Sleep

Most parents struggle with getting enough sleep after having a baby. They try to get the baby to sleep for as long as possible, so that they themselves can get sleep too.

The goal for many parents is to have the baby sleeping through the night, which is defined as sleeping for 5 or more hours at a time during the nighttime. While some babies will sleep through the night by the time they’re 6 weeks old, others will continue to wake up regularly until they are more than a year old. Some babies that once slept well may start waking up again. Each baby is different and sleeping patterns can change over time.

There are things that you can do to help your baby sleep better.

• Expose your baby to natural light, noise and activity during the day. Put them to sleep in a room that is quiet and dark during the night.
• When you’re tending to your baby at night, don’t play or talk with them; keep the lights low.
• Try white noise during sleep time, like a fan or the sounds of ocean waves.
• Don’t respond to every sound at night. Babies make noise while they sleep. Wait to see if baby will settle back down before responding.
• Have a calming bedtime routine that you both enjoy
Get more information and tips

Sleep chart from Sleep and Your Infant handout.

Talk to your Public Health Nurse or come to a Parent and Infant Drop in to get more information and support

Learn how to create a safe sleeping environment for your baby. Not only will it help them to sleep better, but a safe sleeping environment also reduces their risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Follow these tips to help your baby get the best possible sleep as safely as possible:

• Always place your baby on their back to sleep. If they roll over on their own, that’s okay.Safe Sleep
• Use an approved crib or bassinet with a firm sleep surface. Don’t use any pillows or bumper pads.
• Share a room with the baby, if possible. (But don’t share your bed.)
• Never expose your baby to second-hand smoke.
• Breastfeed your baby.
• Keep baby warm, but not hot. A light blanket is usually enough.

To get more information, watch the safe sleeping video or read the safe sleeping pamphlet from the Public Health Agency of Canada