Top Tips for Getting Your Baby to Sleep and Stay Asleep

Baby sleeping peacefully

Why won’t my baby sleep? The question you’ll find every new parent asking – so don’t worry you’re not alone! Just after you’ve finally mastered the bedtime routine, your little one decides to throw you a curve ball – the dreaded night-time waking! Whilst getting your child to sleep is one task, don’t forget the part where they sleep all through the night too. According to your baby, 3am is the perfect time for a party, and mummy and daddy are top of the guest list. Or maybe night-time parties have always been a thing and you’re getting desperate for some well-deserved shut-eye?  

Here comes the eternal question – how to get a baby to sleep? Sadly, there isn’t a magic cure. We understand it can feel like mission impossible sometimes, but you shouldn’t feel bad if you haven’t quite cracked it – there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Thankfully, we have some great top tips to help at least set the stage for a dreamy night’s sleep.  

How much should a baby sleep?

Just like us, little ones sleeping patterns tend to vary. From birth, some babes will need more or less sleep than others. Below, we’ll breakdown the average amount of sleep babies need over the period of a day according to the NHS (including daytime naps): 


Most teeny tinies spend more of their time snoozing than being awake. Their total daily sleep will differ, but it can be anything from 8 hours to 16/18 hours. Little ones will of course wake up during the night because they’ll need to be fed. As well as this, being too hot or too cold can also spoil their peaceful slumber.  

3 to 6 months old 

As your cherub grows, they won’t need as many night feeds and will be able to snooze away for longer. Some little ones will be able to sleep for 8 hours or longer at night – but it’s important to remember that this doesn’t apply to all. By 4 months old, your baby spends around twice as long sleeping at night as they do throughout the day. 

6 to 12 months old 

Good news for parents – shut-eye may be around the corner for you now! For bubs between 6 to 12 months old, night feeds may no longer be needed, and some will sleep for up to 12 hours at night. Although, be wary that at this point teething discomfort or hunger may wake some little ones during the night. 

12 months+ 

You can expect your sweetheart to snooze for around about 12 to 15 hours once their first birthday passes.  

It’s important to remember that your sweetheart will experience developmental changes during this time which can cause sleep regression. Whilst it doesn’t happen at exact ages, typically they can occur around about 4 months, 9 months and 18 months old. If you want to get clued up on everything there is to know about sleep regression, you can read our blog where we cover everything you need to know about sleep regression. 

Top tips for getting your baby to sleep

Newborn baby asleep with a dummy in their mouth whilst led on bedding with blue stars and a teddy next to them

In the first few months of your angel getting to know the world, their social, emotional and intellectual skills slowly mature. During this time, new experiences can cause your little one to create new things to worry about, be conscious of, think about and be afraid of. Whilst some stylish sleeping furniture can go a long way, nothing will be as comforting as mummy and daddy during these changes. However, you also need to rest! So, we’re going to breakdown what you can do, to help your bub get some ZZZ, and stay snoozing.  

Getting your newborn to sleep  

  • Learn the cues 

Similar to how your little one will start to take cues from their bedtime routine, you can also learn to take cues from them. As newborns don’t follow a set schedule, knowing their signs of sleepiness is essential. It’s important to look out for overtiredness too as it’ll take your cherub much longer to doze off if they’re overfatigued. Some common cues that your baby is sleepy include yawning, rubbing their eyes or head, being fussy and not holding your gaze. 

  • Create a nappy changing strategy 

Many parents will change their child’s nappy post-feed to keep timings between nappy changes short. But listen up mummies and daddies – pre-feed changes can actually work better when trying to get babies to snooze. Changing post-feed can cause them to become alert right before bedtime, whereas if they’re already changed, they can fall into a peaceful slumber a lot sooner.  

Getting your newborn to stay asleep 

Tiny newborn being swaddled by mother
  • Swaddling 

Swaddling is one of the most tried and tested techniques for getting your newborn to doze off. Teeny tinies have a surprise reflex which can make them feel like they’re falling – this is what of course wakes them up. Swaddling helps stops this by preventing little ones from flapping their teeny tiny arms or legs about. All of the benefits of swaddling can help your bub go back to sleep and stay asleep. From around 4 to 5 months old, babies become little adventurers who may be able to free their arms from their swaddle. At this point – it’s time to stop swaddling.  

  • Dreamfeed 

Don’t underestimate the power of milk! The dreamfeed is the feed given to your sweetheart right before you go to bed, and it helps prevent them from waking up lots during the night. If your baby is still waking up throughout the night to feed, it could mean they’re not getting enough milk during the day. You can use the dreamfeed technique until your cherub gets to about 4 months old. After that, this method can start to disturb their snoozing and create even more night-time waking. 

