Ways to Get Your Baby to Sleep and Stay Asleep

By | August 16, 2017

Of all the joys of parenting the most negative part of being a new parent is lack of sleep due a a baby that wakes up at night or won’t sleep through the night. There are quite a few techniques that you can attempt to get your little angel to sleep through the night.

Create the right bedroom temperature and humidity. Often new parents make the mistake of wrapping the baby up too tight or keeping the baby too warm. Your baby might be crying at night because they are hot. A constant room temperature of around 70 degrees is ideal. Also, a relative humidity of about 50 percent is most conducive to sleep. Dry air may leave baby with a stuffy nose that keep him up at night. Yet, too high a humidity fosters molds that can create allergies. A warm-mist humidifier in your baby’s sleeping area helps maintain an ideal and consistent humidity, especially with heating during the winter. The “white noise” of a consistent hum may help baby stay asleep. Also use a baby pillow and baby sleep sack.


When your baby awakens, develop a nighttime parenting approach that respects your baby’s need for nighttime trust and comfort, in addition to the need for baby and parents to quickly get back to sleep. While some babies are self-soothers, being able to resettle easily and quickly without outside help, others (especially those high-need babies with more persistent personalities) need a helping hand (or breast, or whatever tool you can muster up at 3:00 a.m.).

Try these back-to-sleep comforters: Laying on of hands. Determine what your baby’s nighttime temperament is. Is your baby a born self-soother who awakens, whimpers, squirms, and then resettles by herself? Or is your baby, if not promptly attended to, one whose cries escalate and becomes angry and difficult to resettle? If you can get to your baby quickly before she completely awakens, you may be able to resettle her back to sleep with a firm laying on of hands.

To add the finishing touch, pat your baby’s back or bottom rhythmically to match your heartbeat. Remove your hands gradually – first one and then the other – easing the pressure slowly so as not to startle baby awake. Sometimes fathers, perhaps because they have larger hands, are more successful in this hands-on ritual.

Honor your partner with his share of nighttime parenting. It’s important for babies to get used to father’s way of comforting and being put to sleep (and back to sleep) in father’s arms, otherwise mothers burn out. A father’s participation in nighttime parenting is especially important for the breastfeeding infant who assumes the luxury that “mom’s diner” is open all night. Detect hidden medical causes of nightwaking. If you’ve tried all these techniques and your infant is still waking up frequently – and painfully – suspect there may be an underlying medical problem contributing to your baby’s nightwaking.

Jennifer Sleep is a child health and wellness expert and writes about baby growth spurts and baby teething fever.