Sleepless Nights After Bringing Baby Home | 1st Night Woes

Muhammad Sohaib

First Night Home From The Hospital and Baby Won’t Sleep

Last Updated on November 4, 2023 by Muhammad Sohaib

The first night home from the hospital with your newborn can be both an exciting and daunting experience. 

While you’re overjoyed to welcome your baby into their new home, you’re also likely to be grappling with the challenge of ensuring your baby gets a good night’s sleep. The reality is that many babies have a tough time settling down on their first night at home. 

If you find yourself in a situation where your baby won’t sleep on the first night home from the hospital, this article will guide you through the various aspects of this situation, helping you create a conducive sleep environment and provide practical tips to make the night as restful as possible for both you and your baby.

Understanding Newborn Sleep Patterns

Understanding Newborn Sleep Patterns

Newborns have unique sleep patterns that differ significantly from adults. Understanding these patterns is crucial for ensuring your baby’s comfort and well-being

1. Sleep Needs of a Newborn: Babies have varying sleep needs, but most newborns sleep for 14 to 17 hours a day, often in short bursts.

2. Differences Between Adult and Infant Sleep Patterns: Newborns spend more time in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which is lighter and more easily disrupted than the deep sleep that adults experience.

3. The Role of Circadian Rhythms in a Baby’s Sleep: A newborn’s circadian rhythms are not yet developed, making it challenging for them to distinguish between day and night.

Creating a Comfortable Sleep Environment

Ensuring your baby’s sleep environment is comfortable and safe is paramount:

1. Temperature and Room Conditions

Keeping the room at 68-72°F (20-22°C) is essential for a comfortable and safe sleep environment for infants, reducing the risk of overheating or being too cold. 

Using a room thermometer ensures that the temperature remains within this ideal range, promoting better sleep quality and safety for your baby.

2. The Significance of a Crib or Bassinet

A safe crib or bassinet with a firm mattress and fitted sheet is crucial for infant safety, reducing the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). 

It provides a secure sleeping environment, promoting healthy sleep habits and ensuring the baby’s well-being.

3. Safe Sleep Guidelines

Following safe sleep guidelines, such as placing your baby on their back to sleep, is crucial to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). 

It ensures that the baby’s airway remains clear, promoting safe and sound sleep. Adhering to these guidelines is a fundamental step in providing a secure sleeping environment for your infant.

4. Noise and Light Considerations

Maintaining a dark and quiet room at night is essential for creating an optimal sleep environment for infants. It promotes deeper, uninterrupted sleep and helps regulate their circadian rhythms. 

Blackout curtains can be helpful in blocking out external light and noise, ensuring a peaceful and restful night for the baby.

Feeding Your Newborn

Feeding Your Newborn

Feeding is a crucial aspect of your baby’s sleep routine:

  • Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding

The choice between breastfeeding and formula feeding should be based on what works best for your family’s lifestyle and needs. While breastfeeding can offer convenience for night feedings, formula feeding can involve shared responsibilities and allow others to help with nighttime feedings, potentially promoting better sleep for both parents. The key is to find a feeding method that aligns with your family’s unique circumstances and fosters a well-rested environment for all.

  • Establishing a Feeding Routine

Establishing a feeding routine helps infants develop a predictable pattern for meals, reducing nighttime wake-ups. It fosters better sleep habits by ensuring they receive sufficient nourishment during the day. A consistent schedule can promote better sleep for both the baby and the family.

  • Feeding Cues from Your Baby

Being attuned to your baby’s hunger and fullness signals is crucial for responsive feeding. It enables you to feed when your baby genuinely needs it, preventing nighttime disruptions caused by hunger, and helps avoid overfeeding when they’re satisfied, contributing to improved sleep and their overall well-being. Identifying these cues is key to creating a balanced feeding and sleep routine.

  • Dealing with Nighttime Feeds

Nighttime feeds are often unavoidable with infants, so prepare for them and maintain low lighting to minimize disruptions to both you and the baby’s sleep. This approach supports a smooth return to sleep after feeding, promoting a more restful night. Being well-prepared for nighttime feeds can make the process gentler and less disruptive.

Swaddling and Sleep Aids

Swaddling and sleep aids can help your baby sleep better:

1. The Art of Swaddling

Swaddling your baby with the correct technique offers a comforting, secure feeling that can aid in better sleep and prevent sudden awakenings from the startle reflex. It helps maintain a cozy sleep environment, promoting a more restful night for both you and your baby. Mastering the art of swaddling is a valuable skill for infant care.

2. Pacifiers and Their Effect on Sleep

Using a pacifier can provide comfort and aid in settling your baby to sleep, potentially reducing the risk of SIDS.

3. White Noise Machines and Their Benefits: White noise machines can create a soothing background noise to help your baby sleep.

Overcoming Common Sleep Challenges

Many babies face sleep challenges; here’s how to tackle them:

  • Colic and Its Impact on Sleep

Colic is a condition characterized by excessive, unexplained crying in infants, which can significantly disrupt their sleep patterns and that of the entire family.

