The first 3 months of bringing a baby into the world are some of the most exciting and exhausting. To ease the transition for life outside of the womb we’re here to give you the support you need when it comes to newborn sleep!
You can survive the 4th trimester!
These helpful newborn sleep tips are broken down week by week to get you through this season. Infants change and grow so much and you need tips that change with them. When you hit the 12-week mark you’ll be able to look back and see how much your newborn grew!
You’ll also be able to look back and see how your newborn’s sleep patterns have changed.
Until then take things one week at a time so you can focus on using the right newborn sleep tips at the right time when your baby needs them!
1st Month Newborn Sleep Tips
What Your Newborn Is Up To: When it comes to the first few weeks of life everything is about figuring things out. Both parents and newborns are in the introductory stage…like the getting to know you stage.
For your newborn, he or she is adjusting to life on the outside. Everything is new! Sounds, light, dark, feeding, touch, mom and dad or siblings… it’s a brand new world. Your newborn is still developing too. Things like figuring how to latch or feed are new. Newborn eyesight isn’t fully developed. Stretching their bodies out and moving arms and legs is a new sensation.
For parents, things are new too! You’re probably getting familiar with your newborn’s cues, like which pacifier works? What swaddle blanket does the baby prefer? What do your baby’s different sounds mean? How many diaper changes are needed and how should feedings be spaced out.
So where does sleep come into play? Here are newborn sleep tips to help you during this stage.
Week 1: Bond
This first week of life is a big bonding moment between you and your new baby! The number one newborn sleep tip is to bond as much as possible.
What does that mean? Soak in the baby snuggles. Get some skin-to-skin time in. Hold your baby and enjoy the moment.
Week 2: Create A 4th Trimester Environment
The first 12 weeks in a newborn’s life is often referred to as the 4th trimester. That is doing things to help replicate life in the womb for your baby. It can be a shock to the system to be out in the world. Help your baby adjust by giving them a 4th-trimester environment!
Creating a 4th-trimester setting for your newborn will also help your baby sleep as it a very soothing environment.
What does it look like? Swaddle your baby to keep their limbs feeling cozy. Offer things to suck on like a pacifier. Use white noise when putting baby down to sleep like radio static or a white noise app on your phone. Rock baby to help your newborn fall asleep.
Week 3: Show Your Newborn The Difference Between Night And Day
Newborns don’t know the difference between night and day when they are born. That’s one of the reasons why they are up and down at all hours. To acclimate their body clocks to the rhythms of your day introduce your newborn to the concept of night and day.
This important newborn sleep tip will help them set their internal clocks to be awake more during the day and sleep for longer stretches at night eventually.
To do this create a stark contrast to day and night in your home.
During the day keep lighting and noise at a normal level. Where ever baby naps keep the room from being pitch black. Play music in the background. Do most of your activities during the day.
At night soften the environment. Turn down the lights and the volume. Slow down the pace of life. When putting baby down at night draw the shades closed and make the room dark.
Over time your newborn will adjust and with it adjust their awake and sleep hours.
Week 4: Look For Sleep Cues
Your cruising into having a 1-month-old! By now you might be feeling a bit more adjusted, recovered, and bonded to your infant.
Newborn sleep might be sporadic but now that you know your baby better, start looking for sleep cues. Take notice of the things your baby does to show that they are tired. Do they cry a certain way? Get fussy and then ratchet up the noise? Get extra snuggly or rub their eyes?
This newborn sleep tip will help you recognize when you’re baby is telling you they want to sleep and will help you put them down with success!
Many times an over-tired infant is hard to get to sleep. However, when you see they are ready to sleep and you take action you will get better results!
2nd Month Newborn Sleep Tips
What Your Newborn Is Up To: You made it through the first 4 weeks! Your baby is growing and adjusting. At this point, they are waking up to the world around them. You may have caught a glimpse of a first smile. Their vision is increasing and you get more eye contact. Babies show more reactions to stimuli like music or sounds. So what are the newborn sleep tips to follow for this month? Check it out!
Week 5: Tryout A Mini Routine
Eventually, you and your baby will be able to follow a consistent routine. For now, it doesn’t hurt to introduce your baby to a mini routine with the understanding that it can change from day-to-day.
How do you follow a mini routine with an unpredictable schedule? Keeping it short and sweet!
For example, pick one daily activity like a diaper change, and follow the same steps when performing that task.
These mini routines will help your baby catch on quicker when they are a bit older and you work on establishing things like a daily schedule or bedtime routine.
Week 6: Review Newborn’s Sleep Schedule
At a month and a half, your baby may have developed new patterns. Do you notice any changes? Perhaps you’re transitioning into a more consistent feeding schedule. Maybe you notice your newborn is more awake and alert in the morning.
Now is the time to review your newborn’s sleep pattern and schedule. Do you find them getting tired at the same time at different points in the day? This could clue you into making that time a naptime.
Are they getting drowsy after dinner at the same time? That’s cue to make it bedtime. Do they get up to eat at the same time? That can clue you in when you should get some shut-eye before getting up in the night.
Following this newborn sleep tip will help you get into the habit of noticing when your baby is getting sleepy and is ready to be put down with ease.
