Becoming a new parent and the realisation that you’re now responsible for a new life can be as nerve-wracking as it is exciting.
As new parents, we tend to worry that we might not be doing the right thing and when our baby isn’t sleeping, we wonder why.
“Help my baby won’t sleep” has to be the most frequently asked question at most mums’ groups meet ups.
The sleep exhaustion that new parents struggle with is real. Real and hard. Of course, lack of sleep is a reality for many new parents. But when you’re in the thick of things and the sleepless nights (and sometimes days!) have built up, it’s easy to wonder if this is a phase that will ever pass.
Babies are all different, we know this. Yet we can still often compare our children’s milestones to others’. If your friend’s babies are sleeping through the night and yours is still up every hour, you can often question if you’re doing something wrong. Asking yourself “why won’t my baby sleep?”.
But our babies learn new skills and pass through some stages at varying paces.
That said, there are a few baby sleep hacks you might like to try to help them get comfortable. If “my baby doesn’t sleep” is something you’ve been concerned about, we hope these simple ideas help.
5 Baby Sleep Tips
1. Set yourself up for success
In the early weeks of parenthood, you’ll start to notice some changes in your baby when they’re hungry or tired. Let’s be real, sometimes newborns cry or fuss a little for no apparent reason but often, their little signals can alert us of what they really want.
A predictable sleep schedule, even from day one of bringing your baby home, will give you and your baby consistency at sleep times. You might start to see some patterns in when your baby likes to nap during the day and when they settle for a longer stretch at night.
A bedtime routine, involving a bath, changing into bedtime clothing, low lighting, lullabies or white noise might help calm them at bedtime and lull them into sleep.
Over time, your baby will start to associate these cues with bedtime coming next and you’ll see them start to relax earlier in the process.
It’s important to give a routine a chance to work so don’t expect results overnight. Keep up the consistency with your new schedule.
2. Soothing sounds and objects
New babies are used to the noisy environment of your womb and so trying to sleep in total silence might not suit them.
Lullabies from a cot mobile or white noise can be soothing and reassuring sounds for them. Plus, turning them on can help to signal to your baby that it’s now sleep time and they’ll hopefully start to associate that sound or song with snoozing.
Babies are also born with the ability to self-soothe through sucking and a soother dummy might help your little one to feel comfortable enough to drift off to sleep.
Our newborn dummies are both comfortable and lightweight with a natural nipple shape that new babies love. They’re shaped in a curve to fit baby’s face and are fully flexible with no hard inner guard. They’re also the preferred dummy for 0-3 month olds, made from 100% medical grade silicone and used in hospitals around Australia.
If you’re considering a soother for baby, check out our full range of comforting newborn dummies.
If you’re breastfeeding your baby, we recommend waiting until a feeding routine is well established first before introducing a soother.
3. Snug swaddling
In the comfort of their mother’s womb, babies are snug and secure. Swaddling can help to recreate the same soothing effect.
New babies can be swaddled until the point they’re able to roll over by themselves and the process of wrapping them in a swaddle at bedtime is another signal to them that it’s time to be calm, still and get their sleep on!
As they grow, the time will come for their arms to be free at bedtime. That doesn’t mean you need to say goodbye to the benefits of swaddling just yet. The Sleepy Hugs suit could be a good option at this stage as it is designed to be a more relaxed, loose fitting swaddle. They’re effective in helping your baby to adjust to having their arms free as they sleep.
Sleepy Hugs swaddles are all about the arm span and allowing your baby to have freedom of movement. At the same time, they’ll still have the security and snug fit that they have been used to.
The result? More freedom for your baby to move but also a comfortable and cosy sleep ahead. Isn’t this something we want for our babies and for ourselves!
4. A cosy companion
These beautiful dolls imitate the closeness of a baby’s caregiver with real-life sounds of breathing and heart beats. This helps to comfort your baby and could improve their sleep, wellbeing and safety.
Lulla Dolls comes in three colours and have soft and durable fabric. They’re machine washable and the perfect sleeping companion for preemies, babies and toddlers.
5. Set the scene
Finally, check out your baby’s sleep time surroundings to ensure it’s an environment that is safe and comforting.
If the room is too light, you can consider adding a blackout blind. This will help to minimise distractions as well as more clearly showing your baby that it’s nighttime, and therefore, sleep time.
As mentioned, babies are used to a less than quiet womb, but over time you’ll start to understand if a quiet room or some soothing sounds help lull them to sleep.
Experiment with white noise and musical mobiles and ensure the room where they are sleeping is as clean and clutter-free as possible to create a serene space for them to relax.
And hopefully, to sleep!