Sleeping Tips for New Parents

Updated May 11, 2022

sleeping baby

Childcare and Sleeplessness

Bringing a new baby into your home is one of the greatest feelings that someone can experience. While they bring happiness, babies also bring several new challenges such as changing diapers, frequent feedings and trying to calm them when they are crying. One of the main challenges parents face is sleep deprivation from taking care of their child when it wakes up in the middle of the night. This page will give tips to new parents so they can enjoy quality sleep.

Sleep When the Baby Sleeps

If the baby does get enough sleep at night it will sleep during the day. When your little one falls asleep, that is your chance to catch up on sleep. According to John Hopkins Medicine, the baby naps anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, adding up to a total of 16 to 18 hours of sleep each day.

When your newborn sleeps, catching up on sleep should be your biggest priority. While your baby is sleeping, don't bother with chores such as cleaning or paying bills. Chores can be done while the baby is awake, go take a nap. If your house is messy, close family and friends will understand.

Split Nighttime Responsibilities

Share the wake-up responsibilities of nighttime feeding, changing diapers, or simply taking care of a crying baby. If the mother is breastfeeding, the father can carry the baby to her so she doesn't have to get out of bed each time. To make life easier on yourselves, place the crib or bassinet near the bed so you do not have to go too far to tend to your child. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) warns to avoid bed-sharing which can be a bad sleep habit and can lead to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

Ask for Help

Sometimes it takes a village to raise a child. Don’t be afraid to reach out to family members to take care of your baby. Grandparents make great low-budget babysitters when you need a break.

To help yourself, take full advantage of parental leave. Both parents can take time off work at the same time, or one parent can take it first (usually the mother) and the spouse can take it several weeks later to help mom transition back to work.

Practice Sleep Hygiene

baby in crib

Practicing good sleep hygiene is essential to a good night's sleep. If possible maintain a consistent sleep schedule. It may be tempting to use caffeine during the day but this can interfere with your sleep cycle and cause more sleep loss.

It is also important to help your baby develop proper sleep habits. According to Hopkins Medicine, babies start to sleep for longer periods at night starting at 3 months of age. The baby will sleep anywhere from 4 to 6 hours. Two-thirds of babies sleep through most of the night by the time they are 6 months, but this will vary with each child.

To help your baby develop healthy sleep habits, doctors suggest putting babies down for the night when they’re drowsy. Experts also warn against rocking the baby to sleep because it could become a habit, teach babies to fall asleep in bed on their own. Eventually, you will need to let your child self-soothe or let the baby cry it out so they can fall back to sleep on their own, allowing everyone to get better sleep.


Taking care of a newborn brings new challenges that can lead to poor sleep. To help yourself, sleep when the baby sleeps and ask for help. Work as a team, split responsibilities.

Try to maintain good sleep habits for yourself while training your baby to sleep at night in its crib. Make sure that the baby’s crib has a proper mattress in it. You should always reach out to your pediatrician or healthcare provider if you continue to struggle with your newborn baby.

About the Author Steven Bieber

Steven Bieber HeadshotSteven is a content writer who recently broke into the mattress industry. In his free time, he enjoys watching football and listening to music.

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