Understanding colic is crucial for managing its impact on your baby’s sleep and finding strategies to provide comfort and alleviate symptoms.

  • Reflux and Sleep Disturbances

Recognize reflux symptoms and seek medical advice if necessary.

  • Growth Spurts and Sleep Regressions: Be prepared for growth spurts and sleep regressions, which can disrupt sleep patterns.
  • Strategies for Soothing a Fussy Baby

Discovering effective soothing techniques is essential for calming a fussy baby. Techniques like gentle rocking, swaddling, white noise, and offering a pacifier can help alleviate distress and promote better sleep for both the baby and the family. 

Creating a Sleep Routine

A consistent sleep routine can make a significant difference:

1. The Importance of Consistency: Stick to a consistent sleep routine to help your baby establish good sleep habits.

2. Establishing a Bedtime Routine: Develop a calming bedtime routine to signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep.

3. Implementing a Daytime Schedule

Establishing a consistent daytime schedule with activities, feedings, and playtime can help regulate your baby’s internal clock, promoting longer and more restful sleep at night. It helps them differentiate between active daytime hours and nighttime sleep, contributing to improved sleep patterns. Creating this routine can make nighttime sleep more predictable and restful.

4. The Role of Parent’s Sleep Routine

A parent’s sleep routine sets an example for their baby and can impact the infant’s sleep habits. Consistent and healthy sleep practices in parents can help establish a stable sleep environment for the baby, leading to better sleep patterns. Prioritizing your own rest can positively influence your baby’s sleep quality and overall well-being.

Recognizing the Difference Between Day and Night

Help your baby differentiate between day and night:

  • Encouraging Daytime Wakefulness: Keep your baby active during the day to promote nighttime sleep.
  • Limiting Daytime Naps: Don’t let your baby oversleep during the day.
  • Creating a Dark and Quiet Environment at Night: Use low light and minimal noise to signal nighttime.
  • Ways to Signal Nighttime to Your Baby: Develop cues that indicate it’s time for nighttime sleep.

Safe Sleep Practices

Safety is a top priority:

  1. The Dangers of Co-Sleeping: Avoid co-sleeping with your baby to reduce the risk of SIDS.
  2. The Importance of Placing Your Baby on Their Back to Sleep: Always place your baby on their back to sleep.
  3. Monitoring Your Baby’s Temperature: Ensure your baby is at a comfortable temperature for sleep.
  4. Avoiding Loose Bedding and Soft Toys: Eliminate loose bedding and soft toys from the crib to prevent suffocation.

Understanding Baby Sleep Cycles

Understanding Baby Sleep Cycles

  • The Stages of a Baby’s Sleep Cycle

A baby’s sleep cycle consists of two main stages: REM (rapid eye movement) and NREM (non-rapid eye movement). Understanding these stages is essential for recognizing your baby’s sleep patterns, as they transition between lighter and deeper sleep. Familiarity with these stages can help you respond to your baby’s needs more effectively and promote a better sleep routine.

  • How to Respond to Your Baby’s Natural Awakenings

When your baby wakes up naturally, it’s essential to remain calm and assess their needs. Provide comfort, warmth, and feeding if necessary, but avoid overstimulation or excessive lighting, encouraging them to return to sleep. Responding with a gentle, soothing approach helps establish healthy sleep associations and encourages self-soothing, promoting better sleep patterns.

  • Techniques for Helping Your Baby Fall Back Asleep

To help your baby fall back asleep, try gentle rocking, soothing sounds, or a pacifier. Maintain a calm, dimly lit environment and avoid stimulating activities. Consistent, comforting techniques can help your baby self-soothe and establish better sleep habits.

The Role of Prenatal Preparation

  • Anticipating Sleep Challenges During Pregnancy: Use your pregnancy to prepare for the sleep challenges ahead.
  • Setting Up a Nursery for a Better Sleep Environment: Create a sleep-friendly nursery for your baby.
  • Learning About Infant Sleep Safety: Educate yourself on the safety aspects of infant sleep.

Tips for Dads and Partners

  • How Partners Can Support New Moms: Partners can play a significant role in supporting new mothers.
  • Sharing the Nighttime Responsibilities: Share nighttime duties to ensure both parents get enough rest.
  • Maintaining Open Communication: Keep the lines of communication open in your parenting journey.

Celebrating Small Victories

  • Acknowledging Progress in Your Baby’s Sleep: Celebrate the small victories and milestones in your baby’s sleep journey.
  • The Joy of the First Full Night of Sleep: The first full night of sleep is a moment of triumph.
  • Embracing Parenthood With All Its Challenges: Embrace the joys and challenges of parenthood with an open heart.


By following these tips and staying patient, you can make the transition into parenthood smoother and ensure both you and your baby get the rest you need. 

Remember, every baby is different, and it’s okay to seek support and advice when needed.

Leave a Comment