Helping your baby to settle (under three months)
The fact is, nearly all babies need a little help to get to sleep in the first few months.
Here are some tips to help your baby settle.
- Young babies like to be swaddled with a light sheet or blanket – ask your midwife or health visitor how to do this if you’re not sure.
- Try to put your baby down to sleep when they’re drowsy so they get used to going to sleep on their own.
- Look for signs that your baby is tired before they get over-tired (which actually makes it harder to fall asleep!). Signs to look for include rubbing their eyes, staring into the distance, and yawning.
- Some babies fall asleep easier with background ‘white noise’ – such as a running washing machine or vacuum cleaner – probably because it mimics the whooshing sounds of the womb. There are also apps that play white noise on demand, which can be more practical! We recommended the White Noise Lite app – which is free to download for iPhone and Android.
- While they’re in their crib or Moses basket, try gently stroking your baby in a downwards motion between their eyes and down their nose. This relaxes them and encourages them to close their eyes.
- Rocking your baby – in their crib, a rocking chair or in your arms – will help them fall sleep, and is fine for very young babies. Beware of doing it too often, or after 3 months old, however – they may start to associate sleep with the movement and be unable to drop off without being rocked. The same goes for driving your baby around in the middle of the night to get them to sleep: try other methods first if you can.
Want more advice or support?
You can talk via online chat to our family support workers and get advice specific to your situation and your family.