how much sleep does a baby need

The Ultimate Guide to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night: Top Tips from Expert Tog Sleep Consultants

How to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

Create a Consistent Bedtime Routine

Establishing a consistent bedtime routine is essential for helping your baby sleep through the night. This routine should include calming activities that signal to your baby that it’s time to wind down and prepare for sleep. Some examples of activities you can include in your bedtime routine are giving your baby a warm bath, reading a book, singing lullabies, or cuddling with them. By consistently following this routine every night, your baby will start associating these activities with sleep and it will help them relax and fall asleep more easily.

Create a Calm and Soothing Sleep Environment

The sleep environment plays a crucial role in helping your baby sleep through the night. Make sure the room is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Consider using blackout curtains or shades to block out any external light sources that may disrupt their sleep. White noise machines or fans can also be helpful in creating a soothing background noise that masks other sounds and helps your baby stay asleep. Additionally, ensure that your baby’s crib or bassinet is safe and comfortable with a firm mattress and fitted sheet.

Encourage Self-Soothing Techniques

Teaching your baby self-soothing techniques can help them learn how to fall back asleep independently when they wake up during the night. One effective method is putting your baby down drowsy but still awake so they have the opportunity to practice falling asleep on their own. You can also try using pacifiers or comfort objects like stuffed animals or blankets (once they are old enough) to provide comfort and security when they wake up during the night.


Effective Strategies for Establishing a Bedtime Routine for Your Baby

Set a Consistent Bedtime

Setting a consistent bedtime is key to establishing a successful bedtime routine for your baby. Choose a time that works best for your family’s schedule and try to stick to it every night. Consistency helps regulate your baby’s internal clock, making it easier for them to fall asleep and wake up at the desired times.

Include Relaxing Activities

Incorporate relaxing activities into your baby’s bedtime routine to help them wind down and prepare for sleep. This can include giving them a warm bath, reading a book, or singing lullabies. Avoid stimulating activities such as playing with toys or watching TV, as these can make it harder for your baby to relax and fall asleep.

Create a Calm Sleep Environment

Creating a calm sleep environment is crucial for establishing an effective bedtime routine. Make sure the room is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Use blackout curtains or shades to block out any external light sources that may disrupt your baby’s sleep. Consider using white noise machines or fans to create a soothing background noise that masks other sounds and helps your baby stay asleep.

When to Start Sleep Training Your Baby

Look for Signs of Readiness

Every baby is different when it comes to readiness for sleep training. Look for signs that indicate your baby is developmentally ready, such as being able to self-soothe, having regular nap times during the day, and showing longer periods of nighttime sleep without waking up frequently.

Around 4-6 Months Old

Sleep training typically begins around 4-6 months old when babies have developed more predictable sleep patterns and are capable of self-soothing. This is also when they may start experiencing separation anxiety, so it’s important to establish a consistent bedtime routine and provide reassurance during this transition.

Consult with Your Pediatrician

If you’re unsure about when to start sleep training or have concerns about your baby’s sleep habits, it’s always a good idea to consult with your pediatrician. They can provide guidance based on your baby’s individual needs and help address any underlying issues that may be affecting their sleep.

Natural Remedies and Techniques to Soothe a Fussy Baby to Sleep


Swaddling is a technique that involves wrapping your baby snugly in a blanket to mimic the feeling of being in the womb. This can help soothe fussy babies by providing them with a sense of security and reducing their startle reflex. Make sure to use a lightweight, breathable blanket and follow safe swaddling practices.

Gentle Rocking or Motion

Babies often find gentle rocking or motion soothing, as it reminds them of being in the womb. You can try rocking them in your arms, using a rocking chair, or even using a baby swing or bouncer that provides gentle movement. Just make sure to follow safety guidelines and never leave your baby unattended while using these devices.

White Noise or Soft Music

White noise machines or soft music can create a calming background noise that helps drown out other sounds and soothes fussy babies. The rhythmic sound can also be reminiscent of being in the womb and help lull them to sleep. Experiment with different sounds or music to find what works best for your baby.

