How to Get a Newborn to Sleep in a Bassinet

Welcoming a newborn into your home is a joyous occasion, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges, one of which is getting your baby to sleep peacefully in a bassinet. Many parents struggle with this aspect of parenting, as sleep is crucial for both the baby’s development and the sanity of the parents. In this article, we’ll explore effective strategies and tips to help you get your newborn to sleep soundly in a bassinet, ensuring a more restful night for everyone in the family.

Setting the Stage for Sleep

Creating a Comfortable Sleep Environment

Before diving into the methods, it’s essential to set up a comfortable sleep environment for your newborn. Here are some key considerations:

1. Choose the Right Bassinet

Select a bassinet that is cozy, safe, and meets all safety standards. Make sure it has a comfortable mattress and breathable bedding.

2. Ideal Room Temperature

Maintain a room temperature between 68-72°F (20-22°C) to ensure your baby isn’t too hot or too cold. Use a room thermometer to monitor the temperature.

3. Dim Lighting

Install blackout curtains to create a dark and soothing atmosphere during naptime and bedtime. This helps your baby distinguish between day and night.

Establishing a Sleep Routine

The Importance of Routine

Babies thrive on routine, and establishing a sleep schedule can make a world of difference:

4. Consistent Bedtime

Set a consistent bedtime and wake-up time for your baby. This helps regulate their internal clock and promotes better sleep patterns.

5. Calming Bedtime Rituals

Incorporate calming activities like a warm bath, gentle massage, or lullabies into your baby’s bedtime routine to signal that it’s time to sleep.

Feeding and Sleeping

The Connection Between Feeding and Sleep

6. Full Belly, Happy Baby

Ensure your baby is well-fed before putting them in the bassinet. A full stomach often leads to a more extended and more restful sleep.

7. Elevate the Head

If your baby suffers from acid reflux, consider elevating one end of the bassinet slightly to reduce discomfort.

Safety Measures

Keeping Your Baby Safe While Sleeping

8. Back to Sleep

Always place your baby on their back to sleep to reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

9. Remove Loose Bedding

Avoid using pillows, stuffed animals, or loose bedding in the bassinet, as they can pose suffocation hazards.

Troubleshooting Sleep Difficulties

Dealing with Sleep Challenges

10. Nighttime Feedings

Be prepared for nighttime feedings, as newborns have small stomachs and need to eat frequently.

11. Consoling Techniques

If your baby wakes up and cries, try soothing them with gentle rocking, shushing sounds, or a pacifier before picking them up.

Parental Self-Care

Taking Care of Yourself

12. Accept Help

Don’t hesitate to accept help from friends and family, allowing you to get some much-needed rest.

13. Sleep When the Baby Sleeps

This age-old advice holds true. Use your baby’s naptime as an opportunity to rest yourself.


Getting a newborn to sleep in a bassinet can be challenging, but with patience, consistency, and the right strategies, you can create a peaceful sleep environment for your little one. Remember, every baby is unique, so be flexible and adapt these tips to suit your baby’s needs.


1. When can I start putting my newborn in a bassinet?

You can start using a bassinet from day one, as long as it meets safety standards.

2. How often should I change the bassinet bedding?

Change the bedding regularly, at least once a week, or immediately if it becomes soiled.

3. Is co-sleeping a safe alternative to a bassinet?

Co-sleeping can be risky. It’s safer to use a bassinet or a crib in your baby’s own sleep space.

4. Should I use a white noise machine to help my baby sleep?

White noise can be soothing for some babies. Experiment with it to see if it helps your baby sleep better.

5. How long should a newborn sleep in a bassinet?

Newborns typically sleep for 16-17 hours a day, but it’s usually in short stretches of 2-4 hours at a time.

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