You finally bring your baby home from the hospital after days of anticipation. You do everything according to the baby books—swaddle, rock, feed—but your little one just won’t fall asleep in the bassinet.
After a few nights of exhausting trial and error, you may be wondering what’s going on. It’s natural to want your baby to sleep in their bed, but every so often it just doesn’t work out that way.
Maybe your baby likes to sleep in your arms, or maybe they prefer the sound of your heartbeat. Whatever the reason, it’s okay. You can still bond with your baby and get some much-needed rest.
Here are some of the likely reasons your baby won’t sleep in the bassinet.
Reasons Why Your Baby Won’t Sleep In Bassinet
There are many reasons why your baby might not want to sleep in their bassinet. Identifying them is the first step to finding a solution.
1. Your baby is hungry:
Your baby’s small stomach can only hold around two ounces of milk at a time. It’s perfectly normal for your baby to wake up frequently to eat, especially if they’re breastfeeding.
2. Your baby isn’t tired yet:
It can be hard to tell when your baby is actually tired. They may rub their eyes, but that doesn’t always mean they’re ready for bed. Sometimes, babies just need a little more time to wind down.
3. Your baby is overstimulated:
Your baby may be upset or overstimulated if they’ve been too active throughout the day. Too much stimulation can make it hard for your baby to settle down and fall asleep.
4. Your baby is sick:
If your baby has a cold, they may not be able to sleep as well. If you’re worried about your baby’s health, consult your pediatrician.
5. Your baby is in a new environment:
Babies are used to the womb, where they were warm and snug. It’s not surprising that they may feel a little apprehensive in a new environment.
6. Your baby is too hot or too cold:
If your baby is too hot or too cold, they may have trouble falling asleep. The ideal temperature for a nursery is between 65 and 70 degrees.
7. Your baby is feeling gassy:
Occasionally, your baby’s fussiness can be caused by gas. Certain foods or drinks may cause gas in your baby. If you’re breastfeeding, try eliminating gas-causing foods from your diet.
8. Your baby has a dirty diaper:
A dirty diaper can be uncomfortable for your baby. If your baby has a wet or soiled diaper, they may not be able to sleep well.
9. Your baby is feeling uncomfortable:
There are many new things happening for your baby. They may be feeling uncomfortable or even a little scared. It’s normal for babies to cry and fuss occasionally.
10. Your baby’s startle reflex is making them wake up:
Babies are born with a startle reflex, which can make them wake up suddenly. The startle reflex usually goes away by four months old.
Solutions For How to Get Your Baby to Sleep In the Bassinet
You’re exhausted. You’ve been up all night trying to soothe your fussy baby, and you’re starting to feel delirious. The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to get your baby to sleep in the bassinet.
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Feed before bed:
A full tummy can help your baby sleep through the night. Try to feed your baby an hour or so before bedtime.
Most babies wake up during the night because they’re hungry, so this can be a simple way to help your baby sleep.
2. Put on soothing music:
Playing soft, relaxing music can help your baby fall asleep. You can find a variety of sleep music online or on streaming services like Spotify.
There are also some great apps that play white noise or other calming sounds.
3. Have a bedtime routine:
Babies thrive on routine, and this can also help them sleep better. Try to follow a consistent bedtime routine every night, like a bath, massage, and some cuddle time.
For babies who are fussier at night, try to keep their daytime routine as consistent as possible.
4. Make sure the room is dark:
Babies sleep best in a dark room. If your baby’s room is too bright, try blackout curtains or a sleep sack that blocks out the light.
The key is to make sure your baby has a consistent sleep environment.
5. Keep the room cool:
As we mentioned before, the ideal temperature for your baby’s room is between 65 and 70 degrees. This is depending on the number of layers your baby is wearing.
6. Make sure the bassinet is comfortable:
The bassinet should be adequately padded and free of any loose or dangerous items. It’s also important to make sure that the mattress is soft but firm.
7. Try white noise:
White noise can help your baby sleep by mimicking the sound of the womb. There are many white noise machines on the market, or you can download a white noise app on your phone.
8. Swaddle your baby:
Swaddling is one of the best ways to soothe a fussy baby. Swaddling your baby can help them feel safe and secure as they sleep. This is also the best way to control their startle reflexes.
9. Keep a bedtime routine:
This can include activities such as reading or bath time. A bath before bed can also calm them down and work like magic.
10. Burp after feedings:
If your baby is gassy, make sure you burp them after every feeding. Changing position while carrying them can also help move trapped gas. You can also try massaging their tummy or giving them a warm bath.
11. Change their diaper before bed:
A dirty diaper may affect your baby’s sleep. You should change their diaper before bedtime, so they can sleep comfortably through the night.
12. Try using a pacifier:
This can help soothe and calm your baby, making it easier for them to fall asleep. A pacifier helps your baby mimic the natural suckling reflex, which can promote sleep.
12. Daylight first thing in the morning:
Opening the curtains or turning on the lights first thing in the morning can help signal to your baby that it’s time to wake up.
This also helps set their circadian, or internal body clock.
Whether it’s playing soothing music, establishing a bedtime routine, or making sure the room is dark and cool, these tips can help your baby sleep through the night.
So if you’re looking for a better night’s sleep, try these tips today and say goodbye to delirious nights with your little one!
How can I get my
baby to sleep in the bassinet if he associates it with being upset?
You should wait until your
What if my
baby won’t sleep in the bassinet and doesn’t sleep anywhere else?
While this isn’t a problem for most parents, some babies don’t know how to put themselves to sleep without being rocked or sung to—and might get too upset if they wake up alone in their bassinets.
If this is the case, you should rock or sing to your