How to Get a Newborn to Fall Asleep

Babies under three months are supposed to sleep up to 16 hours a day. Apparently yours didn’t get the memo! Here’s how to help him find his way to La-La Land.

You will need

  • A bassinet or crib
  • A receiving blanket
  • A rocking chair or glider
  • Your most soothing singing voice
  • A large exercise ball
  • A blanket sleeper
  • A white noise machine or electric fan
  • A pacifier

Step 1 Make baby comfy Make sure your baby is comfortable: His tummy should be full and his diaper should be clean and dry.

Step 2 Swaddle Swaddle your baby. He’ll feel as cozy as if he’s still in the womb, and hopefully relaxed enough to drift off to sleep.

Step 3 Make temperature adjustments Make sure your baby is neither cold nor hot. If you think he might be cold, don’t add blankets—loose covers are a suffocation hazard. A blanket sleeper with an extra t-shirt underneath should keep your baby cozy.

Step 4 Get moving Get moving. Your baby is used to being rocked, swayed, and walked in Mom’s belly, so that’s often what he needs to enter Dreamland.

Step 5 Sing Sing—anything, as long as it’s gentle and lyrical. It doesn’t matter if it’s off-key. Your baby loves your voice no matter what. It doesn’t even matter if it’s made-up nonsense.

Step 6 Add some racket Add a little racket. The drone of a fan or white noise machine has been known to help babies fall asleep.

Step 7 Wait with him Put your baby down when he’s drowsy, but not yet asleep; you can stay with him until he conks out. He’ll learn to drift off by himself, even when he wakes up in the night—meaning more ZZZs for you.