How to Get Newborns to Sleep

Caring for a newborn is hard work, especially if you are having trouble getting your newborn to sleep and you are not getting enough sleep as a result. You may be wondering how to get your newborn to sleep in a more regular or predictable pattern. Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure your baby’s comfort, safety, and readiness for sleep.

EditSeeing to Your Baby’s Needs
Change your baby’s diaper and put comfortable pajamas on them. If your baby has a wet diaper, then it will be hard for them to relax. Likewise, an uncomfortable outfit will also make it harder for your baby to sleep. Change your baby’s diaper and put on their pajamas before you put them down for bedtime or a nap.[1]
A lightweight long-sleeve cotton shirt and a muslin sleep sack are good options for warmer weather, while a pair of fleece sleeper pajamas or a pair of long-sleeve cotton pajamas with a fleece sleep sack are good options for colder months.

Newborns will have 2 to 3 wet diapers per day for the first few days, and then 5 to 6 wet diapers per day after that.[2]

Nurse or bottle-feed your baby. Your baby may have trouble falling asleep if they are hungry, so make sure to feed your baby before you put them down for a nap or bedtime. Also, keep in mind that newborns typically will not sleep through the night because they need to eat so frequently.[3]
Newborns need to eat often, about once every 2 to 3 hours. A newborn may only take in of breast milk or formula per feeding in their first few days, but this amount will gradually increase and they will be drinking between per feeding by around 2 weeks.[4]
Breast-fed babies need to feed about 8 to 12 times per day, or about every 2 to 3 hours.

Bottle-fed babies need to feed about once every 3 to 4 hours.

Check your baby’s skin temperature to determine if they are too hot or too cold. It is important to avoid over-dressing or over-bundling your baby, but your baby may also be underdressed. Touch your baby’s bare skin under their clothes, such as on their back. Your baby’s skin should feel warm, but not hot or cool to the touch.[5]
If your baby is sweaty or their skin feels hot, then they are likely overdressed.

If your baby’s skin feels cold, then they are likely too cold and need another layer or a warmer pair of pajamas.

Hold, cuddle, and rock your baby to calm them if they are fussy. If your baby is crying despite making sure they are comfortable enough for sleep, they may be seeking comfort and affection from you. Pick up your baby, and then stand or sit and rock your baby.[6]
Keep in mind that you cannot “spoil” a newborn with too much love and affection! Holding your baby often may actually make them less fussy overall.

Swaddle your newborn to help them feel more secure. Lay a swaddling blanket on a sturdy, flat surface so that it looks like a diamond. Fold the top corner of the diamond down and place your baby on the blanket with their head on the folded part. Bring 1 side of the blanket across your baby’s body and tuck it under their armpit. Wrap the bottom end of the blanket up to your baby’s other armpit and tuck it in. Wrap the remaining end of the blanket across your baby’s arms and body and tuck it in.[7]
The blanket should be snug around your baby’s body, but not tight. Your baby’s face and neck should be visible.

You can also purchase special swaddle wraps with Velcro flaps to make swaddling your baby quick and easy.

Lay your baby down on their back in a bassinet or crib with only a fitted sheet. Do not use bulky bedding, pillows, or bumpers in your baby’s bed. Keep stuffed animals and any other bulky items out of the bassinet or crib as well. These pose a hazard to your baby since they can lead to suffocation.[8]
Remember that the crib or bassinet is the safest place for your baby! Always put your baby in their crib or bassinet to sleep.

Lay your baby on their back to sleep. Never place your newborn on their stomach or side because this increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)!

Don’t let your newborn cry for more than a minute. If they are not settling down, then they likely need something. Pick up your baby, soothe them, check their diaper, and feed them if they are still hungry. Then, try putting your baby back in bed once they seem drowsy and ready to fall asleep again.

