Office of Child Welfare
Safe Sleep - Better Sleep For You And Your Baby
Ten Tips to Help you and Your Baby Get a Good Night’s Sleep
As with every new skill your baby learns, falling asleep in a crib may take practice. Your baby may cry when first put in the crib. This is normal and should be expected. There are a lot of things you can do to help your baby settle down for bed and feel more comfortable sleeping in the crib. Every baby is unique, so you may need to try a few times before you figure out exactly what your baby likes best.
- Make sure your baby has active play time, such as “tummy time” during the day.
- Respond to your baby’s needs quickly during the day to reduce your baby’s stress.
- Wear your baby in a sling or allow for skin-to-skin contact during the waking hours.
- Keep a journal of when and how much your baby eats and sleeps, and when you change your baby’s diaper. This will help you learn your baby’s patterns so you can plan to rest when your baby sleeps.
- Use a bedtime routine of three to four relaxing activities to help your baby wind down (giving your baby a bath, gently massaging baby’s muscles, and then spending a short period of quiet time together). Research has shown that babies who have a bedtime routine fall asleep 30% faster, wake up 50% less often, and sleep for longer stretches of time.
- Talk or sing softly to your baby before bed. Just the sound of your voice is very soothing to your baby.
- Put your baby in the crib when he or she begins to look tired, but is still awake. Putting babies to bed while they are tired, but still awake, helps them learn to fall asleep on their own.
- If your baby seems restless at bed time, put your baby to bed 30 minutes earlier. When babies become overtired, they sometimes become energetic and fight off sleep.
- Play soft music, turn on a fan, or put a ticking clock near your baby’s crib. Continuing normal household activities while your baby sleeps helps your baby learn to sleep without silence.
- Place a warm towel down on your baby’s crib sheet and remove it just before you place your baby down.