Skin-to-Skin Contact

Skin-to-skin contact has been shown to have numerous benefits for both babies and parents. Holding your baby against your bare chest can help regulate their body temperature, heart rate, and breathing, promoting relaxation and soothing. It also provides a sense of security and comfort for both you and your baby.


Gentle massage can be a soothing technique to help calm fussy babies. Use gentle strokes and light pressure on their back, arms, legs, and feet. You can use natural oils or lotions specifically formulated for babies to enhance the experience. Massage not only helps relax your baby but also promotes bonding between you and your little one.

Common Reasons Why Babies Have Difficulty Falling Asleep


Hunger is one of the most common reasons why babies have difficulty falling asleep. Newborns have small stomachs that need frequent feeding, so it’s important to ensure they are well-fed before putting them down to sleep. If your baby wakes up crying during the night, try offering them a feeding to see if hunger is the cause of their wakefulness.


Babies may have difficulty falling asleep if they are uncomfortable due to factors such as a wet diaper, too hot or cold room temperature, or clothing that is too tight or uncomfortable. Check for any signs of discomfort and address them accordingly before attempting to put your baby down for sleep.


Paradoxically, overtiredness can make it harder for babies to fall asleep. When babies become overtired, they may become overstimulated or have difficulty calming down enough to fall asleep easily. Look out for signs of tiredness such as eye rubbing, yawning, or fussiness and aim to put your baby down for sleep before they become overly tired.

Unestablished Sleep Routine

If your baby doesn’t have a consistent sleep routine, it can make it harder for them to fall asleep. Babies thrive on routine and predictability, so establishing a consistent bedtime routine can help signal to your baby that it’s time for sleep and make the transition easier for them.

Separation Anxiety

As babies grow older, they may experience separation anxiety, which can make falling asleep more challenging. Separation anxiety typically peaks around 8-10 months old but can occur earlier or later in some babies. Providing reassurance through a consistent bedtime routine and gradually teaching your baby to self-soothe can help ease their anxiety and promote better sleep.

How Many Hours of Sleep Does a Newborn Typically Need?

Newborns typically need around 14-17 hours of sleep per day. However, this sleep is usually fragmented into short periods throughout the day and night. Newborns have small stomachs and need frequent feedings, which often disrupt their sleep. They also have immature circadian rhythms, making it harder for them to distinguish between day and night.

During the first few weeks, newborns may only sleep for 1-2 hours at a time before waking up to eat. As they grow older, their sleep patterns gradually become more consolidated, with longer stretches of sleep at night and more regular nap times during the day.

It’s important to remember that every baby is different, and individual sleep needs can vary. Some newborns may require more or less sleep than others. It’s essential to follow your baby’s cues and establish a flexible routine that meets their unique needs.

Tips for Encouraging Longer Stretches of Sleep in Babies

  • Create a consistent bedtime routine: Establishing a calming bedtime routine signals to your baby that it’s time for sleep and can help them settle down for longer stretches of sleep.
  • Ensure a comfortable sleep environment: Make sure the room is dark, quiet, and at a comfortable temperature. Use blackout curtains or shades to block out any external light sources that may disrupt your baby’s sleep.
  • Encourage self-soothing techniques: Teach your baby self-soothing techniques such as putting them down drowsy but awake or using pacifiers or comfort objects to help them fall back asleep independently when they wake up during the night.
  • Establish regular feeding schedules: Ensuring that your baby is well-fed before bedtime can help prevent hunger from waking them up during the night. Gradually work towards stretching out nighttime feedings as your baby gets older and their nutritional needs change.

Sleep Safety Guidelines for Putting Your Baby Down to Sleep

Back to Sleep

The safest position for babies to sleep is on their backs. This reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and allows for optimal airflow. Always place your baby on their back for naps and nighttime sleep until they are able to roll over on their own.

Firm Mattress

Use a firm mattress in your baby’s crib or bassinet. A firm surface helps reduce the risk of suffocation and ensures proper spinal support for your baby. Avoid using soft bedding, pillows, or stuffed animals in the crib, as these can pose suffocation hazards.

No Loose Bedding

Avoid using loose bedding such as blankets, bumpers, or pillows in your baby’s crib. These items can increase the risk of suffocation or strangulation if they cover your baby’s face or become entangled. Instead, use a fitted sheet and dress your baby in a sleep sack or wearable blanket for warmth.

