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newborn baby sleeping on mothers chest

sweet dreams: tips on how to help your newborn baby fall asleep

2 minutes


Everybody knows that newborn babies aren’t the best sleepers. But only parents truly know what an impact this can take on your everyday life. From struggling to function properly to becoming irritated more easily, sleep deprivation really can take its toll.

‘In the run up to having Pascale, obviously I knew I was going to be shattered, but I’d imagined just dozing around on the sofa yawning lots’ says mum, Angela. ‘What I didn’t realise was how hard it is having this whole new responsibility, while feeling like you’re running on empty. I felt guilty all the time that I was doing everything wrong.’

Tips for helping with sleepless nights

Sleep deprivation can feel isolating, but as much as we’d love to give you The Secret to getting your baby to sleep - there’s no silver bullet. But what we can do is share a few tips that may just help alleviate some of the strain:

Work in shifts with your partner

Agreeing beforehand how you will share the load at night can be a helpful way to avoid any 4am arguments. For instance, depending on how your baby is fed, you may try alternating nights (i.e, one of you ‘does’ the whole night, so the other can sleep through, and then swap.)

Establish a routine

‘I was against any kind of sleep training or fixed routine, as it seemed a bit unnatural,’ says Philippa, mum of two. ‘But when my first son was six months old we were pulling our hair out with tiredness, so I followed a recommended routine of playing, sleeping and feeding, and it did make a difference. He didn’t sleep through instantly but there was an improvement and it was just easier for me to stick to a pattern than constantly wonder whether he was tired, hungry or whatever.’

Keep your baby’s bedroom sleep-ready

Create a dark, relaxing space to try and help your baby sleep. Blackout blinds are invaluable for helping with daytime naps, and look into relaxing sounds to play such as white noise or natural soundscapes. Not only can these help relax both baby and you, but they can ‘signal’ sleep-time, which can be helpful.

The most important thing to do however is hang in there and don’t feel that you are doing anything wrong. All babies (and parents) go through this and it will settle down eventually. And for more advice on the newborn-sleep stage, check out our range of articles such as tips on how to swaddle a baby, plus our guide on how much sleep a baby needs.

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