The Best Sleeping Tips for Babies, According to Real Moms
There is nothing quite like the sleep deprivation that is motherhood. Teaching a newborn baby how to sleep is probably one of the toughest yet most rewarding things I've ever done, but after the first few months of sleepless nights, I was beyond exhausted—physically and emotionally drained. Thankfully my wise younger sister introduced me to the Tizzie Hall sleep routine, which saved my life. The old adage "it takes a village to raise a child" still rings true today, and I'm so thankful for my family and the supportive network I had around me; it's crucial to surviving that first year as a new mom. There's something so special about sharing your experiences, tips, and tricks with fellow moms. So in the spirit of sisterhood, we asked you, our wonderful mom readers, via the MyDomaine Instagram what your top tips are for getting a baby to sleep soundly. Scroll down to find out.
When it comes to getting baby to sleep, so many of you said swaddling is key. This distinct style of wrapping your baby in a blanket gives them a sense of security, and a similar feeling to being in the womb. BabyCenter also says swaddling "keeps your baby from being disturbed by her own startle reflex, and it can help her stay warm and toasty for the first few days of life until her internal thermostat kicks in." Here's what you had to say.
@Niche_Interiors: "A tight swaddle and the sleep sheep!"
@PoppyMum: "White noise machine and swaddling!"
@Talktonatasha: "White noise and swaddling have really helped us, in addition to a regular nighttime feeding followed by a bedtime story."
If you're new to this practice, this step-by-step guide will show you how to swaddle a baby.
There's nothing quite like the soothing effect of a mother's voice and warm cuddles to calm a baby down. Just your smell can instantly settle a newborn. Many of you said talking to your baby was a big part of settling them down for sleep time, as well as a warm bath and a bounce.
@LadyMossLoves: "Calm. Cuddles. Comfort."
@PourLaFete: "About an hour before bed, we begin to dim the lights and speak in hush tones. Bath, brush teeth, and books. Tuck in bed and talk about what we'll do the next day."
@Crispix01: "Bath, breastfeed, and co-sleep!"
@Lastingredient: "Bouncing with the baby on a yoga ball."
@Raquelle_Lucero: "After a lavender bath, rocking chair and time with a lullaby."
When your baby grows out of swaddling, the sleep sack is your saviour. This handy little sleeping bag–style suit is genius, and it keeps baby warm all night long. Here's what you had to say, along with some other useful tips.
@LaurenSanders2: "A sleep sack and heating blanket. Put the heating blanket on top of the mattress and turn it on to warm up the crib sheets while you do your bedtime routine. Lift the heating blanket off right before you put the baby down, and then lay them on top of the warm area. Best tip ever from our pediatrician! The transition from your warm arms and chest to cold sheets is very jarring to them, and this prevents that shock to their little body."
If there's one thing I recall being told repeatedly as a new mom, it's "get your baby into a routine." I really didn't understand why until I did, and it really worked. In fact, we still follow a very similar routine today; my son is now 7 years old. Many of you had differing styles of routines and schedules, which you kindly shared. Here's what you said:
@NinaCBowden: "Started a sleep and feeding schedule with my son at one-month-old that kept him fed and well rested. The schedule changed and adapted as he grew. He is 16 months old now and has slept through the night since three months old."
@AnnaFrost: "A regular routine is so important! Our baby girl says "good night" to the important things of the day in our apartment. "Good night fluffy teddy bear. Good night dining table. Good night big colorful picture on the wall in the hall, see you tomorrow!" And so on. Takes us about 5 to 10 minutes and is a beautiful way to signal that it's bedtime."
@JackieONelson: "Routine. Routine. Routine."
@Trish_Aaah: "Routine!!! Bath time with lavender oil, brush teeth, to pee pee, sing a song, and zzzz."
@Rebecca.Pritchard: "Routine. Bath. Sing. Warm a blanket in a dryer."
@MissTia8: "Having a routine! For our five-month-old daughter, it's a bath, reading Goodnight Moon, swaddle, rocking chair, then bed. We have a white noise rabbit. It turns off after 45 minutes; enough to get her into a deep sleep."
@AmyPike23: "Routine—bath, diaper change with diaper cream (important to protect little bums if they poo in the night), feed, burp, rock or walk with baby in a swaddle for a couple minutes, put baby in a crib even if they are still awake, turn the lights off and leave. Helpful tips are using a swaddle, heated rice packs laying next to the baby (makes them think it is still mom's warm body), lavender in a diffuser, and white noise. Good luck!"
Using white noise has been a popular way of calming babies for some time, and many of you raved about sound conditioners for creating it. These small devices actually create a consistent, soothing sound of rushing air to eliminate external noises. Sounds like something adults will love too. Singing lullabies or humming your own tunes were also very popular with you. Scroll down for a few more suggestions.
@NatalienaPierala: "Sing and/or read to your little one. The benefits are endless and the sound of your voice will soothe them to sleep. All babies love the sound of mama and dada's voice. After they have fallen asleep, hold them for a while. Be in the moment; don't rush to put them down. It's work to get them to sleep so you should at least, enjoy a quiet cuddle for a bit."
@C_Stansbury: "A warm bath, full belly, a favorite story, special song, and lastly the sound of soft waves as ambient noise. I'm starting to feel sleepy just talking about it!"
@ClaraPaye: "1. Sound machine. 2. Black out curtains. 3. Consistency. The same ritual every night."
Sometimes you've just tried everything, and nothing seems to work; that's when you bring in the professionals. Aside from booking into sleep experts, there are great online communities, apps, and books you can consult too. Scroll down for some of your suggestions.
Do you have any special tips for putting your baby to sleep? Please share them with us below.