Room Sharing

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends room sharing with your baby for at least the first six months, preferably until they are one year old. Having your baby’s crib or bassinet in your room allows for close monitoring and easier nighttime feedings while reducing the risk of SIDS.

Avoid Overheating

Keep the room temperature at a comfortable level to prevent overheating. Dress your baby in light, breathable clothing and use a sleep sack or wearable blanket instead of heavy blankets. Check your baby’s temperature by feeling their chest or back; they should feel comfortably warm but not sweaty.

The Impact of Co-Sleeping on Baby’s Sleeping Patterns and Development

Benefits of Co-Sleeping

Co-sleeping, which refers to sharing a bed with your baby, can have some benefits. It promotes bonding between you and your baby, makes nighttime breastfeeding more convenient, and can help regulate your baby’s body temperature and breathing through skin-to-skin contact.

Risks of Co-Sleeping

However, there are also risks associated with co-sleeping. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises against bed-sharing due to an increased risk of suffocation, entrapment, and SIDS. Soft bedding, pillows, or adult bedding can pose suffocation hazards to infants under one year old.

Safe Co-Sleeping Practices

If you choose to co-sleep with your baby, it’s important to follow safe co-sleeping practices:

  • Use a firm mattress with no gaps between the mattress and the bed frame.
  • Ensure that your baby cannot roll off the bed or become trapped between the mattress and the wall.
  • Keep pillows, blankets, and other soft bedding away from your baby’s sleep area.
  • Avoid co-sleeping if you or your partner are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medications that impair alertness.

Ultimately, it’s a personal decision whether to co-sleep with your baby. It’s important to weigh the potential benefits and risks and make an informed choice based on your individual circumstances and preferences.

Signs That Indicate Your Baby is Ready to Transition from Crib to Toddler Bed

Size Limitations

If your baby has outgrown their crib or is starting to feel cramped in it, it may be time to consider transitioning them to a toddler bed. Look for signs such as their feet touching the end of the crib or them attempting to climb out of it.

Independence and Mobility

If your baby is showing increased independence and mobility, such as being able to climb over crib rails or walk confidently, they may be ready for a toddler bed. This transition allows them more freedom of movement while still providing a safe sleep environment.

Potty Training Readiness

If your child is showing signs of readiness for potty training, transitioning them to a toddler bed

In conclusion, implementing the “tog” baby sleep technique can help promote better sleep for infants, ensuring their safety and comfort throughout the night.

What does TOG mean baby?

TOG is short for ‘Thermal Overall Grade’ and is used to measure the insulation and warmth of sleepwear and bedding. In simple terms, a lower TOG rating means the fabric is lighter, while a higher rating indicates that it is more padded and insulated.

What is SIDS TOG rating?

TOG ratings were implemented to lower the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). They are specifically created to maintain a comfortable temperature for infants weighing 4 kg or more throughout the night and were introduced to prevent babies from getting too hot.

Is 1.5 TOG too warm for baby?

A TOG value ranging from 1.0 to 2.5 is recommended for temperatures between 68°F (20°C) and 75°F (24°C) to provide a moderate level of insulation and keep your baby warm in cooler weather. For temperatures between 61°F (16°C) and 68°F (20°C), a TOG value of 2.5 to 3.5 or higher is suitable.

Is 3.5 tog too hot for baby?

The 3.5 tog is an ideal option for temperatures below 18 degrees Celsius in a baby’s room.

Is 78 degrees too hot for baby to sleep?

Q: Can a baby sleep comfortably at 78 degrees? A: No, a room temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit (25.6 degrees Celsius) is considered too hot for a baby to sleep comfortably. It is recommended to keep the room temperature between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit (20-22 degrees Celsius) to provide a safe and comfortable sleeping environment for infants.

Is my baby too cold at night?

It is not accurate to judge the warmth of your baby based on their hands and feet. It is better to feel their back or chest to determine their temperature. Your baby should feel slightly warm and completely dry. If your baby feels cool to the touch or is sweaty, you should make necessary adjustments.

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