Getting your baby to sleep  

Baby sleeping whilst cuddling teddy
  • Master the three B’s 

The four B’s you need to nail are – bath time, baby massage and bedtime song. A consistent bedtime routine can work wonders. The order is up to you, but it usually entails a soothing bath, a relaxing baby massage and then a bedtime song for sweet dreams.  

Bath time is an essential part of the bedtime routine. Not only does it give you a chance to give your mucky monster a good wash, but the warm water helps relax them and let them know bedtime is just around the corner. Learn more about creating the perfect bath time routine for your cherub. 

Massaging your bub after their bath is a great way to get them relaxed and ready for a dreamy night’s sleep. It also gives you a chance to spend some sweet bonding time with your little one. Make sure you buy vegetable-based massage oils which are free from mineral oils, perfume and colours.  

Parents get ready to warm up your vocal chords! Although, if you don’t fancy actually singing you may want to create a bedtime playlist of classical songs or lullabies to help your babe unwind. If you’re feeling brave, try singing softly to your baby, perhaps as you give them their bedtime feed. Not only will this soothe your little one, but the music will prepare them and let them know it’s time for snoozing.  

  • White noise 

If your bub is a light sleeper – going to the toilet in the middle of the night can feel like an SAS operation. Introducing white noise creates a gentle hum which will mask any other noises that may stir or wake your little one. There are white noise apps you can install on your phone, or you can buy special white noise toys for the nursery.  

  • Dim the lights 

If your baby sees light, it signals daytime to them. Therefore, blocking out the sun will help them to fall into a peaceful slumber, so we recommend shutting out as much light as possible. Yes – this even includes the night light! Your brave babe isn’t likely to fear the dark until they’re at least 18 months old. If your bub is a night-time nurser, prop on a dimmer switch to a lamp and turn it on and off slowly for night-time feeds. 

Getting your baby to stay asleep  

  • Self-settling 

Some babes learn how to fall back asleep on their own, whilst others may need a little nudge with the help of sleep training methods – this could happen at any age past 4 months. There are many different sleep training tactics, however, we encourage parents to resist the temptation to pick your cutie up to soothe them. Your bub needs to fall asleep on their own, in their crib, not to be rocked to sleep and then popped into their crib. Give your little one some time to settle down first, don’t immediately rush to the rescue, and try not to pick them up.  

Once your babe has learned to self-settle, if they wake in the night, they’re more likely to be able to send themselves back to sleep. To help your cherub learn to self-settle, try putting them to bed sleepy and drowsy but not fully asleep, allowing them to drift off on their own. 

  • Comforter  

Once your not-so-little one reaches about 6 or 7 months old, they may begin to develop separation anxiety. This is essentially baby-FOMO (fear of missing out) – your bub will wake up during the night and realise mummy’s not there, and they’ll desperately crave your company!  

Welcome a security object into your baby’s life like a soft toy or blanket to help them feel safe and sound if they wake up during the night. Keeping the comforter near you before giving it to your little one will mean it will smell of you. Naturally, this will help relax and comfort your cherub. Remember – only introduce a comforter after your bub turns 6 months old! 

See, there’s no need to fret over questions like why won’t my baby sleep and how to get a baby to sleep – it’s all perfectly normal! And thankfully, there are lots of ways to get your little one to snooze and stay snoozing. Remember – every baby different and what works for one may not work for another. Being firm with your decisions is key – stick to your guns and don’t jump ship immediately if your babe isn’t taking to your chosen tactic. It’s worth trying a few tactics first before you throw the towel in. Before you know it, you’ll have mastered most of them! Although, it’s worth reminding you to also enjoy sleepy cuddles whilst they’re available – babies grow far too fast and your interrupted nights won’t last forever! 

Top Sleep Tips from Experts

Baby in blue onesie looking into the camera with fluffy teddy lying the opposite way

Sleep is one of the biggest concerns when it comes to being a new parent; getting enough of it yourself, making sure your baby is getting enough sleep and making sure they are safe all at the same time can be hectic. Sleep is so crucial to everyone’s wellbeing, so we spoke to some sleep experts, including Katie Amies – The Gentle Sleep Coach and Maria White to get their advice on safely putting your little one to sleep.

Katie is accredited as a Level 6 Holistic Sleep Coach and belongs to the Association of Birth & Baby Professionals, so she has a lot of great advice for parents when it comes to safe sleep. She is passionate about helping parents on their journey and believes there is no better place to start than with sleep.

