Ah, sleepless nights with a newborn—they’re unforgettable, aren’t they? I vividly remember the exhaustion that came with the arrival of my daughter, my firstborn. I swore the phrase “sleeping like a baby” must have been coined by someone without kids, because let me tell you, my baby woke up at the drop of a pin!
When my daughter entered the world, it felt like an endless mission to get her to sleep. I tried everything imaginable: late-night drives, calming tunes, swaddling—nothing seemed to do the trick. As a new mom, those months of sleep deprivation hit me harder than I ever anticipated. Despite all the preparing for parenthood I did, I was far from ready for those sleepless nights.
Then came my son, my second born, and I was determined not to relive those sleep-deprived months. I made a few changes from the get-go, and to my amazement, they paid off. Thankfully, he became a fantastic sleeper from early on. So, here are the three tips that saved my sanity and helped me reclaim some precious Zzzs.
1. Start Off with a Consistent Bedtime Routine
I get it – the words “newborns” and “routine” in the same sentence seem like a total oxymoron. I mean, when your baby is calling the shots, how can you possibly set a schedule, right? But trust me, amidst the adorable chaos, carving out a routine is possible and a MUST if you want to ever sleep again.
Start your own pre-bedtime ritual. With my son, I would give him a warm bath, a gentle massage, and a quiet bedtime story. The goal was to make it predictable and calming for him. I also did my best to put him to bed AND wake him up at the same time every day – yes, even on the weekends.
Something to help: I loved this Aveeno Baby Calming Comfort Bath & Lotion Set. Its gentle formula, infused with lavender and vanilla scents, not only nourished my son’s skin but also created a tranquil atmosphere before bedtime.
2. The Environment Needs to Be Calm
Creating a peaceful sleep setup for your baby is key. Think cozy lighting, comfy room temperature, and soothing sounds to block out distractions. You can go all-in with things like soft blankets, cute mobiles for infants, and snuggly toys. For my son, a stuffed animal was a bedtime essential that has stuck around even as he’s grown older.
Unlike us adults who can doze off in various environments, babies need that consistent, calming space to help them fall asleep. So, setting the stage for a serene sleep spot can really make a difference in their sleep routine.
Something to help: The Hatch Rest Baby Sound Machine is a sleep superhero! This wasn’t around when I had my babies, but I have hear amazing things from my mommy friends. It has soothing sounds & a soft nightlight that will turn your baby’s room into a cozy sleep haven. The gentle melodies and white noise help block out any outside disruptions and the app is supposed to be super easy to control.
3. Keep Them Exposed to Natural Light
Encouraging your baby to spend time in natural light can significantly improve their sleep routine. Our bodies follow a natural clock known as the circadian rhythm, which helps regulate our sleepiness and wakefulness by responding to changes in light. To support this, I made it a habit to keep my baby active during the day—whether through outdoor playtime, spending time near windows, or welcoming sunlight indoors.
As the evening approached, I adjusted the lighting in our surroundings. Dimming the lights sends a signal to your baby’s body that bedtime is nearing. This step is crucial in preparing for a smoother transition to sleep. Avoiding bright screens and creating a calm, dimly lit environment helped maintain the rhythm and prepare my baby for a restful night.
Something to help: These dimmable LED night lights offered just enough light for late-night check-ins without disturbing sleep.
Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to baby sleep, but these small adjustments can definitely help pave the way for better rest. As you navigate the unpredictable journey of parenthood, finding what works best for you and your little one is key.
How have you found success in helping your little one get a good night’s sleep? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments or join my motherhood Facebook group, where you can connect with other moms, share insights, and support each other through this incredible journey of parenthood!