Sleep is likely one of the most talked about topics among new parents, and getting a newborn to sleep in their bassinet can be a challenge. Most parents feed, change, rock, maybe even read a story to get a routine going. But often it can be a difficult part of a baby’s day. Parents try to get their baby to sleep but the little one’s eyes spring open. Only to start the process again!
#1 - Check their surroundings
If a parent is having a hard time getting their baby to sleep in a bassinet or even a crib, start by checking the surroundings.
- Temperature - Is the baby too hot or too cold? Babies aren’t able to effectively regulate their temperature until around 12 months of age. Check to see if they need a warmer or lighter sleeper or swaddle. Never put a blanket in a bassinet or crib!
- Light - Check the amount of light in the room. If the room is too bright, the baby will be looking around and not going to sleep.
- Noise - Too much noise can startle a baby. Some parents swear by making loads of noise while others think that it’s good to have a bit of quiet.
#2 - Don’t wait until baby is asleep to put them in their bassinet
While it can be a time for bonding and cherished moments that parents feel might not last, it’s worth trying to settle a baby in the bassinet rather than on a person. Babies are more likely to stay asleep when placed in the bassinet awake rather than being transferred already asleep from a person to the bassinet. So, if you can put the baby down first, then settle them to sleep, they are less likely to wake.
#3 - Getting a baby used to their bassinet
It’s a good idea to try and get a baby to associate sleep time with a bassinet. If possible, put the baby in a bassinet during the day for naps. If your baby wants to be with you constantly, it can be hard to get a minute to yourself! Remember a bassinet is a safe space to put your baby while you brush your teeth or get dressed.
A bassinet that’s easy to move around and transport is the Arm’s Reach Cambria Co-Sleeper® bedside bassinet which features four castor wheels making it easy to move around the house, and the built in leg adjusters fit all heights of beds.
#4 - A routine can be the start of good sleep habits
Getting baby into a routine is one of those pieces of advice that everyone loves to share. There’s a difference between a routine and a schedule. While you might want to put a baby to sleep at the exact same time every day, chances are that it might not be possible. A routine happens at the same time every day, but it’s less specific and it means that one activity follows the next. With a routine, it won’t feel like something went wrong if you’re off by a few minutes. Every family can have their own routine, but in general it can be something like: Bath time, light massage for baby, reading or singing, swaddling, and bed.
#5 - Check if your baby is overtiredIf a newborn is fussing and irritable and clearly tired, it’s likely that they are overtired and getting them to sleep in a bassinet will be a challenge. Figuring this out can be a bit hard, but start with keeping a close eye on the times that they are awake. This is the time they will stay awake and be happy before becoming overtired. For a newborn it is likely to be between 45 - 90 minutes. Also look for signs that your baby is tired. Some examples include staring into space or rubbing their eyes. Once you notice those sleep cues, it’s time for the baby to go to sleep.