EditHelping Your Baby Establish Good Sleep Habits
Watch for signs that your baby is sleepy. The best time to put your baby down for a nap or for bed is when they are showing signs that they are sleepy. This will make it more likely that your baby will fall asleep. Some common signs of sleepiness in newborns include:[9]

Rubbing their eyes

Pulling at their ears

Keep the lights bright during the day and dim at night. Open up the curtains and blinds in the morning to let in natural daylight and turn on extra lights as needed. This will signal to your baby that it is daytime. Then, around bedtime and naptimes, close curtains and blinds and dim the lights to signal to your baby that it is time for sleeping.[10]
Avoid other stimulating activities when it is time for your baby to sleep as well, such as playing or talking. These activities will cause your baby to wake up and make it harder to get them sleeping.

Put your baby in their crib or bassinet when they are sleepy but awake. Don’t wait too long to put your baby in bed if they are showing signs that they are sleepy. Change your baby’s diaper, feed your baby, and then put them into their crib or bassinet while they are sleepy, but still awake. This will give your baby a chance to fall asleep on their own.[11]

Allow your baby to nap as needed during the day. Newborns sleep for up to 19 hours per day. Trying to keep your baby awake for longer stretches will not help them to sleep for longer stretches at night. In fact, it is likely to make them fussier and make it harder for them to fall asleep. Instead, allow your newborn to nap as often as they want during the day.[12]

EditCreating a Simple Bedtime Routine
Dim the lights in your baby’s bedroom. Start your baby’s bedtime routine by dimming the lights in the room where your baby sleeps, whether this is in a crib or bassinet in your bedroom or in your baby’s nursery. Close the door, turn on a nightlight or dim lamp, close the curtain or blinds, and shut off any bright lights.[13]
Let other members of your household know that you will be putting your baby to bed or down for a nap so that they do not interrupt you.

Read your baby a book. Getting into the habit of reading your baby a bedtime story is a great way to signal that it is time for sleep. Choose a bedtime classic, such as Goodnight Moon, and read it to your baby while you hold them. Repeat this every night before you put them in bed or before a nap.[14]
Even though your baby may not yet understand what you are saying, the sound of your voice will be soothing to them.

Sing a song or play some soothing music for your baby. Singing to your baby or playing them some soothing music is another great way to help them settle in for the night or a nap. Try singing your baby a simple lullaby, such as “Rock-a-Bye Baby” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.”[15]
You can play music for your baby using a musical mobile suspended from their crib or bassinet, or you can find lullaby music on Youtube that you can play for your baby. Just turn off the screen on your phone, or face your baby away from the screen on a TV or laptop so that the images do not distract them.

Place your baby in bed and give them a kiss. After you lay your baby on their back in their bassinet, give them a kiss. Then, as long as your baby seems comfortable, quietly leave the room and stay nearby to listen. Your baby may drift off to sleep quickly, or they may cry for a few minutes before falling asleep.[16]
If you will be out of earshot of your baby, place a baby monitor in the room. Use the monitor to listen for your baby while you are in another part of the house. If your baby starts to cry or fuss, check on them and attend to their needs.

Never place your baby in bed with you as this increases the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

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Today in History for 21st January 2019

Historical Events

1958 – 8th NBA All-Star Game, Kiel Auditorium, St. Louis: Eastern Conference beats Western Conference, 130-118; MVP: Bob Pettit, Milwaukee Hawks, C
1967 – US female Figure Skating championship won by Peggy Fleming
1969 – 22nd NHL All-Star Game, Montreal Forum: Western Division ties Eastern Division, 3-3; MVP: Frank Mahovlich, Detroit, LW
1982 – “Little Me” opens at Eugene O’Neill Theater NYC for 36 performances
1986 – 100 participate in Nude Olympics race in 38°F (3°C), Indiana
1987 – B.B. King is inducted into the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame”

More Historical Events »

Famous Birthdays

1735 – Johann Gottfried Eckard, composer
1751 – Josephus Andreas Fodor, Dutch Classical era violinist and composer, born in Venlo, Netherlands (d. 1828)
1855 – John M Browning, American weapons manufacturer
1911 – Stanley William Reed, cineaste
1980 – Aubrie Rippner, tennis star (1995 USTA National Girls 18), born in Los Angeles, California
1981 – Andy Lee, Korean singer (Shinhwa)

More Famous Birthdays »

