some quiet time before bed. By following the same rhythm every night, your baby will learn to associate these activities with sleep, and will be more likely to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer.

You’ve got this

It does get easier…

Oh my goodness, parenthood is not easy!

The adjustment to sleep deprivation really has to be one of the hardest parts of becoming a new parent. My son was a serious non-sleeper and I honestly wasn’t sure how I’d cope at points. Some days and weeks are purely about survival and that’s ok!

I hope that by trying some of these simple approaches it’ll help you get through this first phase of newborn sleep…

You’ve got this! Even if some days it doesn’t feel like it.

Rachel x