Along with Katie and Maria’s advice we have pulled together some of the best advice on safe sleep for your little one.

  1. The Best Position for a Newborn to Sleep In

Newborn baby yawning whilst being swaddled

The Lullaby Trust recommends that the safest way for a newborn to sleep is on their back – feet to foot of the crib (unless parents are told otherwise by a medical professional). The position your newborn sleeps in is one of the most protective actions you can take to make sure they are as safe as possible whilst they sleep.

  1. Introducing a Baby to Their New Room

Advice is that baby’s stay in their parent’s room until at least 6 months old. But Katie says that when the time does come for your bundle of joy to move out of your room – there are a few things you can do to prepare them for the move, such as:

  • Have quiet play in their new room during the day – this could include reading books or doing a jigsaw together.
  • Start putting them down for daytime naps in their new room – the first nap of the day is often the easiest to make a change.
  • Avoid using clean sheets on their first night as the familiar scent can be comforting for them.

Once you have prepared your little one, they are all set, you just have to prepare yourself for the big step! Maria says It is important to remember that it is a very natural instinct to stay close to your baby so don’t feel you need to ignore this due to pressure from other people – you know yourself and your baby better than anyone!

  1. What about Tummy Sleeping?

Once your baby has started to roll over onto their tummy by themselves, they can choose their favourite sleeping position. This is no reason to panic, it is their choice and preference. It can however sometimes disrupt sleep whilst they are still figuring out what they prefer. Plenty of practice rolling over in the daytime can help to minimise the disruption.

  1. Introducing a Bedtime Routine

The earlier, the better when it comes to a bedtime routine. Babies love routine as it helps them better understand that sleep is coming, as they find comfort in the familiarity. You have to remember that everything is big, new and exciting to babies so having a night-time routine that is familiar is extremely comforting to them.

Create a routine that includes the same activities, in the same order, in the same room(s) every night. For newborns a routine may only be 10-15 minutes but as your little one gets older this might increase to 20 minutes for a 6 month old.

Nap time routines can be really helpful for calming baby down and preparing them for sleep. This can be just 5 minutes of the same few things in the same order (e.g. change nappy, put on white noise and sing twinkle twinkle).

  1. Getting your Baby to Sleep through the Night

Getting your baby to sleep through the night is a loaded task – it is one that every parent wishes would happen, but every baby is different. ‘Sleeping through the night’ is defined differently by people and research. Katie states ‘For example, some refer to 12 hour stretch of sleep, and others define as during the parents sleep. It is also a mis-managed expectation that little one’s sleep through the night once they reach a certain age/weight or start weaning.’

Research actually shows that some babies will still wake up at least 1-2 times for the first 18 months of life.

Sadly, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this. Katie says ‘Night wakeups for newborns are very normal (and needed) for nutrition as well as comfort. As little ones get older, the frequency of night wakeups may become unsustainable for a family, and they therefore may contact a sleep coach. A sleep coach will then seek to understand the cause of the wakeups which could include anything from comfort, sleep hygiene, non-optimal daytime sleep, environmental factors to how little one settles. This is why there is not one single solution.’

For better sleep, here are some top tips from Maria White.

  • Good sleep hygiene: consistent bedtime routine, wake up at the same time each day this can set the internal body clock and regulate naps, similar timing of naps and bedtime each day, sleep environment is conducive to sleep.  
  • Regulate naps, daytime sleep can have an impact on night-time sleep. Find a balance with naps during the day by evenly distributing them so that your baby does not get overtired but also is tired enough.  
  • Connection before bedtime, bedtime signifies a long period of separation from you. During your bedtime routine fill your baby’s love cup up, lots of cuddles, eye contact your undivided attention this can help them with accepting the separation from you.  
  • You might have heard sleep associations are “bad habits” and not to do anything that will help your baby sleep, but the reality is some babies need extra support when falling asleep and through the night. Whilst some babies will easily accept being put down “drowsy but awake” some need much more sensory input to help them fall asleep, including feeding, rocking, cuddles, bouncing. Do not be afraid to give your baby what they need to fall asleep.  

Sleep associations are a great tool to help your baby fall asleep and feel safe and secure doing so, if however, things are getting difficult and are not sustainable there are gentle ways to help your baby fall asleep without these things.  

It is important to note here that night wake ups are very normal for babies and aren’t actually a problem in terms of the babies development. Night wake ups become a problem if they are causing issues for the family. Katie advises that it is not necessary to let a baby “cry-it-out” to resolve sleep problems.

