Establishing good sleeping habits for your baby is important for both of you. It will benefit your baby as part of a regular daily schedule and set him or her up to continue these sleeping habits through life. It will also benefit you because it will give you a chance to get the much needed sleep that a new mother needs and deserves. Below are a few tips that will help to get your baby’s sleeping habits on track.

One of the first things to remember is to put your baby to sleep before he becomes too tired. A tired baby is a cranky baby and one that will fight sleep. Also, after the first few months, instead of “putting” your baby to sleep by rocking or patting him, lay him down in his crib when he seems sleepy and let him learn to fall asleep on his own. There is no need to let him “cry it out”, but see how he reacts to being put down while he is still awake. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Try to have your baby in a dimly lit quiet area for at least a half an hour before you try to put him down. If you baby is over-stimulated, he will try to fight sleep and may not sleep well at all. This also include when he wakes up for night feedings. He will go to back to sleep faster if does not get the impression that it is time to wake up and play. Although mobiles and light up toys are good to help sooth your baby, make sure they won’t keep him too occupied when he is tired. Put a minimal amount of distractions in his crib and make sure they have low music and dim lights.

In the beginning, try swaddling your baby well. The more he feels protected and like he is back in your womb, the better you will both sleep those first few crucial weeks, when rest is most scarce. It may help your baby go from waking once every 2 hours to waking once every 4 hours within the first week. Once your baby is old enough, limit his naps during the day and keep him stimulated so that he may sleep longer and better at bed time.

If you are on maternity leave, then getting your baby and yourself back into a regular sleeping pattern may be of the utmost importance. However, if you have time to work with your baby, then don’t push it if he is not ready. Forcing your baby to learn to fall asleep on his own in a dark room will not speed up the learning process for him. Eventually, he will learn to fall asleep on his own and you will be able to get a good nights rest once again.