Famous Deaths

1793 – Louis XVI, French King (1774-93), beheaded during the French Revolution at 38
1891 – Calixa Lavallee, Canadian composer (O Canada), dies at 48
1926 – Camillo Golgi, Italian physician and medical researcher (Nobel Prize in Medicine-1906), dies at 81
1965 – Harvey Zorbaugh, doctor/TV host (Play the Game), dies at 68
1978 – Freda Utley, British scholar and author. (b. 1898)
1997 – Michael Duane, British progressive educationalist and author, dies at 81

More Famous Deaths »

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How to Make a Rabbit Cage

There are many different ways you can build your own rabbit cage, ranging from simple and cheap to complicated and expensive. If you’re building your first ever rabbit cage, your best bet is a simple screened box with an open bottom for you to access the rabbits from. This cage design is easy to build using common hand tools and a few materials you can purchase from your local hardware store. You can use this cage inside your home or outdoors. If you choose to use it inside, you may want to lay a tarp beneath it to keep rabbit droppings from sticking to your floor.

EditBuilding the Wooden Frames
Measure and cut the wood. The basic shape of the rabbit cage is made up of two wooden frames connected by four posts. Purchase by lumber from your local hardware store and use a wood saw to cut them to the appropriate lengths. Once completed, the cage will measure long by wide and tall, which is enough for 2 or 3 medium sized rabbits.[1]
You will need 4 pieces that measure in length, 4 that measure , and 4 that measure .

You will also need one piece of plywood that measures by . You can either cut that yourself or purchase a piece of that size from your local hardware store.

Always wear eye protection when sawing wood.

Use screws to connect a piece to a piece. Lay one of the pieces of wood on the ground on its side. Then position a piece perpendicular to it on one side, so the two pieces create the shape of an L. Use screws and a power drill or electric screwdriver to bind the two pieces together in this position.[2]
Use screws that are at least long to ensure they penetrate through both pieces of wood.

You can purchase wood screws at your local hardware store.

Screw another piece to the other end of the wood. Position another piece of wood at a perpendicular angle to the piece you already used, but this time on the opposite side so the three pieces of wood form a U shape. Then secure the third piece in place with screws.[3]
Make sure you position the pieces of wood on both sides of the piece in the same way so they match.

Attach another long piece to the short ones, creating a rectangle. Grab a second piece of wood and lay it on its side across the two extended pieces. With all four pieces laying on the ground, the wood should now take the shape of a rectangle.[4]
Use screws to attach the second piece of wood to the others to create the rectangle shape.

Insert two screws into each corner to ensure the frame is strong and stable.

Repeat that process to create another wooden rectangle. Follow the same steps above when building a second frame that matches the first one. These two frames will serve as the top and bottom of the rabbit cage.[5]
Repeat the steps exactly to ensure both frames are a perfect match for one another.

Once finished, you will have two matching wooden rectangular frames.

EditMaking a Rabbit Hutch with the Frames
Lay one rectangle flat on the ground. This frame will serve as the bottom of the cage. Make sure you lay it down in an area where you have sufficient room to work, but it doesn’t have to be where the cage will remain permanently.[6]
Once finished, the frame will be small enough to move with a friend.

If you are building the cage indoors, make sure there’s enough room around the frame for you to easily move around to each of its four corners as you work.

Screw the remaining pieces of wood upright into all four corners of the rectangle. The pieces of wood are posts that will hold up the second frame as the top of the cage. Place the piece upright inside the four corners of the frame that’s on the ground, then use two wood screws on each post to secure them to the frame.[7]
Align the posts so that they are standing perfectly upright before screwing them into place.

Mount all four posts to the bottom frame before moving on to the next step.

Lower the other wooden frame onto the upright pieces of wood. Ask a friend to help you lift the second wooden frame up so you can slide it over the upright posts attached to the bottom frame. Position the upper frame so the posts are inside all 4 corners and lower the frame until the posts and the top of the frame are flush or even.[8]
Once you have the frame positioned, you and your friend will have to hold it in place until it is secured.

