How to Get a Newborn to Calm Down and Sleep

Life with a newborn is hard. I don’t think anyone would disagree with that. One of the more challenging issues that new moms face is sleep. It’s rare that a new baby will be a natural born sleeper. That is why I am very excited that Lori Strong, a certified child sleep consultant and owner of Strong Little Sleepers has put together a post on newborn sleep. I love the title of her post in particular because I remember in the early days Googling this exact phrase “how to get a newborn to calm down and sleep.” She offers some great advice that I wish I would have had in those early days! I love that she mentions the 5s’s because that is something that really worked for us and I share it with all my new mom friends!

By Lori Strong

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As a mom to a newborn, sleep can be one of the most important (and most looked forward to) parts of the day. Whether it’s nap time, or sleep time during this phase of life rest is critical for growing little ones. If you have a feisty baby, sleep and periods of calm are tough to come by. You may find yourself jealous of those moms who claim, “Oh my baby slept through the night at 9 weeks!”  or others who commiserate with you by saying, “Naptime is the worst in our house too, just let the baby cry!”

These moms, while they are trying to be helpful, aren’t actually giving you the guidance and confidence to feel like restful sleep is attainable.

Yet, it is!

Those first few months are tough, we’ve all been there. Know that you aren’t doing anything “wrong”  and remember there are a few thing to keep in mind as you and your baby find peace and sleep

1. All Babies Cry
If you have a baby that cries a lot, consider this: all babies cry a lot.  During the newborn phase though some babies may seem to cry all day long. You probably even hear the term “colicky” tossed around. Do your research, talk to your pediatrician to see if your baby does, in fact, suffer from this syndrome or if it something more common such as acid reflux or an allergy. Maybe your baby is just being a baby and figuring out this thing called life. Either way, chances are they will grow out of it.

2. All Babies Learn to Sleep

Eventually, your child will learn how to sleep for long periods of time. In all my years of work, I’ve never known a 5-year-old to still wake up multiple times a night.

Now, that’s not to say your baby won’t go through phases of sleep regression or have trouble falling asleep as a toddler, but just know that as humans our bodies eventually give in to sleep and your baby will too. It might take some work on your end though by setting up a schedule, proactively guiding your child to nap or making changes to a routine.

3. Do Your Homework

Try out different techniques to see what works for your baby.  It’s important to find what fits your parenting style. Maybe the Cry-it-Out Method works wonders for a friend, but it scares you. Try it out. Maybe the 5 S’s of calming looks interesting, yet you are uncertain. Try them out to see what is best for you.  I highly recommend the 5s’s (any or all of them) to help soothe a fussy baby.

4. Don’t Believe Everything You Hear (or Read)

There is so much information available on the web today and via word-of-mouth, do yourself a favor and trust your gut. Each baby is different and you know your child best. If you need extra validation, call the pediatrician or consult a local parenting resource to find someone that can help with your specific needs.

5. This is Only Temporary

This baby phase is short period of time in the grand scheme of life. It will all be gone in the blink of an eye and one day you’ll wake up after an entire 8-hours of rest and think, “Where did my cute little baby go?” Trust me, I have a 9-year-old so I know how quickly life can sneak up on you. At the end of the day, you are doing the best you can mama. You only want what’s right for your child. We all do. I’m here to remind you to want the best for your own body too. That means asking for help when you need it, checking in with your emotional well-being and seeking support during those times you don’t “enjoy every minute of Motherhood.” There are fellow mamas and experts around the corner. Plus, I’m always here if you need me too!


About Lori

LoriStrongHeadshot

Lori Strong is a certified child sleep consultant and owner of Strong Little Sleepers. She transforms families by educating and empowering them to restore their sleep. Learn more at http://www.stronglittlesleepers.com. Get even more tips in our Facebook community and join us for Nap Chat, a live Q & A session each Friday.

 

If you liked this post check out Swaddle, Swaddle, Swaddle, A Baby Bedtime Routine, and Favorite Books to Read While Pregnant.

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As a mom to a newborn, sleep can be one of the most important parts of the day. These tips will help new moms get a newborn to calm down and sleep.

As a mom to a newborn, sleep can be one of the most important parts of the day. These tips will help new moms get a newborn to calm down and sleep.

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About Melissa

Hi, I’m Melissa! I am a mama to my baby Aiden Milo (born November 2015), and a police wife to my husband Dan. I started this blog because, after having Aiden, I quickly learned that exhaustion and baby brain causes you to forget some of the er-lovely (sometimes horrible and sometimes wonderful) details related to the first several months of raising a baby. Considering we may have more kids in the future, I want to document everything we do, so we remember what worked the first time around, and hopefully help other first time mamas along the way!
  • Andrea | Messy Nest Mama

    These are great tips. The 5 S’s were a life saver for us as well!

    • Melissa

      I’m glad they worked for you too 🙂

  • I have a 9 year old with special needs sleep was difficult for her because we didn’t know she has a mild frm of ceberalpalsy on top of her having 22q. at 7 years old she was finally diagoned with cp backflen and leg braces for at night was what finally helped her sleep soundly at night.

    • Melissa

      Thank you for sharing. That must have been difficult. I am glad they were finally able to diagnose her and that she is now sleeping well!

  • Denaye

    These are great tips. I also suggest new moms learn about 3 things: how to feed babies, how to get them to sleep, and how to soothe them. Saves sanity for everyone!

    • Melissa

      Yes, great points! If you have trouble with those everything seems so much worse.

  • Leah Caraher

    I don’t have newborns in the house anymore but I wish I had “Don’t believe everything your read” with my first. I was so worried I would do something wrong that I forgot to follow my instinct. Once I let go of outside noise it was so much better.

    • Melissa

      Yes, it’s so hard not to fall in the trap of Googling everything that happens and then believing everything! I know I was guilty in those first few months!

  • Cute photo of his hand, oh my word. You have to frame that! Thanks for sharing your story 🙂

    • Melissa

      Thank you for reading!

  • Laura

    This is such a great post! I can remember the first year feeling a bit like a blur because of the lack of sleep. I started out with a great sleeper, but at 6 months he he started regressing. I wish I had read this, but we worked through it and you’re right, they do eventually learn to sleep through the night. Thankfully!

  • That was such a hard time for my family. We had no idea what to do when he cried. We wound up coming up with a list of things it might be and going through that list to figure it out. I wish I would have had these tips before!

  • Melissa Dow

    I love your advice that it’s only temporarily. My toddler was colicky for the first 3 months and then it was like someone pulled a switch because one day she just wasn’t colicky any more.

  • Tabitha Shakespeare

    I like the advice of trying different techniques to see what works for you! Every baby is different!

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  • Amanda Rodriguez

    My favorite is “this is only temporary!” That’s my mantra lol

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