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Sleep Tips for Young Babies

Sleep tips for young babies

Sleep is a very emotional topic for parents, especially those with newborn babies who may be struggling with frequent night-time wakings and wondering when their baby will sleep all night. Just remember you’re not alone and every baby is different, so you’ll find the way that works for you eventually. These top sleep tips for young babies are designed to help. 

Create a dark environment

Babies won’t automatically sleep because it’s night time. But you can help to teach them the difference between day and night by taking them outside in the fresh air and light during the day, then making sure their environment is dark in the evening.

Our Gro Anywhere blind helps you to create a dark and snoozy atmosphere to help your baby get to sleep anywhere. 

Establish a short, simple bedtime routine

Help your baby to feel like it’s time for sleep by adopting a winding down bedtime routine every night. Babies may not understand what you’re doing, but gradually a simple routine will encourage them to sleep.

  • Take your baby away from the rest of the family for some quiet time. About an hour before bedtime, give them chance to calm down from all the excitement and adventures of the day.
  • Dim the lights in the nursery or baby’s bedroom.
  • Encourage your baby to relax with a warm, soothing bath. Don’t indulge in too much playtime and splashing about before bed.
  • Once out of the bath, take your little one straight into their darkened nursery and dress them in night clothes.
  • Give your baby their last feed before bedtime.
  • Place your little one in their cot while they’re still awake.
  • Use a favourite phrase such as “Night, night, sleep tight,” to signal that you’re about to leave the room.

Check out our nursery products designed to help your little one get a good night’s sleep

Don’t wait until they’re asleep to put them down

Try to put your baby in their cot or sleeping basket when they’re still awake. This will help them get used to getting themselves to sleep, so they’re more likely to do it again when they wake during the night.

If your baby always falls asleep while eating or in your arms, they may start to expect that this is how they go to sleep and when your baby briefly wakes during the night, they may not be able to go back to sleep on their own. 

If your baby falls asleep during their last milk feed, rouse them gently before putting them in their cot.

After the newborn period, most experts recommend allowing your baby to become sleepy in your arms, then placing them in their cot or sleeping basket while still awake. This way your baby learns how to go to sleep on their own. 

Playing soft music or sounds like white noise while your baby is getting sleepy can also be a good way to help create a bedtime routine.

Our cute and cuddly nursery pals listen out for baby’s cries and play soothing sounds and lullabies to help comfort baby through the night.

Create a place that your baby associates with sleep

Having a quiet, dark place like the nursery where baby won’t be disturbed can help baby to understand that it’s time for sleep. Putting your baby down for naps and night time sleep in their cot in a cool, darkened room will help them feel secure as they drift off to sleep.

Having a daytime routine can help too. Don’t worry, we know not every day can be the same, but having naps at similar times and making sure your baby doesn’t become overtired at night can help them get into a good sleeping pattern.

Safe sleep

Always ensure that your baby can sleep safely. 

  • Place your baby on their back when you put them down to sleep. 
  • The safest place for baby to sleep for the first six months is in a separate cot or sleeping basket in the same room as you. 
  • The ideal room temperature for baby sleeping is between 16-20 C. Use a thermometer such as a Groegg or Room and Bath Thermometer to measure the temperature of the rooms where your baby sleeps.
  • Alter the room temperature or add or remove layers of bedding and baby’s clothing as needed to regulate your baby’s temperature.
  • Pay special attention to the room temperature if your baby is unwell. 
  • Always keep your baby in a well-ventilated and smoke free environment.

To help keep your baby at a safe and comfortable temperature when sleeping you should only use bedding such as a baby sleep bag. Do not use sheets, blankets, quilts, duvets, pillows or other covers until your child is 12 months old as they can cause overheating.

How do I check if my baby is too hot or too cold when they’re sleeping?

Feel your baby’s tummy or the back of their neck. If your baby’s skin is hot or sweaty, remove one or more layers of their clothing.

Your baby’s hands and feet will usually feel cooler than the rest of their body. This is normal.

How long should a newborn sleep?

Most newborn babies are asleep more than they are awake. Throughout the day a newborn baby can sleep for 8 hours and up to 16 or 18 hours, with little naps and longer sleeps. 

Newborn babies will wake during the night because they need to be fed. Their little tummies are still developing, so they feel hungry more often than grown ups. 

Your baby may also wake because they are too hot or too cold. Babies, especially newborns find it hard to regulate their temperature, so it’s important that you check the room temperature and dress them appropriately at bed time.

Newborn babies may like the feeling of being swaddled as it mimics the closeness of the womb and can supress the startle reflex which causes them to wake. 

Check out our guide to swaddling safely and how it can help you and your newborn enjoy a longer night’s sleep. 

Sleep for a 3 to 6 month old baby

As your baby grows, they'll need fewer night feeds and will be able to sleep for longer. Some babies will sleep for 8 hours or longer at night, (lucky you) but not all. By the time your baby is 4 months old they will typically spend around twice as long sleeping at night as they do during the day.

Sleep at 6 to 12 months

At 6-12 months your baby may not need overnight feeds and some babies will sleep for up to 12 hours at night. But as their teeth start to develop your baby may wake in discomfort during the night.

Sleep for older babies and toddlers

Babies will sleep for around 12 to 15 hours in total after their first birthday with longer night time sleep and day time naps. Most 2 year-olds will sleep for 11 to 12 hours at night, with 1 or 2 naps in the daytime.

This is a great time to introduce healthy sleep habits which can help set your child up for a lifetime of good sleep. 

The Groclock helps children understand when it’s time to sleep and when it’s okay to get up even before they can tell the time. 

The Steppee is ideal for active toddlers who want the comfort and safety of a sleep bag but with the freedom to walk, jump and play.

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