9 secrets of having a baby sleep through the night

If you're sick of waking up at 2 a.m. (and 3:30, and 4:17, and 5:32), then these secrets are for you.

The phrase “sleeping like a baby” is a myth. Babies frequently wake up screaming and crying in the middle of the night. If you’re sick of waking up every hour to your baby’s screeching, these tips can help:

1. Have a routine

Setting a pattern for your baby establishes good habits that will help keep your child asleep at night. Your routine can be as unique as you are- singing songs, giving the baby a bath, etc. The baby starts to associate these rituals with bedtime and will begin recognizing the signs to go to sleep.

2. Use white noise

Sometimes babies wake up in the night when they hear a small noise. To help this, play some white noise or subtle nature sounds when they fall asleep. This gets the baby used to hearing something in the background so that small noises don’t bother them so much.

3. Teach your baby to self-soothe

Don’t be a helicopter parent by running to your baby’s side as soon as the crying begins. Sometimes babies are fine if they cry for a minute and then go back to sleep. Your child can learn healthy coping mechanisms for themselves.

4. Give the baby a massage

Massages and other physical contact are important for your baby to have. This relaxing connection can make your baby feel safe and secure and can help calm your baby down enough to go to sleep. Just be sure you are massging the baby gently not to hurt them. You can always ask their Pediatrician if you have any questions.

5. Keep your baby busy during the day

If your baby isn’t sleeping well at night, try to tire them out during the day. Play lots of games, go for walks, and do other active things to use up all of your baby’s energy. By the time bedtime comes around, your baby will be tuckered out and go right to sleep.

6. Give them a security object

The BabyCentre Advisory Board recommends giving babies a security object– something they can physically touch that makes them feel safe. By associating one of their favorite objects- like a blanket or stuffed animal- with sleep, you can help your baby feel more comfortable going to bed. (Note: it is recommended that you do not put something soft in bed with a baby until they are 1 years old.)

7. Keep them swaddled

Babies, especially newborns, are used to feeling safe and physically protected. Wrapping them up in a blanket makes them feel secure. It can also help babies sleep through the night because they aren’t able to wake themselves up by rolling over or moving their limbs.

8. Sleep in the same room

It might not always be safe to have the baby sleep in the same bed with you, but if you keep the baby in a separate crib in the same room, it can help. Babies like to be close to their mom, and your presence is comforting.

9. Experiment

Each baby is different, and you might need to change the environment to keep your baby happy. This mom recommends experimenting with different room temperatures. Try different pajamas. Maybe your baby likes or doesn’t like wearing socks. By trying different variables, you can determine what kind of conditions help your baby sleep best.

Hannah Chudleigh

Hannah Chudleigh joined FamilyShare because of its positive influence on families worldwide. She has a bachelor's degree in English and loves reading, writing, and running.