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How to get newborn to nap

Updated: Nov 14, 2022


If you're like me, then you're probably wondering how to get your newborn to nap. Getting baby to sleep is one of the hardest parts of being a new parent: he's so cute, and yet he won't stop crying! Well don't worry, because there are some tricks you can use that will help get your little one napping peacefully. Here's what works for me:

How to get your newborn to nap

It's a delicate balancing act, but here is the general rule of thumb for newborn naps: if you keep them awake for too long, or let them sleep too little and too long again, you'll have a cranky baby on your hands. There's no getting around it—it's normal for babies to be grumpy after staying up all night or sleeping through their usual nap time. It happens! But there is one way to make sure that doesn't happen too often: make sure your baby gets enough sleep in between those naps each day. The best way to do this? Try some different types of soothing music until you find something that works best for both of you (you could even try out some songs from our list!).

Newborns need a routine

As a new parent, you may have heard that babies need a routine. That's true! Newborns need a routine because being able to predict what will happen next helps them feel safe and secure—which is exactly what they need in the first few months of life. A predictable schedule helps your baby sleep better at night and gives you more opportunities for sanity-preserving adult time during the day.

Here are some tips for creating a routine:

  • Make sure you're feeding your newborn on demand rather than according to any kind of schedule (that includes not guessing when their last feeding was).

  • If they're sleeping well at night, try waking them up at 7am every morning so they get used to being awake at this time. This will help prepare them for longer stretches between feeds during the day when they're older. If they're still getting used to eating during the night, then set an alarm clock or just wait until 7am anyway! Babies don't always know what time it is yet, so don't worry about being strict about keeping track; just make sure that by one year old your child has established good sleeping habits by falling asleep at around 8pm each evening after eating dinner sometime between 6pm - 8pm

Help your baby fall asleep on his own

Babies learn by watching and imitating, so it's important to keep your baby in a routine when it comes to falling asleep. As soon as you put him down, walk away and leave the room. If he cries, wait 2 or 3 minutes before checking on him again. Try not to pick him up unless he is really upset; when you do pick him up, pat his back gently until he settles and returns to sleep on his own. You can try swaddling (wrapping them tightly in something like a receiving blanket) or white noise (such as a fan or soft music) if they don't like being alone in their cribs without you there to comfort them, but remember that this will only work for so long before they get used to having these things around every night—so don't rely on them too heavily!

If all else fails...

If after several attempts over several days with no success at all getting your newborn into a consistent nap schedule with any sort of regularity whatsoever...then maybe it's time for some professional help? Remember: There are no hard-and-fast rules about how long babies should sleep; some need more than others due simply because of differences in temperament (some people are naturally early risers while others tend toward late nights). If nothing else seems effective at keeping your little one happy during naptime time then perhaps consulting with an expert would be helpful—they may have other ideas worth trying out!

Plant yourself in your baby's room until he falls asleep

If you're going to sit in the room with your baby until he falls asleep, it's important to be comfortable. You need a rocking chair or rocker and a stack of books to read (preferably something soothing like The Secret Garden or Winnie-the-Pooh). A phone, laptop, snacks and drinks are also good things to have at the ready. If you can't fall asleep next to your child without being distracted by the silence—or if you just want some music playing in the background—consider having a TV or radio on low volume.

When it comes time for bedtime, don't rush things

and don't get frustrated if your little one is slow to fall asleep. Try not to leave the room while he's still awake; it will only make him more upset when you return. If you need to step out for a moment, try taking another child or two with you so that there are fewer things for your baby to focus on when he wakes up.

Get them in the habit of falling asleep by himself.

Remember, the goal is to help your baby fall asleep on his own. You want him to be able to put himself down when he's ready, so that you don't have to do it for him every time.

So what do you need to do? Plant yourself in your baby's room until he falls asleep. There will be times when he'll wake up crying and want you right away, but try not to go in until he settles back down by himself. This might take a while—sometimes 20 minutes or more—but this is what will get him used to falling asleep without needing your presence right away.

If your little one starts crying after being left alone for a few minutes (or longer), give it another five minutes before going in there again; then leave them alone again once they start making noise again. If this continues for an hour or two before bedtime (and sometimes even longer), gently remove yourself from the situation as best as possible without letting them know that their cries are affecting how long they'll get left alone in their cribs (they won't understand anyway). Keep doing this until they're tired enough that they eventually stop fussing long enough for themselves!

What to do if he/she starts crying

  • Don't let him get used to being held.

  • Don't let him get used to being rocked.

  • Don't let him get used to being talked to.

You should have a whole arsenal of ways to get your baby to sleep. If one doesn't work, try another. And if they all fail, call in reinforcements!

Longer naps are better than short ones.

As long as your baby is getting some sleep, the length of that nap isn’t the most important thing. It’s better for them to take a short nap than none at all. The more sleep they get, the more refreshed they will feel when it's time to wake up and start playing again.

If you're having trouble getting your newborn to take long naps, try changing his schedule a little bit. If he usually goes down at noon but wakes up at 5 p.m., try putting him down earlier in the morning or later in the evening—even if it means waking up an hour earlier than you usually do!

Getting your newborn to nap is easier than you might think, especially if you follow these tips!

Getting your newborn to nap is easier than you might think, especially if you follow these tips!

  • Get them in the habit of falling asleep by themselves. This will make naptime much easier later on when they are older, because they’ll know how to fall asleep without being nursed or held.

  • Plant yourself in your baby’s room until they fall asleep. If your baby is used to being held and rocked every time she wakes up during the night and into morning hours, she may not know how to doze off on her own at first. Sit with her/him until she doses off – this can take anywhere from five minutes (if she’s a deep sleeper) up to an hour (if nursing has become part of her bedtime routine). Once she falls asleep, pick up your book or put on some music and leave quietly so as not wake her again!


I hope these tips have been helpful, and that they’ll help you get your baby into a great routine. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them in the comments below!

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