How To Help A Sleep-Deprived Baby, Because Those Zs Are Essential

Ad failed to load

If you're a new parent, then you're likely sleep deprived. It's just one of the not-really-perks of brining a tiny human into the world. But, have you stopped to consider that if you aren't getting enough sleep to fully function, your baby may not be either? Think about it — if your little one isn't sleeping, there's a good chance no one else in the house is, either. This is why it's important to the whole family to learn how to help a sleep-deprived baby.

According to Parenting Science, pediatricians and parents have noted that some signs of sleep deprivation in very young babies include a lack of interest in people and the environment, a tendency to look away from stimulating things, as well as hand and face gestures such as pulling ears, rubbing eyes, fluttering eyelids, and yawning.

As they get older, babies may exhibit other signs of sleep deprivation such as becoming more accident prone or clingy. They may become more active as the night wears on. Older babies with sleep deprivation also have a hard time recovering from negative emotions, they may experience feeding trouble, and can be harder to awaken.

Ad failed to load

Sleep deprivation is no fun for anyone, especially not for infants who don't understand why they are feeling out of sorts. Amy Bassett, a sleep consultant for Baby Sleep Site, gave Romper five tips to help your sleep-deprived baby get some much needed rest.

Ad failed to load

1Create A Sleep Haven

Ashley Batz/Rompe

Bassett says a common misconception is that babies should be taught to sleep through loud noises. This, however, can backfire for parents of perceptive, active, or sensitive babies. She explains that, although some babies are natural sleepers and have no trouble sleeping anywhere, a sleep-deprived baby isn’t going to benefit from attempts to teach them to nap amidst barking dogs, loud talking, or while being showered in sunlight. She says:

2Prioritize Naps


Another misconception that parents have is that babies should be kept up during the day so they will sleep better at night. "This simply isn’t helpful," Bassett says. Sleep begets sleep, and if your baby is suffering from frequent night wakings or living on what she calls "itty bitty catnaps," it’s a good idea to make restorative naps a priority.

3Experiment With Early Bedtimes

Ashley Batz/Romper

The best medicine for sleep-deprivation is, and always will be, more sleep. But how do you help your little one dig out from under their mounting sleep debt? According to Bassett, the answer, is often an earlier bedtime. She recommends that all parents of sleep-deprived babies give it a try. "And not just for one night," she warns, "stick with it for at least three to four nights in a row before deciding if it’s helping."

Ad failed to load

4Fill ‘Em Up


Often, babies and toddlers are sent to sleep hours after their last “meal.” Bassett says this can be a big mistake for babies who have a hard time sleeping. "Ensuring your little one has a full tummy is one way to help extend naps, and get a longer stretch of sleep overnight," she says. "Just be careful not to feed them all the way to sleep."

5Stabilize Wake Up Time


Sometimes the secret to better sleep is as simple as setting their wake up time, and sticking to it. When babies wake up at very different times each day, Bassett says it makes it difficult for their internal clocks to operate as designed. Although parents may enjoy sleeping in an extra hour or two on those occasions when baby decides to sleep in, allowing your baby to oversleep can lead to chaotic sleep cycles and chronic fatigue. Opt for longer-term success by establishing a set wake-up time and then do your best to stick to it.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

New Moms Have Two Options: Be "Sad & Fat" Or "Desperate & Thin"

As the line goes, the worst thing you could say about me, I've already thought about myself. In the early postpartum period with my son, it was: "I am overweight, lonely, and heartbroken." It was four days after I brought my son into the world, and I…
By Danielle Campoamor

6 Fascinating Facts About Spring Babies: You Could Have A Leader On Your Hands

Does the season in which you are born affect you or are all seasons pretty equal? It turns out that there are many ways in which the your child's birth season could give you an insight into things to come. Whether you are expecting a baby in the next…
By Shari Maurer

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In April

It's that time of the month again: as March draws to a close, Netflix gets ready for a little bit of spring cleaning. Though some TV shows and movies will have to find homes elsewhere, their departure makes room for all kinds of exciting new media. A…
By Megan Walsh

I'm A Stay-At-Home Mom &, Face It, These 11 Stereotypes Are Totally True

Hello, friends! It's me, your resident stay-at-home mom. You know, there's a lot that's said about me and my kind, and the vast majority of it is not even remotely true. For example, this whole "we're lazy, vapid, unambitious, anti-feminist, backstab…
By Jamie Kenney

The Pressure To Worry About The Gap Between Kids Is So Bad For Moms

"Two under two is absolutely crazy," a friend recently told me upon hearing the news that I was expecting a second child. "Why would you do this to yourself? Seriously, why?" However harsh her words, she was only echoing the same feelings I'd been ba…
By Marie Southard Ospina

