How to sleep train a newborn – or can you even sleep train a newborn? – is a common question, let’s dive in to the answers.
This is a huge question and up for a lot of debate on the interwebs. Let’s get into exactly what is possible and what isn’t with a newborn and how to make sure they’re sleeping as much as possible.
How Do You Sleep Train A Newborn?
Sleep training a newborn consists of learning how to settle a newborn into naps and night sleep, helping them learn to sleep in their own sleep space, ensuring they can transition from active to passive sleep cycles, and making sure they don’t get overstimulated and overtired which will prevent them from sleeping well.
If you get a handle on these things, your newborn will take good naps, and sleep longer and longer stretches at night until they eventually eliminate night feeds.
“Sleep training” is a more formal intervention you can do at around 16 weeks of age, when baby’s sleep cycles and circadian rhythms are more mature. So technically you don’t “sleep train” a newborn so much as ensure, through routine, settling, and proper feeding (no small snacks!)
Tried-and-true *hands on* newborn settling strategies that even the most fussy (or wide-awake-sleep-refusing) newborns cannot resist!Learn More
So, how do you help a newborn sleep well?
There are a few things you can do to make sure your newborn sleeps well. I cover them all in detail here in my newborn sleep schedule post, but this list will be a quick start.
- Respect the wake windows of your baby by their age, making sure they go down for a nap before they get over tired
- Don’t let baby snack which will meant they are too hungry to sleep well and then too tired to feed well and it’s a never ending overtired cycle
- Figure out how to settle baby well so they get to sleep in time, and you can use this strategy to get them back to sleep after short naps
- Don’t let baby take super long daytime naps which will mean they have super long awake time periods at night
Here’s a handy dandy list of 28 things to try so baby will stop fighting sleep and sleep longer and later.