Newborn sleep is sporadic. Newborn sleep is fragile. Newborn sleep is something parents soon discover to be as critical to their own survival as their kidneys.
New humans sleep about 16 hours a day but don’t stay asleep for more than roughly 2 to 4 hours. That’s the part that destroys parents.
I remember being so tired that I crawled in the crib with her. I put one hand on her little chest and I sang us both to sleep.
For about 14 minutes.
But, never mind my trauma. You’re here because your newborn baby is keeping you awake. Honestly, I don’t even know how you’re able to read words right now, but okay. Let’s do this.
The Best Tips to Help Your Newborn Sleep
Swaddle as no one has ever swaddled in the history of swaddling. Wrap that baby like he’s a Chipotle burrito that you’re going to try to eat while you drive.
Babies like it. It makes them feel safe.
You will suck at it the first eleventy times you do it, and then your Mom will come over and do it and you will feel stupid. YouTube videos will save you from being a second-rate swaddle master.
Fill ‘em up. Make sure their milk tank is full before it’s time to sleep. They’ll let you know when they’ve had enough and stop eating.
Clearly, my own Mother did a terrible job at that because my “had enough” button doesn’t function.
Baby beds are where you put babies to sleep. I know. Weird. Get your baby used to sleeping in his bed so that he feels comforted by a familiar space and can rest well.
I don’t know. Talk to him. Offer to PayPal him some money if he’ll sleep in his bed. I’m not a baby scientist. I have no idea.
White noise is magic baby sleeping voodoo. I’m definitely not a noise racist, but white noise machines are THE BEST. Something about that weird sound helps a newborn sleep like a champion. You should buy one. Right now.
Become a diaper changing ninja. When this child wakes you up at night, and he will change the diaper BEFORE you feed him.
Changing diapers gets a baby all kinds of awake and pissed off. What you want is for that midnight hit of milk to knock him right out so you can both go back to sleep.
Watch for signs your newborn is sleepy. The second you see the yawning, put Baby in his bed and sneak out of the room like you’re doing a bank heist and there are laser sensors everywhere.
If your house has squeaky floorboards, move out. Find a nice room in the basement of a cotton ball factory. You’ll thank me.
Play is for day and night is for not. One way to help your newborn sleep is to help him understand days and nights.
That sounds so dumb, but it’s true.
During the day when he wakes up, play with him. Make all those goo-goo sounds and silly faces and talk to him in that way mommas talk to their babies.
All squishy and soft and using a W where an L should clearly be. (You wittle baby bunny, I wove you so much.)
At night when Baby wakes up, do the opposite. Avoid the fun stuff you do during the day.
The message is, it’s not fun to wake Mommy up in the middle of the night. She doesn’t wove it.
Don’t talk to your friends. Your perfect friends, anyway. You know who I mean.
Stefanie with an F has a toddler she claims slept through the night the first day of his life.
“He was such a good sleeper! I put him to bed and he wouldn’t wake up until the next morning after I’d showered, had my coffee and drawn on my Instagram eyebrows.”
Stefanie with an F is a liar. Probably. Maybe.
But even if she’s not, it’s her duty as a human woman to tell you her baby didn’t sleep through the night either. That’s what friends do, Stefanie! THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS DO!
That’s all I’ve got. Has any of this helped? Even a wittle bit?
I know you want someone to say something to help your newborn sleep. I wanted to be that person for you.
The truth is the things I’ve told you here may actually work because they are the things that experts everywhere say to do.
I beg of you, on behalf of exhausted new moms everywhere, if you have a tip that helps newborns sleep, share it in the comments. What works?