To Be Honest, I Couldn't Survive Motherhood Without My Job

The decision to work outside the home once you've become a parent can be a complicated one. Some people don't really have a choice, and go back to work because they're either a single parent or can't sustain their family on one income. Some choose to…
By Priscilla Blossom

I Feel Guilty That My Kid’s Dad Is A Better Parent Than Me, & That’s BS

I was scared, and he was sure. I was clueless, and he was well-researched. I was making mistakes, and he was picking up the pieces. From the moment I found out I was pregnant until just last night, when I threw my hands up in the air and left the alw…
By Danielle Campoamor

These Millennial Parents Are Taking Gender-Neutral Parenting To An Entirely New Level

A woman on the subway looks at my bulbous shape and asks, “What are you having?” I take a deep breath and throw a glance to my 5-year-old. “I’m having a baby,” I say to the woman. “No, no” the woman says laughing as she pushes further. “Are you havin…
By Madison Young

My Daughter Is Obsessed With Being "Pretty" & I'm Way Past Terrified

Last week, when I picked up my daughter after school, she immediately wanted to know if I liked her hair. "Is it pretty?" she asked. Her hair was pulled up into two ponytails that were intertwined into thick, long braids. A shimmering pink and purple…
By Dina Leygerman

7 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 20s, But I Will

I was 24 when I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. The pregnancy was a surprise, since I was on birth control (side note: antibiotics and birth control don't mix), but my partner and I decided to continue with the pregnancy and committed to m…
By Candace Ganger

7 Things I Wish My Partner Had Said To Me In The First Hour After Giving Birth

I don't know if it was the buzz of the surrounding machines, the non-existent cry of our son as the doctors tried to resuscitate him, or the fact that I'd already been through labor and delivery once before, but I knew something was missing after I h…
By Candace Ganger

Moms’ Groups Weren’t For Me, Sorry

I go to my moms’ club everyday of the week, but not usually on weekends. My moms' group is a place I can always count on finding fellow mothers who understand the daily struggles and triumphs of parenthood and of juggling life’s responsibilities. Dep…
By Samantha Taylor

Millennial Women Are Getting Married Later Than Gen X, & The Reasons Why Are Pretty Badass

The battle of the generations seems to come up when it comes to every lifestyle or career choice people make. Women, especially, are an important demographic when it comes to analysts looking at the lifestyle choices we make or the expected milestone…
By Josie Rhodes Cook

I've Had 3 Miscarriages But *Please* Keep Telling Me About Your Pregnancy

I can feel the tension the moment my friend announces her pregnancy. I can hear the forced nonchalant attitude she's willing herself to exude as she fishes for the ultrasound. I know why I was the last to learn that she was expecting; why she keeps l…
By Danielle Campoamor

7 Early Signs You're Going To Need An Epidural, According To Experts

Even if you've constructed an elaborate birth plan, it's impossible to control every aspect of labor and delivery. Complications can occur, proactive measures might be necessary, and your mind is subject to change when those damn contractions really …
By Candace Ganger

I'm Pregnant & I Refuse To Read Any Parenting Books

I didn't read any parenting books when I was expecting my daughter, and I refuse to read any parenting books as I await my second child now. I'm the first to admit that I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to raising my daughter. A good d…
By Marie Southard Ospina

12 Overnight Face Masks To Use To Wake Up Feeling Pampered AF

Spring is right around the corner, and as far as I'm concerned, the sunshine and warm breezes can't come soon enough. But now that we're about to say goodbye to winter, it's a good time to take stock of your facial skincare routine. You know, in the …
By Katie Malczyk

11 Essential Products To Pack In Your Hospital Bag, According To OB-GYNs

The minute you go into labor (or think you're going into labor), chaos ensues. You and your partner are likely to get a little frantic, just like in the movies, so you most definitely want to have a hospital bag packed before the day comes. This prec…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

7 Photos You *Must* Take In The First 6 Months Of Motherhood

In my experience, becoming a mom is like becoming an amateur photographer. There's just something about the need to capture every single coo and sorta-smile that leaves you obsessed with all things photography. I know I couldn't stop taking selfies w…
By Candace Ganger

Here's How Early An Ultrasound Can Actually Determine Your Baby's Sex

From the moment you see those two lines on a pregnancy test, there are a few markers along the way that stand out as especially exciting. Amongst them are hearing your baby's heartbeat and feeling that first, sweet little kick. And if you are finding…
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik