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Sleep Tips for Infants 0-4 Months Old

By Guest Blogger - Leigh of Bonne Nuit Baby | Mar 18, 2019 11:04:19 AM


Hi! I’m Leigh McMahon of Bonne Nuit Baby. I’m a black coffee loving, DryBar-indulging #boymom living in Denver. I’m also a certified sleep consultant with over 250 hours of training. I help kiddos newborn to 6 years sleep better so their families can live their best lives!

Today we’re going to start at the beginning: 0 to 4 months. Baby is home, you’re stocked with amazing ABBY&FINN diapers and the exhaustion is setting in.  Trust me, I remember that feeling. A new mama desperately wants to get her baby on a schedule but you have to be patient. There are definitely things that you CAN start to do during the first few months while you’re all adjusting. Here are our top tips to help you survive the 4th trimester:

  1. Make sure baby has a safe sleep space:

  • Baby should be in their own space (a bassinet, crib or pack-n-play) with a firm mattress. Co-sleepers, Rock-n-Plays, Dock-a-Tots, or any other sleep positioner/loungers are NOT designed for sleep. Both the AAP and FDA have issued statements strongly discouraging parents from using these products for sleep.

  • Always put baby down on her back to sleep. No loose blankets, pillows, lovies or stuffed animals should be in her sleep space.

  • Keep baby in your room for up to 12 months--it decreases the risk of SIDS by as much as 50 percent.

  • The room should be dark, cool and quiet.

  1. Weeks 0-8:  Sleep is disorganized and that’s totally normal. You can’t predict the quantity or length of sleep, so try to go with the flow.

  • Most newborns have day/night confusion; unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about it right now. It usually ends around 8 weeks.

  • Don’t try to keep them up during the day so that they’ll sleep at night! Keep awake windows short between naps: 30-45 minutes max, up to 60 minutes around 8 weeks.

  • Once baby is able to perform a “social smile,” it’s time to implement a short-but-sweet sleep routine: e.g., change diaper, sing a song, put down to sleep. Do this for every sleep period. Around week 8, start to work on at least one nap per day in the bassinet/crib.


  1. Weeks 9-16: Bedtime will likely need to be moved earlier to 6-8pm. If your baby is a catnapper, she will need more overnight sleep to compensate.

  • Talk to your pediatrician about how many overnight feedings they recommend.

  • Continue to monitor awake windows between naps (usually 1 - 1.5 hours at this age).

  • If your baby is unable to self-soothe (aka fall asleep by herself), try to give her short opportunities to try it out. This is the best sleeping skill you can start teaching your baby! You can start with short intervals of 2-3 minutes. If you hear her settling down, don’t rush in! Take a deep breath and give her another minute.


We get a lot of questions about schedules for babies and until they’re 4 months, there really isn’t a schedule that we can suggest beyond eat, play, sleep. The most important thing is to pay attention to the awake windows and learn your baby’s sleepy cues. Keeping her from getting overtired is the name of the game! Hang in there--there is light (and a schedule!) at the end of this tunnel. Until then, grab your venti latte and dry shampoo--you got this, mama!



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