Help’s on the way! How to get a baby to sleep

Getting a baby to sleep isn’t always easy. Here are 7 tips from parents on how to get a baby to sleep and sleep well.

"Clean diaper, full tummy, low lighting, cool but not too cold in the room, and plenty of closeness and cuddles all day long."
Photo: Johnér

Sleep is a hot topic of discussion for parents of babies and toddlers. Lack of sleep tends to be an inescapable part of your child’s first year, and tips on how to get baby to sleep and sleep well are always welcome.

We asked parents on Facebook to give us their top baby sleep tips and we’ve put together a list.

How to get a baby to sleep – 7 tips from parents

  1. Always stick to the same cozy bedtime routine, like a bath, pajamas, bottle, and bedtime song or story, followed by a kiss and a “Goodnight”!
  2. Check off the following before your baby’s bedtime: clean diaper, full tummy, low lighting, cool but not too cold in the room, and plenty of closeness and cuddles all day long.
  3. Some babies like a pacifier. If your baby uses a pacifier, keep several spare ones close to their cradle or crib so you don’t need to look in/under it when they wake up at night and cry because their pacifier is gone. Once your child is a bit older and can put a pacifier in their own mouth, put several spares in their bed so they can easily find one in the night themselves.
  4. Some babies like to fall asleep to special sounds. This could be anything from soothing music to whale songs or the sound of the dishwasher (perhaps because they’ve got used to being surrounded by noises in the womb?). A favorite lullaby can become part of their baby sleep routine. Tips for lullabies
  5. Gentle rocking will often help a very young baby to fall asleep. So, a cradle is a good place for a newborn baby to sleep. If you have a rocking chair or a Pilates ball, you can sit in or on it and rock to help your baby settle down and feel drowsy. Carrying your baby in a baby carrier or gently rocking them for a while in a bouncer are other good ways to calm most babies.
  6. When you put baby to sleep, make sure they’re not overtired or too wide awake. Wind down with soothing activities and low lighting for the last hour or two before bedtime so your baby is sleepy enough when it’s time to sleep.
  7. If you’ve rocked your baby in your arms until they’re drowsy, put them in their crib or cradle before they’ve fallen asleep (if your baby is happy about this, of course). This can help your baby to fall asleep on their own.

A midwife explains: Facts about newborn babies & sleep