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{Feature Friday} Tips to get your baby to sleep through the night

May 1, 2020

Hi there! Thanks for stopping by my Newborn Photography Blog. Below is a blog post about tips to get your baby to sleep through the night. While I have you here, you should stop by the rest of my page to check out all that I have to offer. You’ll find session reveals, tutorials, special offers and more!

One of the most asked questions I get from mom & dads during their session is “how to get their baby to sleep through the night”. I don’t blame them. Being a mom of 3, I remember those first days all too well. The lack of sleep, the long nights, exhausting days. They are well worth it, but we all want to know when it ends. I am by no means a professional, but after photographing hundreds of babies & raising 3 of my own here are my personal tips  to get your newborn to sleep through the night sooner rather than later. This will not happen overnight, it may still take months, but each week it will get easier.

tips to get your newborn to sleep through the night from newborn photographer & mom of 3 Elizabeth Frederick Photography

 

Start with Bedtime. Since your goal it to get more sleep at night the schedule starts with bedtime. Pick a time of day that will be best for your family life. For me, we chose 8:30. By the time my husband got home from work it allowed some time for him to play before bed. It also allowed some adult time for me too. Maybe 9PM is better for your family, or even 7PM. That’s only something you can decide.

Set a routine. Now that we have a time, set the routine. Every single night start your bedtime routine at the same time, approximately 30-45 minutes before bedtime. You could start with a bath, some lotion with a nice massage, dry diaper, then swaddle your little one before giving a bedtime bottle/nurse.

Swaddle your baby. I highly recommend swaddling newborn babies. I hear a lot of parents say “well my baby doesn’t like the swaddle” but I have yet to meet a baby that does not actually like to be swaddled. They have spent 9 months cooped up in mom’s belly. I can assure you that they love the swaddle. They do like to fight the swaddle for a moment or 2 when you are putting them into it, but a nice snug swaddle will stop them from moving too much, stop them from startling awake, keep them warm & keep the feeling comfortable like their “home” they once loved. That being said, only swaddle at night. During the day light hours, let them be free to help identify daytime hours and night time hours.

Day vs. Night. During the day keep things loud, bright and do all the interacting then. & just the opposite at night keep things dark, quiet and limit the interactions. During the night hours, I would use a nightlight to do diaper changes and feedings. Not only did this help baby go back to sleep, it also helped me go back to sleep quicker. Don’t pick up the phone to play either because this will activate your brain & keep you from going back to sleep quicker. Fight the urges to kiss your baby too much & play for the same reason you don’t want to play with your phone, this will tell them its time to sleep and not play. During the day, do all the cleaning, run the vacuum, play,, snuggle, keep things louder than you would at night. All of these help them distinguish day vs. night.

White noise. This is such a key. It’s great for all ages. It helps you to be able to move around the house without having to tip toe around, but also a soothing environment for your baby to sleep in. Only use this at night, or nap time, to again help distinguish between day & night. Here is a cute white noise machine you can add to your nursery: Moonlight Baby Soother

As you take these recommended tips, you will notice your baby sleeping more during the night and extending feedings, but they will make up for it during the daytime hours. Every baby is different, so it may take others longer to adjust than others, but you will slowly see them sleeping more at night & awake more during the day hours. The rest of the schedule will all fall into place as they distinguish day & night.

Have other tips you want to add to this? Add a comment below! I’d love to hear what has worked for you!

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