Newborns require a lot of sleep, typically up to 16 hours a day. However, getting a newborn to sleep in a bassinet can be a challenge for any parent, especially for first-time parents. If you’re struggling to get your little one settled down to sleep in their bassinet, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to encourage your newborn to sleep better in their bassinet. In this article, we provide practical tips and advice on how to create a conducive and safe sleep environment for your newborn.
Establish a Bedtime Routine
Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is important for newborns. A regular bedtime routine helps your little one signal when it’s time for sleep, making them feel more secure and relaxed. Consistency is key when it comes to establishing a routine. You can include activities like a warm bath, lullabies, or reading a storybook to your newborn before putting them to bed. Remember to keep the activities gentle, calm, and consistent every night.
Swaddle Your Baby
Newborns feel more secure when they are swaddled, which can help them sleep better. Swaddling also prevents them from being disturbed by their own startle reflex, which can cause them to wake up suddenly. When swaddling your little one, make sure you do it properly and safely. Use a swaddle blanket with a Velcro closure to ensure your baby is snug but not too tight. Remember to keep their head and neck uncovered to avoid overheating and suffocation.
Keep the Bassinet Close
Having the bassinet close to your bed can also help your newborn sleep better. Not only does it make it easier for you to check on your baby throughout the night, but it also makes them feel more secure knowing that you’re nearby. Make sure the bassinet is set up in a comfortable and safe position, with no loose bedding or bumpers that could cause suffocation. You can soothe and comfort your baby throughout the night as needed, without having to take them out of the bassinet.
Use White Noise
White noise has a calming effect on newborns, helping them tune out unnecessary sounds and fall asleep faster. You can use a white noise machine or app, or even a fan or radio as an alternative. Make sure the volume is not too loud, and keep the machine or device at least a few feet away from your baby to avoid direct exposure.
Avoid stimulating your little one before bedtime. Bright lights, loud noises, and active play can make it harder for them to calm down and fall asleep. Instead, create a calming environment for sleep. You can dim the lights, play soft music, or rock your little one gently. Limit activity and interaction in the room before bedtime to prevent your baby from getting too excited or overtired, which can make it harder for them to sleep.
Try a Pacifier
A pacifier can also help soothe and comfort your newborn, making it easier for them to sleep. Pacifiers help your baby self-soothe and prevent them from waking up suddenly. Keep in mind that pacifiers are not meant to replace feedings or provide comfort constantly. Use a pacifier specifically designed for newborns, and make sure to clean it regularly to avoid the risk of infection.
Practice Safe Sleep Habits
Safe sleep habits are crucial for newborns to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Always put your baby to sleep on their back, on a firm and flat sleep surface. Dress your baby in a wearable blanket instead of loose bedding. Avoid overheating your baby by keeping the room at a comfortable temperature and dressing them in appropriate clothing. Never smoke or let anyone smoke around your baby.
Getting your newborn to sleep in a bassinet may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tips and strategies, it’s definitely achievable. By establishing a consistent bedtime routine, swaddling your baby, keeping the bassinet close, using white noise, reducing stimulation, trying a pacifier, and practicing safe sleep habits, you can create a comfortable and safe sleep environment for your newborn. Remember to be patient and consistent, and your little one will be sleeping soundly in their bassinet in no time.