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Any suggestions for helping our baby sleep?

Should our newborn always sleep in a sleep sack even during the day? Do you have suggestions for helping baby figure out nights vs days?

Matthew Gibson | Pediatrician

Matthew Gibson

It is perfectly safe for babies to sleep in a sleep or swaddle sack during naps and overnight, however they are not required to do so. The most important thing is that babies are always alone and on their back on a firm, flat surface when sleeping and napping.

It’s okay if they’re swaddled but do not need any extra blankets, pillows or stuffed animals. Newborns are often more comfortable and sleep better when tightly swaddled so a sleep sack can help them do better overnight and during naps. Once a baby can roll over, they should no longer have their arms swaddled or wrapped, but can continue to use sacks with their arms out.

Undoubtedly babies get their days and nights confused. Fortunately there are a few things parents can do to help them figure it out. The more often a baby is awake and eating, the more they associate that time with daytime.

If your baby is starting to rustle awake and it has only been one and a half hours since they last ate, it is okay to get them up and have them eat again before they fall back asleep as they may give you longer stretches overnight. Shoot for eating every 2-3 hours during the day and 3-4 hours overnight.

I also recommend lights stay off and overnight feedings be as boring and uneventful as possible with little talking, singing, etc. During the day, when babies are napping make sure to still do your normal activities around the house and keep lights at a brighter level so there is some noise and distinction between day and night. This helps them figure it out and gets them used to sleeping through anything!

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