  1. Sleep Regression

Sleep regression refers to periods in your baby’s development when they start to have sleep issues. It is related to different aspects of their development and babies go through different regressions every couple of months.

Which Baby Sleep Regression is the Most Challenging?

Katie states that ‘the four-month regression is the most challenging in regard to sleep.’

This is because ‘your little one’s sleep architecture is changing from a newborn to resemble more of an adult’s…. therefore, in the long-term a good thing! For this reason, it can be the most impactful on sleep and also last longer than other regressions.’

Katie reassures us that it is just a phase, and provides three top tips for navigating the four-month sleep regression:

  1. Over-tiredness is a vicious circle. Therefore, ensure your little one is having the total amount of required sleep within a 24-hour period, even if you have to go for an extra-long walk to get them to nap longer during the day.
  2. Be kind to yourself and accept help where it’s offered.
  3. Coffee is your friend!

Sleeping with a Blanket and Pillow

It is important for safer sleep that no loose items be in the crib. This includes pillows, cot bumpers, comforters and soft toys. To keep a baby as safe as possible in bed you should either tuck a blanket firmly under their arms, ensuring it cannot be pulled over their face or put them in a sleeping bag that is safe for their age.

Disclaimer: For more guidance on safer sleep, always refer to the Lullaby Trust website. The above information relating to safer sleep is all accurate according to the Lullaby Trust at the time of writing. Please see the website where you will find all the up-to-date resources and information you need on creating the safest space for your baby. This includes information such as co-sleeping, twins, room temperature, swaddling, bedding, sleeping products, dummies and so on.

5 Products to Help Baby Get a Good Night Sleep

Whilst we can’t promise that these products can guarantee sleep, they will certainly go a long way to helping your little one drift off peacefully, and maybe even sleep through the night (perhaps…maybe…hopefully?!?!)

  1. Tiny Love Soothe N Groove Mobile

This fabulous mobile grows with your baby. It starts as a gorgeous crib mobile with 18 different tunes to soothe your little one to sleep, and as your baby grows it converts to a stand alone music box that your child can carry around and play tunes to their hearts content.

  1. Isi Mini Bear Night Light

The mini bear night light offers a warm and soothing glow to not only aid bedtime stories, but also to help your little one drift off to sleep in comfort. You can choose from white, yellow, blue and green, and the light is operated by a simple tap on the bears’ head.

  1. Bed E Bgyes: Bramble and Smudge Bed E Ba

Keeping your baby warm and snugly at night will help them feel secure and protected. Our Bramble and Smudge sleeping bags are perfect as they ensure a cosy nights sleep by avoiding unnecessary nightly wakings due to blankets being thrown off by flailing little legs, making sure your little one is warm and snugly from dusk until dawn (or a little bit later if you’re lucky!)

  1. Ewan the Dream Sheep Snuggly

Every little person needs a night-time companion, and what better sleeping buddy than the soft, plush and silky fabric of this gorgeous Ewan the Dream Sheep snuggly?  The fabric easily absorbs mummy or daddy’s scent to provide extra reassurance and security for your baby as they drift off to sleep.

  1. My Little Star Moses Basket

When your baby is first born they like to feel safe and secure (much like being back in mummy’s tummy) so cots can feel a bit too large and spacious. Moses baskets are a good first bed as they are small and cosy so will help your baby feel protected. Our Little Star Moses basket is not only comfortable but also comes with a rocking stand, so you can gently rock your baby off to sleep.

Busting Baby Sleep Myths

Baby smiling and happy whilst asleep

Whilst the journey of parenthood will undoubtedly hold many surprises, you probably expected to have a lot on your plate when it comes to your little one’s sleeping habits. It’s a topic which everyone seems to have an opinion on – our own parents, friends and even strangers. We can be overwhelmed with so much baby sleeping advice that sometimes it becomes hard to separate fact from fiction. There are a lot of myths out there that brand certain baby sleeping habits as abnormal when in fact they’re perfectly natural and normal. So, to make every second of your babe’s snoozing count, we’re going to put to rest some common baby sleep myths. Before you know it – you’ll be getting some well-deserved shut-eye as well as peace of mind that your bub’s sleeping habits are far from unusual.

