Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Helping Your Newborn Stay Asleep

Whenever anyone asks my how my baby sleeps, I always answer a little sheepishly. My guy was sleeping seven hours straight at night before he was a month old. This usually make other parents jealous...or hate me.  While I think there's a lot that contributes to him being a good sleeper (not least of which is pure luck!) one thing we noticed in the beginning is we'd put him in his crib completely asleep and he'd wake up in a minute or two. We'd put him back to sleep, lay him in his crib and then he'd wake up again, over and over. My intuition told me it was going from the warmth of our arms to the cool sheet that was causing the problem.
Turns out, my intuition was right. (I later learned there is an actual response in babies called "sheet shock".) By simply putting a heating pad on his bed for a few minutes to warm up his sheets before we put him down, we never again had the problem of him waking up again right away. It was such an easy solution and since we already had the heating pad, it was free.
Now, most of the time we would take the heating pad out of the crib right before we put him in it, but as you can see from the pictures, sometimes we let him sleep right on the heating pad. Let me assure you, the times we did this, we turned off the heating pad before we put him on it. It is safest for there to be nothing in the crib with your child, but if you do allow your child to sleep with a heating pad, please make sure it is turned off first. Use common sense.

Using a heating pad to warm my son's bed worked for me very, very well. 


  1. Congratulations on your baby!!! I remember your blog from a couple of years ago, and I'm happy to see you're still around. Your archive made me smile; I can see when the baby was born and see that you've been giving plenty of attention to him instead of the Internet, as you should.

    That's a clever tip for helping baby sleep! I see you also have him tightly swaddled. That definitely helped with my son. He is 7 now and still says, "Wrap me up like your little burrito!" sometimes. :-)

  2. that's very clever! Swaddling worked great for our two, also. After a few months, we stopped swaddling and they slept on their bellies (I know it's not recommended anymore, but we felt comfortable with it). Overall, they were/are pretty good sleepers.

  3. I didn't even think about the swaddle, but yes, it is absolutely critical that the baby be swaddled if anyone at our house is going to sleep. The trouble is, I don't know how we're going to wean him from the swaddle blanket and he's outgrowing it.

  4. Just get a larger square blanket made of a sticks-to-itself material like flannel, and wrap him like a burrito--one side across and tucked under him, bottom up under his feet, then the other side across and under as far as it will go. If you can't find a big enough blanket in the store, anybody with a sewing machine can make one. My mom made us some out of a flannel top sheet whose matching fitted sheet had worn out.


I know word verification is a pain, but I'm getting a lot of spam comments, more than I can keep up with. I hope you'll leave a comment anyway. I really appreciate you reading and love hearing back from you.