How to get baby to sleep (other than in your arms)

When Little S was two weeks old she developed high temperature and was hospitalised. Of course I stayed in the hospital along with her. The first two days (and nights) she slept in my arms. I was so tired I didn’t even know I was tired, and I lost my appetite. – not great for a breastfeeding mum. Once Little S’s temperature stabilised the nurses started to push me to take a rest and ‘put the baby down’. Except she would not sleep for more than 30 minutes if I put her down. I want to share with you advice given to me by neonatal nurses. Advice which solves problem all new parents face: ‘how to get baby to sleep, other than in my arms?’.


How to get baby to sleep

It’s rather simple: build a nest. It’s just a rolled up towel or a blanket covered with a blanket or a sheet to keep it together. Because it’s in a U shape it gives the baby the feeling that she is still held in your arms.


And this is a step by step guide how to make one.


  1. Roll up a towel or a blanket along the long edge and put it into the moses basket (or a cot) to form a U-shape.

how to get baby to sleep mumbalance

2. Cover the U shape with another blanket or a sheet.

how to get baby to sleep

3.Tuck it at the sides, so that it does not slide open.

how to get baby to sleep mumbalance

4. Put your sleeping baby in with her head nestled in the U-shape.


That’s it! Your baby is much more likely to sleep for a long stretch – in our case 3-4 hours (at 2 weeks). Without the nest I would have to get Little S to sleep, gently put her down only for her to wake up within a few minutes. After repeating this about 5 times (or more) she would finally settle. With the nest she often remains asleep after just one try, at most 3 – so it’s a definite improvement.


It’s great for babies who don’t like swaddling. And it’s wonderful that your baby still feels like they are being cuddled. You can help your baby feel even more settled by putting something that smells like you into her moses basket/cot.


Have you got any sleep tricks that worked for your newborn baby? I would love to hear from you so do leave me a comment or get in touch on Twitter (@mumbalance).

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