9 Steps to Get Your Baby on A Sleep Schedule

Parenting comes with a host of new experiences in life. Some moments leave you giving memories for lifetime and some are tricky to handle. Getting your baby on a sleep schedule is one of those parenting dilemmas that most parents struggle with.

Witnessing your baby crying at the top of their lungs while you have to find creative ways to soothe them and get them to sleep is tricky. But this is where implementing a sleep schedule comes in handy.

This article will explore the top nine tips you should follow to get your baby to sleep so that they can wake up refreshed the next morning.

When is the right time to get a baby on a sleep schedule?

As first-time parents, being confused about the right time frame for optimizing your baby’s internal clock for sleep is normal.

Experts suggest that by the 2-month mark, babies develop a sense of routine, which is when you implement a basic newborn sleep schedule. However, between 3 and 6 months is when the actual routines become more common. You will find that your baby’s nap time, bedtime, and waking times become more regular every day.

If you are considering training your baby into a sleep schedule, we advise waiting until they are 6 months old. Doctors suggest that the babies are physically more developed and ready to have a sense of these routines by this time.

What are the benefits of a sleep schedule for a baby?

A consistent sleep schedule is important for babies as it benefits their overall health and well-being.

Some of the more notable benefits include:

Better sleep quality

When your baby has a consistent sleep schedule, it helps regulate their internal clock, allowing them to fall asleep faster and even stay up longer. So, if you want your baby to have a more restful night’s sleep, this is where you can start implementing a sleep schedule in their life.

Improved sleep routine

Babies thrive on routine, and having a bedtime and wake-up time helps establish a predictable sleep routine. Believe it or not, babies find this routine comforting because they can predict what will happen next.

Enhanced development

Adequate, quality sleep is crucial for a baby’s growth and development. During sleep, the brain and body undergo critical processes like memory consolidation, physical growth, and immune system support.

Improved mood

How often does it happen that your baby wakes up irritated and fussy? You can eliminate that concern for good with a regular sleep schedule since they are more likely to be content and comfortable after getting good-quality sleep.

Easier for parents

While having a sleep schedule is great for the babies, you can’t deny that it is even better for the parents. A schedule and routine allow parents to manage things around the house while their baby sleeps. It also allows them to get the much-needed rest themselves.

9 Tips to Get Your Baby on a Sleep Schedule

Now that you have all the basics cleared, let us focus on the tips you can follow if your newborn isn’t sleeping.

1. Prioritize your baby’s comfort

One of the most common mistakes parents make is not prioritizing comfort when setting up a sleep schedule. Like us adults, even babies need a comfortable environment to fall asleep.

When taking care of your baby’s comfort before putting them to sleep, there is a checklist you need to pay attention to:

  • Is the crib comfortable and the mattress in place?
  • Does the baby need a diaper change?
  • Is the baby dressed appropriately, or do they need extra layers?
  • Is the room temperature cool and optimal?
  • Are there any distractions or noises in the room?
  • Is the monitor in the room set up well?

Once you have an answer to these questions, you can change and switch things to make the room and your baby more comfortable so they are receptive to the routine you are trying to put them in. Some babies find white noise in the background soothing and great for their sleep.

2. Start a bedtime routine

Another tip worth following is setting up a bedtime routine for your child. Even studies and experts suggest that babies learn from environmental cues. So, when you have a routine, they know what to expect and will create less fuss when trying to get them to fall asleep.

Setting a bedtime routine doesn’t have to be elaborate. It can include something as simple as changing your baby’s clothes, changing their diapers, breastfeeding them, etc.

If required, you can even dim the lights in the bedroom as part of the routine. Since our brains associate the intensity of the light with activity, dimming the light tells your baby that it’s time to rest and get some sleep.

3. Watch for sleep cues

Babies are very susceptible. So, if you try to force them to do something, chances are they’ll do the opposite. This is where you need to be a little more vigilant.

Monitor for cues when your baby is tired, rubbing their eyes, or yawning more than normal. If they start getting cranky, that’s another sign that they might be sleepy.

This is when the iron is hot to hammer. Since your baby is already close to falling asleep, implementing the routine or getting them on a sleep schedule during these moments is a great way to solidify the routine further.

4. Share the room but not the bed

Getting your baby to fall asleep in the same room as parents is a great way to prolong their sleep and prevent risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

However, there is a catch. You want your baby to fall asleep in the same room as you, but you shouldn’t let them sleep on your bed. This is where the problem arises.

Studies indicate that babies who sleep in the same room as their parents have better quality sleep. Also, it enables the parents to have the peace of mind of checking their baby’s breathing, actions, and well-being.

5. Swaddle your baby

The swaddling method works quite well when setting a sleep schedule for infants. Swaddling gives them the snug feeling and safety they had while inside their mother’s womb, enabling them to fall asleep quicker and more comfortably.

Besides that, since babies are developing and have no motor function control, they habitually flail their arms or twitch involuntarily during sleep. This can accidentally wake them up while they are asleep.

When they are swaddled, the risks of this are minimized significantly. It keeps them in position and prevents their arms and legs from moving too much.

6. Tap naps seriously

Did you think that “tiring your baby out” will make them sleep for longer periods during the night? Well, it seems like that’s not always the case.

In fact, as counterintuitive as it sounds, skipping a nap in hopes that your baby will sleep better at night doesn’t work. This is why even pediatricians emphasize the importance of naps during the daytime.

What we’d recommend you do is pay attention to your baby. If you find them getting drowsy and yawning, getting them down for a nap is a good idea. Even if it’s for 30 minutes or 1 hour, the nap helps them freshen up and be more proactive.

7. Refrain yourself from rushing

As parents, we want the best for our children and will run at the first sign of danger and discomfort to the baby.

But, when setting a sleep schedule for your baby, that’s not something you want to do. Newborns sleep very sporadically. Also, when your baby is 3 months old, they can self-soothe.

So, if you rush into their bedroom at the first sound of their cry, it will make it difficult for them to fall back to sleep by themselves. Even if you find your baby fussing and crying after some time, ensure that you go around into their room but don’t pick them up. Soothe them with your voice instead.

8. Pay attention to the temperature

Like adults, even babies need very specific room temperature to fall asleep comfortably. Ideally, you want to keep the room temperature between 69- and 73 degrees Fahrenheit.

Depending on where you live, you can turn on the air conditioner or bundle up your baby so they aren’t overheated or too cold.

Besides the air in the room, the placement of the crib makes a lot of difference, too. You don’t want to place it right in front of the air vents. Also, avoid keeping the crib beside the windows since the noises can startle them awake.

9. Offer a pacifier

Pacifiers are a great way to soothe your baby while sleep-training them. They have downsides but don’t apply until your baby is around 2+ years old.

Studies have shown that pacifiers are great for getting your baby to fall asleep and effectively reduce the risks of SIDS in babies.

These are a few tips that are great if your newborn is not sleeping at night. Establishing a sleep schedule early is a great way to ensure your baby is proactive, developing well, and isn’t cranky throughout the day.


Getting your newborn sleeping on the side and establishing a sleep routine can be challenging, especially if you are a first-time parent with very little experience. Implementing these proven and science-backed tips can help you navigate through the challenges well. Sometimes, even with all the tips in place, it can become difficult to establish a routine, which is where professionals step into the picture.

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