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How to Get Newborn Babies to Sleep at Night

author image Kelly Morris
Kelly Morris has been making a living as a writer since 2004. She attended the College of Mount St. Joseph with a major in social work and minor in women's studies. Her work has appeared in a number of print publications including Caregivers Home Companion, Midwifery Today and Guide.
How to Get Newborn Babies to Sleep at Night
A newborn baby is sleeping. Photo Credit: Design Pics/Design Pics/Getty Images

Newborns sleep up to 16 hours a day, according to KidsHealth, but it doesn’t always feel like that to new moms and dads when they are up feeding, changing, rocking and walking the floor with a baby in the middle of the night. You can’t get your newborn to sleep all night because newborns need to eat every three or four hours. Very small or premature babies may need to eat even more often. You can, however, help your newborn settle down and go to sleep for a while at night so you can get a little rest, too.

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Step 1

Dim the lights in preparation for putting your baby to bed at night.

Step 2

Make sure the temperature in the room where your baby sleeps is comfortable. Feeling too warm or too cool can cause difficulty sleeping.

Step 3

Make sure your baby has a clean diaper and has eaten before putting her to bed.

Step 4

Talk softly to your baby when putting him to bed. When your baby wakes up to eat during the night, talk very little and don’t play with him, as talking and playing encourage him to wake up. Keeping quiet helps him understand that nighttime is for sleeping.

Step 5

Put your newborn to bed in your room but not in your bed. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against sleeping with your infant for safety reasons.

Step 6

Put your baby to bed on her back to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.

Step 7

Offer your baby a pacifier.

Step 8

Play some soft music to help your baby drift off to sleep.

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