Week 7: Stay Flexible
This newborn sleep tip is always important no matter the age of your baby, but serves as a good reminder to be flexible!
Your baby might be on a good stretch of regular nap times or waking up times which is great! But then a growth spurt, illness, or travel plans throws a wrench into your newborn’s sleep pattern.
Enjoy the moments when you have consistency and be flexible when things change. That might involve readjusting bedtime or feeding times. It might mean taking a few days to get back on track.
Newborns are constantly evolving and with it their habits. Staying flexible lessens the stress for you.
Week 8: Address Bumps In The Road
Inching closer to 2 months and you may have experienced a few glorious nights of good sleep or restful afternoons of naps.
Just when you’re feeling caught up on sleep yourself you might experience times when your baby is sleeping more like a 1 week old.
Things pop up in a newborn’s life for a variety of reasons. You might have a week of cluster feeding. Your baby might have digestive issues and get painful gas. You might experience colic with your newborn.
These situations put a halt on working towards regular sleep schedules or may put a damper on sleep altogether.
It may be easier said than done, but don’t sweat it if you’re not getting in your 10 am nap every day for the time being. Focus on taking care of your baby and figuring out what they need.
The good thing about newborns is that they are always changing and evolving and that means difficult phases don’t last forever. Whatever bumps come your way things will smooth out.
3rd Month Newborn Sleep Tips
What Your Newborn Is Up To: Does time seem like it’s flying by yet it feels like your newborn has been a part of your family for a long time?
That’s the life of raising a baby!
So what things are in-store as your infant heads into 3 months?
You probably are beginning to hear more baby coos and see baby smiles. At this stage, babies tend to start interacting with you more. They take more interest in their toys and other stimuli. Their bodies are growing stronger and holding up their heads more. Perfect time to work on tummy time!
And sleep. There’s emerging predictability with newborns at this stage. This means you can begin to work on routines and developing healthy newborn sleep habits!
Week 9: Start A Bed-Time Routine
By now hopefully, your baby has learned the difference between night and day. This is the perfect time to start working on a bedtime routine.
What this means is that you put your baby down at the same time every night. To get started look for tired cues from your baby so you know what the right time is for him or her. Some babies are ready for bed at 7 pm others 8:30 pm. It’s important to note you will want to start the routine before your baby gets tired so they are ready to fall asleep when they are tired.
When you establish the right time then create a routine that works for you and your baby. It can include bath-time, diaper change, singing some lullabies, feeding, rocking, and laying baby down to sleep.
Follow the same order each night and soon enough your baby will catch on that it’s bedtime. The idea here is not to do formal sleep training. It’s natural for your newborn to still wake up in the night. Putting them to bed at the same time each night helps build a foundation for healthy sleep habits as they grow.
If bed-time still varies for your newborn, that’s okay, just stay consistent with the routine whenever you put your baby down.
Week 10: Create A Day-time Routine
To go with a nighttime routine it makes sense to start making a day-time routine with your newborn. As your baby becomes a bit more predictable you can put some semblance to your day.
What should you include in a more robust routine with a baby? Things like wake-up at the same time. Scheduled meal times. Naptimes. Awake times for play and outings.
Because days may vary still, like your baby may sleep every morning at 10 am, but for some reason skips a morning nap, it’s best to schedule your day into time frames.
So if you’re baby wakes up sometime between 7:00-7:30 allow 30 minutes for that. If your newborn is hungry to eat sometime between 8-9 allow time for that. This allows you flexibility but still lets you keep to the same flow each day.
Week 11: Transition To The Crib
If you’re using a bassinet or some type of crib made for the newest baby you may have noticed it’s getting a little bit smaller. That’s because your newborn is growing!
Most bassinets are safe for 3 months or younger. As you get closer to 12 weeks it’s good to consider transitioning your baby to the crib.
To start make sure your standard crib is set up properly and that the mattress is at the correct height. You don’t need any bells or whistles like blankets, pillows or bumpers to keep your baby comfortable. Safety is essential and anything like that is not safe for a sleeping baby.
Some babies do just fine getting placed in the crib. Other newborns might need help with the transition. In that case, start small. Use naptimes to get your baby used to their new sleep space and gradually add in additional naps or bed-time. As always follow the same nap-time and bedtime routine and always lay your baby on their back.
Week 12: Move Beyond The 4th Trimester
3 months! A quarter of a year! Can you believe it?
You might have noticed the 4th-trimester essentials aren’t needed as much now that your newborn is 3 months old. It’s okay to let these things go if your baby isn’t needing them anymore.
Breaking out of the swaddle blanket? Your baby is starting to stretch out its limbs more! Sleepsacks or sleepers are a perfect replacement as it keeps your baby comfortable while they slumber.
Spitting out the pacifier? If it’s no longer needed to help with soothing let it go! You won’t have to battle weaning your baby from the paci when they get older.
Any other 4th-trimester newborn sleep habits that don’t seem necessary is okay to stop because your baby is growing.
Each week brings something different with your newborn. Parenthood is all about changing and adapting along with your baby. Try out these top 12 newborn sleep tips to get you through the first 3 months.