Have a friend screw the second frame into the top of the upright posts. Have your friend insert a wood screw through the upper frame and into each upright post to hold it in place. Once those first 4 screws are in, you and your other friend can let go of the frame. Then add an additional screw to each corner to ensure it’s secure and stable.[9]
You may be able to use just 1 screw per corner, but 2 will be sturdier.

With the screws in place, the basic frame of the cage is complete.

Lay the plywood down onto the lower frame and secure it with screws. A rabbit cage should include an area that’s elevated from the ground and offers the rabbits shelter. Lay a piece of plywood that measures by across the bottom frame on one side. Then use wood screws to secure it into place.[10]
This step will create a small portion of the cage with an elevated floor.

The remainder of the cage floor will be open to the ground.

Place a rabbit shelter on the plywood. You can purchase pre-made rabbit shelters from your local pet store, but there are a number of inexpensive alternatives. Any overturned plastic container with a hole cut for a door can serve as a rabbit shelter for inside your cage.[11]
The shelter will give the rabbits a place to hide from rain or intense sunlight.

It is easier to put the shelter in place before enclosing the cage, but you’ll still be able to access it from the bottom when the cage is complete.

EditEnclosing the Cage
Unroll your screen over the top of the box. Just about any metal screen or wire chicken fence will do for the sides of your enclosure. Purchase a roll of your choice in screen material from your local hardware store and then unroll it across the top of your rabbit cage to cover the entire opening.[12]
Choose a screen or mesh material with openings that are smaller than a rabbit will be.

You will need at least of screen material, but you’ll want to purchase a bit more than that to ensure you have slack to work with.

Use a staple gun to secure the screen to the top of the box. Lay staples across the wire of the screen and into the wooden frame. Secure the screen to the entire top of the cage by placing a staple every or so, while keeping the screen taught across the top.[13]
Be sure to keep the screen pulled tight over the frame as you stable it in place to avoid creating any loose portions a rabbit could escape through.

You can purchase a staple gun and staples at your local hardware store.

Snip away any excess screen material with shears. Use wire cutters or metal shears to cut the screen that hangs over the sides of the frame away. Cut the screen so no metal extends beyond the wood; otherwise, it may snag your clothes or scratch you as you walk past the cage.[14]
You can also use pliers to fold any bits of metal extending out from the frame back onto itself so no sharp points are sticking out.

Cut the screen you secured to the top away from the roll so you can use the roll to cover the rest of the cage as well.

Wrap screen around the sides of the box and secure it with staples. The easiest way to secure the screen to the sides of the cage is to lay the cage frame on its side and roll the screen out over it just as you did with the top. Staple the screen in place, using one staple every or so, then rotate the cage and do the same for the next side.[15]
Repeat this process for all four sides until the cage now has a screen secured over everything but the very bottom.

Cut away any excess material after the screen is secured. Use your shears or wire cutters to remove all the excess screen material hanging off of the sides you covered. The cage will not be completely enclosed except for the bottom. This open bottom is by design, so you can lift the cage up to get to the rabbits rather than installing a door.[16]
If you choose to screen in the bottom of the cage because you’re worried about animals digging their way in or out of the cage, consider zip tying the screen in place so you can remove it and gain access to the interior of the cage when necessary.

Place your rabbits in their new home. With the cage flat on the ground or floor, lift up the opposite side from the rabbit shelter. Have a friend hold the cage up while you place your rabbits inside, then carefully lower the cage back down to enclose them in.[17]
To clean the cage, have a friend lift up the end opposite from the rabbit shelter and remove the rabbit. Then you can turn the cage onto its side or even upside down for easy cleaning.

To give the rabbit food or water in the cage, lift up the same end to slide the bowl in.

EditThings You’ll Need
4 pieces of by wood cut to in length

4 pieces of by wood cut to in length

4 pieces of by wood cut to in length

Plywood measuring by

Power drill or screw driver

wood screws

A roll of screen material at least long

Wire cutters or shears

Staple gun and staples

EditRelated wikiHows
Raise Rabbits

Make a Backyard Fish Pond

Care for Newborn Rabbits

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EditQuick Summary
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