This Version Posted: October 10, 2019
Helping your baby sleep
It takes time for infants to develop a circadian rhythm cycle (having more awake time during the day and sleeping more at night). However, parents and caregivers can help their baby develop healthy sleep habits right from birth. Try these tips when putting your baby to sleep:
- Allow natural sunlight into the home during the day and keep the lights low at night. This will help your baby learn the difference between day and night.
- Start a calming bedtime routine with your baby, including things such as reading a story, bath time, baby massage, singing or rocking. Stay consistent and over time babies may learn that the routine and their crib mean it is time for sleep.
- Some babies may need more help than others to fall asleep. Try feeding, rocking, singing, shushing or patting to help soothe your baby.
Helping your baby nap
Napping helps a baby to sleep better at night. Keeping your baby awake during the day will not help your baby sleep longer at night. Some babies nap as little as 20 minutes, while others may nap for 3 or more hours. Both are normal. Try these tips to help your baby nap:
- It may be helpful to use a shorter version of your baby’s bedtime routine before a nap, for example, a short story and cuddle.
- Whenever possible, place your baby to sleep in the same place for daytime napping and night-time sleeping.