Knowing those who have gone before us are a well of knowledge just waiting to be tapped, we asked our Facebook and Twitter followers what sleep tips they’d share with their sleep-deprived sisters, and boy did they deliver.
Rather than leaving you to drown in a sea of sleep advice, we’ve picked a selection of tips from all corners that you can take or leave. Maybe something will strike a chord, or maybe you’ll feel inclined to print this out and burn it while screaming about how there is no God. No judgment.
The important thing to keep in mind is eventually, no matter what you do or don’t do, your baby will sleep.
Baby Sleep Tips & Tricks
Many parents had some fantastic hacks and tricks that helped their babies understand how awesome sleep is.
"Rub a newborn gently with your thumb between his eyes so they close – helped my tired baby give in to sleep." - Eileen
"I put about half a dozen soothers in the crib so he can find them when he wakes up at night. It looks nuts but it works." - Krista
"I put on the same lavender hand lotion every night and I think the smell acts like a cue that it’s bedtime." - Sara
"Every night I sing the same song when I’m feeding my baby so she knows it’s sleep time." - Brittany
"Before I go to bed I do a “dreamfeed” to top the baby up for the night and it usually buys me a couple more hours." - Tara
"Make sure it’s cool (not cold) where they are sleeping. I always found my kids slept better in a cool room." - Kate
"I don’t change diapers in the middle of the night unless it’s poop. Butter their bum up with lots of barrier cream before bed then only change them in the morning. It helps them stay half asleep for night feeds." - Christina
"I make sure to go outside every day so my baby gets her days and nights straight. I don’t know if it’s the fresh air or the light but it helps both of us sleep." - Jamie
You might also find this post helpful: Newborn Sleep: Start With This One Goal
Sleep products people rave about
Many parents have discovered some products that made a magical difference. Here are the safe ones (I don't want you doing risking stuff in a sleep-deprived state.)
"White. Noise. Machine." - Amy
"Blackout curtains and a noise machine (shush pat is great but sometimes you need help with the shush part!)" - Writer Mom Life
"Love To Dream swaddles were a lifesaver for us!" - Ashley
"Huckleberry’s app. I upgraded to get the sweet spot nap prediction tool for a year or two. My youngest just turned 3 so I just recently ended my subscription, but I’m still using the free part to track how much sleep he’s getting." - Emily
You might also find this post helpful: Huckleberry Premium App Review: Is It Worth Upgrading?
All babies will learn to sleep. Parents have to decide if they are going to give them some guidance or let them figure it out for themselves over time. There's no shame in either game.
"*nervously raises hand* we tried all the sorcery for eight months until we finally hit rock bottom. I love my daughter more than anything but one night we tucked her in, closed the door, and became part of the dreaded “cry it out club”. It was tough for a couple of nights, now she sleeps for 11- 12 hours and naps consistently. And she seems to still be well adjusted and is happy to see us in the morning. #dontcrucifyme #wewereallsotired." - Aeriel
"Sleep training at 7 months. We’ve pretty much slept through the night since then & she’s now 27 months. Works for us!" - Kristin
"I went out of town for two nights BY MYSELF and left my 20-month-old home with my husband. Was great for father/daughter bonding and I slept through two nights in a row! The separation anxiety I’d expected didn’t happen either, so I’m thinking of doing it again soon…" - Jodi
"We did sleep training. My biggest piece of advice is to know how you’re going to handle it BEFORE you try it. Have a plan figured out before you start or you’ll be inconsistent and it will never work." - Jess
You might also find this post helpful: Sleep Training 101
Consistency is key
Life can be chaotic, but many parents found that sticking to a firm sleep routine helped everyone stay in step.
"No sorcery, just routine!" - Brittain
"Remember that all kids are different and what worked for your first or second child will naturally not work for third making him the most rotten of the bunch. But really consistency is definitely key!" - Susan
"Consistency!!! We are absolutely those parents that end the day with a set bedtime (almost) no matter what and make NO apologies for it. Have done two the same way and plan on doing the same for the third. I would nurse them at the same time each night and put them down asleep. As they got older, same routine whether they were asleep or not. By 4 or 5 months, I could put an awake baby down and leave the room and they would go to sleep." - Brandi
You might also find this post helpful: Cry-Just-a-Little Sleep Training Method (with Full Instructions)
Go with the flow
Many seasoned parents recognize that this period in a baby's life is relatively short (even though it feels like a lifetime when you're in it.)
"Sometimes, the most compassionate thing you can do for yourself is to accept that the baby ISN’T going to sleep right now." - Ellie
"My 3 yo and 7 mo old Just created their own bedtimes and we went with it. 7 mo old is asleep around 8 pm and sleeps for 12 hours solid. My 3 yo is asleep between 8&9 pm and sleeps 12-14 hours solid. They both started sleeping through the night around 4 months old. I guess I just got lucky because they’ve allowed me to sleep very well." - Allie
"Don’t feel bad about anything you have to do to make it happen. I can assure you that nobody needs to be rocked to sleep when they are 22. This too shall pass." - Erica
You might also find this post helpful: When Your Baby Hates Sleep
What baby sleep tips would you add?
What would you add to help a new parent navigate those sleepless nights? Leave your comments below!
Related: Do-Not-Disturb Baby Door Hangers (free printable)