Helping Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

This post is sponsored by JOHNSON’S® Baby but the thoughts and opinions are my own.

As a new parent, there are many things that occur in that first year of parenthood that you could have never expected. Lack of sleep is definitely one of them and until you’ve had a baby you can’t fully understand how sleeping less, now plays a role in your life.

All parents struggle with sleep issues at some point and sleep struggles can seem like a never-ending journey on a very sleep deprived road. There are steps parents can take to encourage healthier sleep habits for their children and I’m so happy to have partnered with JOHNSON’S® Baby, a staple in my home with my three children, and together we want to share how to help your baby sleep better so that your entire family is well-rested and set up for next day success.

It’s important to first understand the importance of healthy sleep:

Cognitive Ability
Well-rested children learn more rapidly. Their attention, memory and decision-making can all be diminished due to inadequate sleep.

Overtired children have impaired hand-eye coordination, which can impact your child’s fine motor skills. Basic skills like crawling, walking, running, and climbing can be affected by lack of sleep.

Children that are tired can be more hyperactive, oppositional, and irritable. Behaviour problems have been linked to sleep deprivation.

Your body’s immune system has more trouble fighting off illnesses when it hasn’t had enough rest. Systemic inflammation, increased blood pressure, increased stress hormones; make them more susceptible to infections.

Often when we think of helping our babies sleep better, we only think of what approach of sleep training we’ll have to apply, but I always want to educate parents to understand that the sleep plan you create for your child involves more than just the method. We have to apply all the tools in our sleep tool kit in order to teach healthy sleep habits.

4 Key Sleep Tools from the Good Night Sleep Tool Kit

Create Your Baby’s Sleep Sanctuary
You can create your baby’s safe, conducive, and calming sleep environment as early as day 1. We always want to practice the ABC’s of safe sleep. Have baby sleep Alone, on their Back, in their Crib. We also want to create a consistent dark, quiet, and cool environment. You can incorporate sleep tools like black out blinds, and a white noise machine to achieve ultimate sleep success.

By 2 months of age, you want to start working towards keeping the environment consistent for both naps and night sleep so that baby feels comfortable and safe in their sleep environment, which will help them fall asleep easier and help to consolidate sleep better. Once your child has mastered the sleep schedule and is consistently sleeping more independently, you can begin to work around this rule but for the most part stay consistent.

Sleep Tip!
Keep in mind motion sleep like napping in the stroller or in the car keeps the brain in a lighter state of sleep, so your child isn’t able to fall into a deep sleep and get the restful sleep that they need.

Make Naps a Priority During Daytime
Start working with your baby’s circadian rhythm schedule to encourage healthy sleep and by 4 months of age you can begin to promote an age-appropriate nap schedule that will keep your baby well-rested making bedtime easier and night sleep more restorative.

Babies thrive from routines and schedules and we have to remember that we need to preserve those naps. The better rested they are during the day the more accepting of sleep they’ll be at bedtime. A regular schedule is key to success and sleep is not a luxury. It’s a biological need. Consistency is key!

Sleep Tip!
Before putting baby down for their nap make sure they are clean with full tummies. You can incorporate a quick and calming naptime routine like you would a bedtime routine to cue your baby that sleep is coming. Use JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Baby Lotion with NATURALCALM® aromas during your naptime routine massage to help soothe and relax your baby before bed.

Introduce a Calming Bedtime Routine
A consistent soothing bedtime routine is a set of activities you practice that helps your baby predict bedtime. Include bath time with JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Bath and JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Bubble Bath, stories, kisses and cuddles, and gentle talks, to your baby’s bedtime routine.

A bath and massage can help your baby prepare to sleep. These calming activities are a great addition to your baby’s bedtime routine and can help settle and relax their body as you get them ready for bed. A bath doesn’t have to be included every night, but you can practice a quiet massage with your baby before putting on their pj’s to help them fall quietly to sleep.

Johnson’s 3-Step Bedtime Routine was developed to help babies sleep better in just 7 days. The routine is clinically proven to help the baby fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Johnson’s Baby Bedtime products are triple tested by pediatricians, dermatologists and ophthalmologists.

  • Step 1: Bath
    • A warm bath is a great addition to your baby’s bedtime routine and with JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Bath and JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Bubble Bath you can create a calming and relaxing bath time to help make falling asleep that much easier. These products are hypoallergenic and free of parabens, phthalates, sulfates & dyes, specifically designed for baby’s delicate skin.
  • Step 2: Massage
    • A massage as a part of a bedtime routine can help the baby sleep better. The JOHNSON’S® Bedtime Baby Lotion is the perfect complement for this moment and the NATURALCALM® aromas helps soothe and relax the baby before bed.
  • Step 3: Quiet Time
    • Quiet time activities such as reading, singing, or listening to music allow baby to unwind after a warm bath and a relaxing massage.

Sleep Tip!
To avoid putting down an overtired baby always focus on an earlier bedtime. When we put our children down too late, we risk them entering an overtired state and that can make it more difficult to fall asleep and get proper consolidated sleep at night. Also, if your child is waking up too early, ask yourself ‘what time are they going to bed?’  When your child is overtired and not getting proper naps during the day or going to bed too late, we tend to see earlier wakings in the morning. By making bedtime half an hour or even an hour earlier you can begin to extend out morning wakings and banish early morning wakings.

Choose a Sleep Approach for Your Family
By applying the above sleep tools: a safe and conducive sleep environment, proper daytime naps, and a relaxing and age-appropriate bedtime, that alone can eliminate most night wakings. After 4 months of age, when we are still seeing multiple night wakings, it’s important to choose a method that can help wean out some of the associations to fall asleep like feeding and rocking. We are all born with the ability to sleep, but the ability to fall asleep or fall back asleep unassisted is a skill that we must learn. This creates an independent sleeper. Do your research and choose an approach that both you and your partner support. After practicing your consistent soothing routine and placing baby down awake give them the opportunity to learn to fall asleep on their own. We need to remember that our children are 100% capable of putting themselves to sleep. When we are doing it for them each time, like rocking and nursing to sleep, your baby will need you to do that again each time they wake up throughout the night. It doesn’t mean you can’t feed, rock and cuddle your baby before sleep. But try not to do it TO sleep. Put them down awake so that they can start practicing the skill of self-soothing. 

Stop. Wait. Listen. 

You may surprise yourself when they fall back asleep on their own.

Sleep Tip!
Don’t give up to soon! You need to give yourself two to three weeks to see significant changes in night sleep and naps. Babies need time to practice these new skills and parents you need to give them the chance to practice it.

No matter what approach you choose or how you schedule your routine, please remain consistent. I can’t stress that enough. Consistency is key! Once you have carved out your schedule and implemented it, your best chance to success is to stick with it. Be patient and with time and consistency, your baby will learn how to get the healthy sleep they need.

Good Night Sleep Site and JOHNSON’S® Baby have partnered to help parents create the best bedtime routine to get a good night’s sleep.

Alanna McGinn is Founder and Certified Sleep Expert of Good Night Sleep Site, a global sleep consulting practice. She is host of the 'This Girl Loves Sleep’ Podcast and author of This Baby Loves Sleep. Alanna has established the world-wide brand of Good Night Sleep Site as being a #1 sleep resource for families and she and her team of sleep consultants strive in helping families (baby to adults) and corporations overcome their sleep challenges and have well-rested smiles in the morning. You can find out more about Alanna McGinn and how to work with a Good Night Sleep Consultant at and follow Alanna and all her sleep tips on Instagram.