Although babies spend a big part of their time sleeping - only being awake for a few hours a day to begin with - that doesn't mean getting them to the land of nod will be easy. Adjusting your life to baby sleeping patterns can be tricky too. Browse our baby sleeping tips to help keep your little one safe and comfy while drifting off.
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Baby sleeping hours: FAQs
Before we look at tips for ensuring a good night's sleep, let's answer a few common questions about baby sleeping hours:
How long should babies sleep?
This varies a lot and can change quickly as they start to grow. The average for a newborn is as much as 16-18 hours a day!
Is my baby sleeping too much/not enough?
Most of the time, there is nothing to worry about if your baby seems to spend a lot of time sleeping and in the early days you may even need to wake them regularly to ensure they eat. If your baby seems to never wake, not even for food, then you should speak to your doctor. It's also important to make sure your baby gets the sleep they need in the early stages by allowing them to nap during the day.
What does it mean if my baby sleeps at different times?
Babies often won’t stick to the kind of schedules we’re used to when it comes to sleeping. This is nothing to worry about and most babies will settle into a routine after a while - although you may find that this changes as they go through key events such as teething. The best advice for tired mums and dads is to take naps whenever your little one does as much as possible so you're fully rested.
What are the correct baby sleeping positions?
A lot of new mums wonder how to put a baby to sleep in the safest way. Placing them in the wrong position could be harmful to their health. The recommended position is always on their back. You should also make sure that they are not overly restricted by their clothes or bedding, and that there is nothing in their cot with them that could pose a risk of suffocation, such as heavy bedding or toys.
Getting a baby into a bedtime routine
Now that you know the basics, let's look at how to get your baby to sleep better at night. Some of our favourite baby bedtime routine ideas can help your little one fall asleep faster, and give your own day more structure. The quicker you can develop a routine, the better.
Here’s an example you can use to inspire your own:
- Bath your little one and massage them with baby oil or moisturiser.
- Put them in a clean diaper and a soft, comfy pyjama pre-washed with a delicate detergent and fabric conditioner, like Sunlight Washing Powder and Comfort Pure.
- Feed them right before bedtime - this is a miracle for making baby’s sleep!
- Swaddle them.
- Sing a lullaby and then play white noise as you lay them down, leaving it on until they’re asleep.
Baby sleeping tips
There are plenty of other things to consider when it comes to making sure your baby’s sleeping well. Try these other tips:
- Make sure the crib, cot, or Moses basket you’ve got meets the safety standards and is suitable for your little one.
- Do the same for the mattress - it should be firm to prevent suffocation - and all bedding.
- Always avoid bumper pads which aren’t necessary and may even be hazardous.
- Switch blankets for sleepsuits or pyjamas with feet. A bundle of blankets may look cute, but they can be a suffocation hazard so it’s much better to avoid them!
Now that you know how to put your baby to sleep safely and easily, you'll hopefully be able to settle into your new lifestyle with ease. Once your little one is sound asleep, you can enjoy some time for yourself or join them and catch up on your own zzzz.