May 16, 2023

Helping your little one sleep better

Sophie Allen
Sophie Allen
Helping your little one sleep better

It's no secret that once your newborn arrives home, those long nights of uninterrupted sleep become a thing of the past. While every parent's day is different, we recognise that you are probably exhausted and sleep deprived, so we’ve prepared some sleep recommendations and advice for your little one. Follow Babbu to read more on our specialised blog for additional information on sleep recommendations for parents.

  • Sleep is necessary for human growth. The brain is extremely active during sleep, laying the groundwork for how we learn and evolve, including the development of our behaviour, emotions, and immune system. 

  • Remember that there is no hard and fast rule for sleep; each baby is different. Some things may work for your child while others may not. Figuring out what works best for you both is all part of the learning process, so patience is key!

  • When it comes to sleep and newborns, the most important thing to remember is to stick with it and not feel like you're doing anything wrong. This is something that all newborns (and parents) go through, and it will pass.

For the time being, we hope that these sleep suggestions are useful:

Establish a sleep schedule and routine 

You may wish to start a bedtime routine in the evening, possibly when your little one appears sleepy.  A regular sequence of activities, such as a bath, story, and milk in a dark room, can help them relax and sleep longer at night. Once your baby understands the routine, you can move their bedtime to a time that works for you.

How do I know when my little one is tired? 

Your little one may be making movements and actions to indicate they are ready for sleep. For example, they may be doing any of the following: 

  • Yawning

  • Jerky movements

  • Becoming quiet or not wanting to play

  • Becoming fussy

  • Rubbing their eyes

  • Crying

  • Clenched fists

Day versus Night 

Did you know that your little one’s sleep can be affected by daylight and their body temperature? 

Some parents believe that keeping their children awake throughout the day will help them sleep better at night. However, like other forms of sleep training, this ignores natural newborn sleep development and risks missing indications about your baby's needs. 

When your little one wakes up in the middle of the night, try to keep the lights dark and keep talking, and playing to a minimum. Also, keep nighttime nappy changes quick!


How much should my little one be sleeping? 

First of all, this tells you roughly how much your little one needs to sleep for. Remember, this may not be the same every day and every night. 

  • 0 to 3 months: Your baby will typically sleep for 8 and a half hours every night, as well as 8 and a half hours during the day in naps of varied lengths. That's 17 hours of sleep every day on average!

  • 3 to 6 months: Some babies will sleep for 8 hours or longer at night, but not all. By 4 months, they may be spending around twice as long sleeping at night as they do during the day.

  • 6 to 9 months: Your baby may sleep up to 14-15 hours in a 24 hour period, including 1-3 naps during the day.

  • 9 to 12 months: Your baby may sleep up to 13-14 hours in a 24 hour period, including at least 1 nap during the day.

Little boy sleeping

Little boy sleeping

How to create a good sleeping environment

  • Maintain a cool environment by setting your thermostat between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius.

  • Reassure yourself by placing your hand on their chest, if it's warm, your little one is warm enough too. 

  • If you are able to fit in blackout shades and use a white-noise machine, this creates a similar womb-like environment. 

  • Their sleeping place should be free from quilts, pillows, and duvets. They should be laid down on a firm and flat mattress.

How to ensure your little one has a safer sleep

  • Sleeping your baby on their back (the supine position) is one of the most preventative steps you can take to guarantee your baby is sleeping safely. 

  • To lessen the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, newborns should sleep in the same room as adults until they are six months old (SIDS). 

  • Keep your baby’s head uncovered—if they have a blanket, it should be tucked in no higher than their shoulders.

  • Place your baby in the ‘feet to foot’ position, with their feet at the end of the cot or Moses basket so they cannot wriggle under the covers.

  • When your baby is able to roll from back to front and back again on their own, they can be left to find their own sleeping position.



Many newborns and young children fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer when swaddled. Because their bodies are still developing, babies lack motor control and frequently twitch, flail, and move their legs unintentionally when sleeping. This unintentional movement can wake them up, so swaddling can be helpful because it gives them a sense of comfort and security and keeps their arms and legs from moving too much.

 Here are a few tips if you wish to swaddle your little one: 

  • Use a lightweight cotton swaddling blanket or sleeping bag to help prevent your baby from overheating.

  • Be sure to leave plenty of room for your baby’s hips and legs to move, as swaddling too tightly can lead to future hip problems.

  • Stop swaddling when your little one starts trying to roll over on their own-this often happens at about 2 months or a little later


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