Myth #1: You need to be extra quiet when your baby is snoozing  

It’s true that little ones tend to have a lighter sleep during naptime compared to at night. However, tiptoeing when your baby is sleeping may not be needed. Your cherub’s first home was actually pitch black and super noisy. In the womb, they will have experienced all sorts of noises, and many of those can be just as comforting now. In fact, white noise can in some instances help lull your little one into a peaceful slumber. The more your bub gets used to the common sounds around your house, the more likely it is for them to sleep through them. However, our experts advise keeping tabs on whether your baby becomes too reliant on a sound device. This is because it could stop them from becoming familiar with everyday sounds.  

Myth #2: Weaning early means your baby will sleep better

This is a big no! Weaning early doesn’t equate to your little one sleeping better. The guideline is to begin weaning when your baby is around six months old, unless a paediatrician/dietician recommends differently. For example, babies with reflux are normally advised to be weaned earlier. However, in normal circumstances, if your bub isn’t sleeping well, or often wakes during the night – weaning early isn’t a good solution. 

Myth #3: Less sleep during the day means your baby will sleep more at night 

How many times have you heard this? From friends to mother in laws – this is a common one we’ve seen be advised to parents. However, it’s actually a very bad piece of advice, and we recommend steering clear from it. The truth of the matter is if your little one sleeps less in the day, it’ll only make them overtired. Whilst they’ll fall into a deep sleep during the first part of the night, this will then be followed by more frequent night waking.  

A little one that’s not getting enough sleep during the day can also take longer to doze off at bedtime as they’ll be overstimulated. Your bub will be wide awake for lengthier periods during the night as they struggle to get back to snoozing. No one wants an overtired or grumpy baby on their hands, so make sure they’re well-rested during the day.  

Myth #4: Letting your baby cry it out is always a bad thing 

Baby on colourful bedding crying

There’s nothing worse than hearing your sweet angel crying. Naturally, as parents, we want to respond quickly to soothe our babe’s weeping. Therefore, we understand sleep-training methods where a baby is left alone to cry may seem unbearable. However, you need to remember that it’s virtually impossible to teach your little one to sleep through the night without a few tears shed here and there. It’s natural – changing your baby’s sleeping habits will likely cause them to get frustrated and start crying. However, the good news is that the “cry it out” sleep-training method has no long-lasting negative effects. As your bub gets older, it’s important they learn the essential life skills of self-soothing and falling asleep on their own.  

Myth #5: Adding cereal to a baby’s bedtime bottle (or formula) will help them sleep through the night 

Filling your little one’s bedtime bottle with additional calories may keep their belly full until sunrise, however that won’t do them any good nor their sleep. A good way to think about it is like this – how would you feel going to bed after a hefty meal? Of course, you’ll feel full but at the same time your body ends up working harder to digest. This fires up your metabolism which then makes it harder to doze off and stay asleep. The same applies to your cherub. Giving your baby more food to process right before bedtime won’t help them to sleep, it’ll do the opposite and disturb their slumber. If you want some peace and quiet, trust us, you won’t want to do this!  

Myth #6: You should never wake a sleeping baby

Mother cradling her baby's tiny little feet

Little ones always look so peaceful when they’re snoozing, so why would you ever want to disrupt that? Well, for several reasons, however, the most important one being is that babies (especially if they’re a newborn) need to eat and gain weight. You may also want to cut naptime short if your little one’s night slumbers are inconsistent and disrupted. The key thing to remember here is – what makes your bub cranky has more to do with how you disturb their sleep rather than the disturbance itself. As adults, waking up on your own accord is the best way, and babies are the same. Therefore, we want their teeny tiny bodies to naturally wake up – or at least trick them into thinking they do. We recommend doing this by using the space and environmental signals around you. For example, open the blinds to let the light stream in, or gently remove their sock to boost your babe’s body temperature. If your find your little one is still snoozing away after that, take their barefoot and give it a little light tickle.  

Myth #7: I can sleep train my baby as soon as they’re born 

Little ones are too biologically immature to be sleep trained straight after birth. We recommend teaching your bub to begin sleeping through the night at around 4 months old. Before that, a sleeping pattern or schedule will be pretty much non-existent. Therefore, until then, your only goal should be to love, snuggle and bond with your bundle of joy. The dependence formed with each other in those first few special months, will allow you to help guide your little one to snooze all night long later down the line.  

With all the information out there with regards to your little one’s sleep, and the expectations placed on new mums and dads, it can feel like a complete minefield. However, we hope after reading these baby sleep myths, you feel reassured and more aware of the fibs floating around regarding your cherub’s snoozing habits. The truth is that every baby and family is different, and what works for some may not work so well for others – but remember that’s ok! Whilst there may not be a magic quick fix or one-size-fits-all approach, you will find the perfect solution for your babe in the end. 

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