Newborn won’t sleep? If you’ve already checked out my newborn sleep schedule and still need more help, you’ve come to the right place. Page contains affiliate links.
When I was pregnant with my firstborn… I’d never even babysat a child. Much less a baby. Much less a newborn that was as small as my forearm and was always hungry. I read what I could, studied what I found, and now – as a mom of 5 – can safely say… getting your newborn to sleep well is totally possible.
I’ll show you how.
28 Things To Try When Your Newborn Won’t Sleep
- Swaddle baby. And read the must know tips for swaddling newborns.
- Put baby to nap or bed earlier. Wearing the out is a Big Fat Myth.
- Pinpoint sleep props. Here are sleep props and what to do about them.
- Feed unswaddled during day. This helps clear up day and night confusion.
- Get quiet for 15 minutes prior to nap or bed. If there are big siblings, remove baby to somewhere quieter. Good wind-down routines here.
- Get a wedge. If baby has gas, hiccups, or reflux get a wedge to put under the crib mattress so the baby can sleep on an incline.
- Make sure baby isn’t too hot. If the baby is too hot he’ll wake up. You can shed a layer, get a summer swaddle, or even a legless swaddle for summertime. Otherwise, adjust the air temp.
- Get blackouts. I never put a baby to bed in a bright room ever. These are bestsellers.
- Hold baby upright for a few minutes. Instead of rocking to sleep (which backfires) or putting in the crib cold turkey, hold baby upright to help him settle.
- Feed swaddled at night. Don’t wake baby up further by swaddling after they’re already fast asleep. Read must know swaddling tips.
- Find the window. Newborns can only stay awake well for about 45 minutes to one hour. From the time you start feeding until you put them down, don’t let more than an hour go by. Read the week by week newborn sleep schedule.
- Drowsy but awake. Put baby in the crib drowsy but still awake. It’s the only way they’ll learn to sleep on their own.
- Get gas drops. If you suspect baby has an upset tummy, get gas drops (these work well) to give baby immediately prior to going down for a nap.
- Confirm baby isn’t cold. Newborns need one more layer than we have, so touch their chest and back (not their extremities which are always cold) to be sure baby isn’t chilled.
- Perfect a wind down routine. Babies absolutely need them and here are a few that work wonders.
- Get a white noise machine or the white noise app. This works well if there are older siblings on the loose.
- Create positive sleep associations. Here’s what sleep associations are and how to do it.
- Open curtains wide during day. If your baby is day night confused, make sure there’s plenty of light during day wake times.
- Stop rocking. If baby only goes to sleep by rocking, stop the rocking. Instead, try singing, holding baby upright, or only rocking until drowsy then putting in the crib while still partially awake.
- Try gripe water. If letdown happens fast and you suspect tummy discomfort, this gripe water is a bestseller and works wonders. Hiccups will often go away immediately.
- Avoid over-stimulation. Keep super stimulating activities to a minimum, and definitely not right before naptime.
- Get a better routine. Here are 25+ printable routines for babies ages 6 weeks to 5 years.
- Use a pacifier. Here’s the best paci on the planet that we’ve used for 5 babies.
- Feed lying down. At night feeding lying down can help baby remain drowsy, feed, then essentially fall right back to sleep.
- Keep all lights off at night. Unless it’s your smartphone you’re looking at to pass the time, keep all lights off. It’ll wake baby up.
- Put baby in crib or bassinet to sleep. If baby only sleeps while you’re wearing her or holding her, get all your cuddles and snuggles in while she’s awake then start transitioning her to her own sleep space. Even if she’s in your room. Here’s a bedside sleeper.
- Burp well. Babies can’t sleep well if they’re in discomfort. One trick I always use is rubbing the bottom left side of baby’s back, where the stomach is located. This often gets a burp immediately.
- Sing quietly. Babies love mommy’s voice. Choose a song you sing every time before bed. It’s a great sleep association.
Coos to Snooze (Baby and Toddler Sleep Course)
From Coos to Snooze is a baby and toddler sleep course that’ll help you teach your baby to sleep well starting tonight. It’s gentle and it’s guaranteed.
How to Sleep Train Twins (Book)
How to Sleep Train Twins is a book written by a friend chock full of practical, down to earth, doable tricks to help teach both of your bundles of joy how to sleep well.
Bringing Home Twins (Free Email Series)
Can’t try them all at once or don’t have time for a good read? Pin this and come back later when you’re rocking a tired baby in the middle of the night.