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Help Your Newborn Sleep Through The Night: Expert Advice

February 16, 2024

A question on the lips of new parents is often ‘How can I help my newborn to sleep through the night? Before your baby arrives, you probably don’t want to think about whether they will sleep or not. However, lots of newborns just don’t sleep and this is completely normal. So how can you help your newborn sleep?

Creating the right environment for sleep

You’ve planned the nursery. You have chosen the colours, the crib, the carpet, the cool room accessories. You have bought the cute little socks and bodysuits, all washed and folded. The nappies are all stashed, your birth plan written ready for the big arrival. But, what then? When you bring baby home? Eat, sleep, clean, will be the routine for those first few weeks. While they can’t help with the eat or the clean, safer sleep experts at The Gro Company have been helping parents get their babies to sleep for over 22 years. They have some great products and advice to help you get bedtimes sorted.
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What to expect?

When preparing for your baby’s arrival you need to decide where they will sleep. Leading safe sleep charity The Lullaby Trust recommend that you; ‘The safest place for a baby to sleep is in their own clear, flat, separate sleep space, such as a cot or Moses basket in the same room as you.Babies should always be in the same room as you for the first six months for sleep, day and night.‘

GroEgg2 Thermometer showing different colour and temperature settings

What should the temperature of my newborn’s room be?

So if your baby is sharing your room what do you need to consider? Firstly how warm is your room? Young babies aren’t able to regulate their temperature. Keeping them comfortable and particularly not too warm will help your baby sleep better and more safely. A colour changing room thermometer such at the stylish Tommee Tippee Groegg2 will help you easily tell what the temperature is . You can then dress your baby appropriately. 16-20°C is the recommended room temperature for a baby to sleep in. Babies aren’t able to regulate their own temperature, keeping them comfortable will help your baby sleep better.

How can I get my newborn to sleep during the day?

Lady putting up a blackout blind in a baby's nursery

Try and distinguish between a night time and daytime routine as initially new babies can’t tell the difference. You can create a dark environment using a black out blind. When evenings and early mornings are light in summer, your baby will associate darkness with time to sleep which will be helpful as you introduce a bedtime routine when they get older.

Can sleep aids help my newborn?

Baby holding Ollie the Owl Sleep Aid
Rocking, singing, shushing and patting are all tried and tested techniques for settling baby. Keep trying different things until you work out what your baby likes. Sometimes they are not enough though, particularly with colicky babies.
White noise is a proven way of soothing and calming unsettled little ones. Sleep aids that play white noise, such as soft cuddly owl , can be a great help settling young children. With an intelligent CrySensor Ollie plays white noise or a gentle lullaby to soothe baby to sleep before going into standby mode. Ollie plays again if baby stirs, helping to relax and soothe baby back to sleep. With soft glowing adjustable light and two other gentle sounds a sleep aid like Ollie can be a best friend, not just to baby but to Mums and Dads too. 

How can I prevent waking my newborn during the night?

Mum with baby in the middle of the night

Make sure you are able to easily check on your baby, you’ll be doing that a lot in the early days. Watching your baby sleep is a moment many parents savour but whatever you do you don’t want to wake the baby up! To create enough light to check while not disturbing their sleep, a nightlight will be invaluable. The Grolight 2-in1 night light is an adaptor that fits easily into your existing light, even your bedside lamp. It is great for creating a low level of light at night to feed or change baby whilst trying to keep them sleepy.

Guide to swaddling

Why should I swaddle?

Swaddling has well recognised benefits to help your newborn sleep. As Dr Harvey Karp, an expert on swaddling states, it helps babies “soothe faster, stay calmer and sleep longer”. It is comforting for newborns and prevents them from startling themselves with the moro reflex.

However, there can be risks associated with swaddling if it is not done properly.

How to Swaddle Safely

Issues to be aware of include wrapping too tightly, wrapping in too many layers (overheating), keeping loose fabric away from the head and face, and leaving room around the legs and hips to allow a natural ‘frog-legged’ position for healthy hip development.
Babies should also always be placed to sleep on their back.

Small baby in a groswaddle bag

The easiest and quickest way to swaddle safely is to use a specially designed product such as the hip healthy Grobag Swaddlebag. This product has been recognised as encouraging ‘hip healthy’ leg development from leading body The International Hip Dysplasia Institute. The Swaddlebag has unique curved seams that encourage a natural leg position, while night time changes are made easy with a handy bottom opening zip.

Baby Sleep Bags

The vast majority of parents now use baby sleep bags as a safe, reliable and easy to use alternative to sheets and blankets plus babies can’t kick them off meaning they don’t wake up cold.

When should I move to a baby sleep bag?

Lots of people swaddle for the first 2-3 months before moving on to a baby sleep bag. However it is entirely up to you and you can use a baby sleep bag from birth if your baby is big enough (8.8lbs)

When your baby can roll, they need to have their arms out so you need to stop swaddling then.

What to look for when buying a baby sleep bag?


Is the product British Standard approved? Does it have zip guards and covers? Is the zip YKK? Does it have underarm poppers on the 0-6mth size? Does it have a ‘what to wear’ guide?


Is it well made, with no rough edges inside? Is it 100% cotton? Does it meet the British Safety Standard?


Sleeping Bags come in 0.5, 1, 2.5 and 3.5 tog options.


Side zip bags are great for young babies wrapping around them easily and giving quick access for nappy changing. Travel baby sleep bags are brilliant for holidays or generally if you are out and about a lot as you can transition from car seat or pushchair to cot without disturbing baby.

FAQ about sleep

“I’m due in Winter / Summer and I’m not sure what I need to buy?”

A chart showing which tog sleeping bag a baby needs and what they need to wear depending upon the temperature of their room

Remember it is more to do with the temperature of the room your baby is sleeping in than the weather outside. If you take the temperature in the room, you can then use the Gro Company guides to work out what weight of Swaddlebag or Grobag you need. Also consider daytime naps when temperatures might be higher and you might want a lighter weight option. Our top tip is always have a spare for when one is in the wash!

“My baby won’t go to sleep, what can I do?”

First make your usual checks – are they hungry, do they need a change, are they otherwise comfortable, not too hot or cold? Then some different things to try include swaddling, white noise, rocking, singing a lullaby, a dark calm environment. Some people also swear by baby massage or a bath before bed. All babies are different and their preferences change over time, but it is never too early to start a nice relaxing routine before bed. Try to keep calm and get some rest yourself as soon as you can.

“I’m worried my baby won’t like being swaddled, what should I do?”

We would recommend the Swaddlebag, you can use it arms in, or arms out, like a Grobag for a newborn but still nice and comfortably snug on the chest to give your baby reassurance.

At Parenting Expert, we know that sleep is important but it’s also worth bearing in mind that eventually they WILL sleep!



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