Getting enough sleep is important for both children and grown ups. Sleep strengthens the immunesystem, allows the brain to process and arrange experiences just as sleep regulates appetite, is important for your mood and prevents a variety of different diseases. For your baby, it is during sleep that it grows and develops the brain. At the same time, getting enough sleep is a major issue for most new parents.

You would wish you had known this about sleep before giving birth  Studies show the average parent to loose 1 month sleep during baby’s first year. So no wonder you are so tired as a new parent. However, studies also show that a newborn baby is hardly awake for the first 48 hours after birth. This is mother nature’s way to give the new mum a possibility to restore after birth and is very important to take advantage of. Consequently, it is recommended to spend the first 48 hours relaxing and wait with visits from friends and family till later. You will appreciate this in the weeks to come.

How to make baby sleep 

Even though most babies sleep on average 17 hours a day, it is hardly ever when you want, as babies are born without the notion of day and night. Usually it takes several month before a baby will sleep several hours straight.  It is recommended already from the first few weeks to start using a certain rytm that will help the baby to get the notion of night and day and an understanding of when it is time to sleep.

A sleep routine for a baby can consist of:

  • Bath
  • Change
  • Feed
  • Cuddle
  • Lullaby or rime

By using the same routine at the same time every day before bedtime, baby will in time understand that it is time to go to sleep.

Furthermore, it is important to put baby to bed while he/she is tired, so the crib/bed becomes a place where you go to sleep. And remember, when baby wakes up at night, to dim the light and talk in a quiet and calm voice so baby from the start understands that during night, it is time for sleep and not for play.

How to get more sleep with a baby

Do yourself a favour and make a routine for yourself. Spend the evening relaxing instead of trying to do everything you didn’t have time to do during the day, and spend the time while baby is asleep during the day to take a nap or meditate.

Sleep rules for parents:

  • Relax instead of try to do what you didn’t get done during the day
  • Avoid screens (computer, tablet, phone) the last hour before going to bed
  • No coffee after 4 pm

If you have trouble sleeping, you may try with breathing exercises, a mindfulness app or fragrence therapy. Your sense of smell is the only sense directly connected to the  part of the brain that activates our most basic behaviour, such as sleep. Fragrances like lavender are known to be relaxing.

You may also want to see our tips for giving baby bottle