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Newborn Won’t Sleep in Bassinet: Understanding the Issue

Are you struggling with getting your newborn to sleep in their bassinet? Read this article for practical solutions to help both baby and parents get the rest they need.

Are you struggling with getting your newborn to sleep in their bassinet? You’re not alone. Many new parents face this common issue, which can lead to exhaustion and frustration for both baby and parents. In this article, we’ll dive into the reasons why newborns may resist sleeping in a bassinet and offer practical solutions to help both baby and parents get the rest they need.

It’s essential to address this problem early on since poor sleep habits can have long-term effects on a child’s health and development. But before we get into solutions, let’s explore why newborns may struggle with sleeping in a bassinet in the first place.

Understanding Newborn Sleep Patterns

How Newborns Sleep Differently than Adults

Newborns have a unique sleep pattern that differs significantly from adults. They spend more time in the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) phase, which is when dreaming occurs. This phase is essential for brain development and memory consolidation.

Unlike adults, newborns don’t follow a consistent sleep-wake cycle of day and night. Instead, they alternate between short periods of sleep and wakefulness throughout the day and night. This irregular sleep pattern can be challenging for parents to adjust to since it means interrupted sleep for everyone involved.

Overview of Typical Sleep Patterns for Newborns

On average, newborns need around 14-17 hours of sleep per day. However, this can vary based on individual needs. Newborns typically sleep in short bursts of 2-4 hours at a time and wake up frequently to feed or be changed.

It’s essential to note that every baby’s sleep patterns are different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to getting your newborn to sleep in a bassinet. However, understanding their typical sleep patterns can help you create an environment conducive to better rest for both baby and parents.

Factors Affecting Bassinet Sleep

When it comes to getting your newborn to sleep in a bassinet, several factors can impact their ability to do so. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common issues parents face:


Newborns are sensitive to temperature changes, and an uncomfortable sleeping environment can make it challenging for them to fall asleep or stay asleep. Make sure the room is not too hot or too cold and dress your baby appropriately for the temperature.


Newborns are used to the sound of the womb, which is why some babies find it hard to sleep in complete silence. Try using white noise machines or apps on your phone to mimic the sounds of the womb and help soothe your baby.


If your baby is uncomfortable, they won’t be able to settle down and fall asleep. Check that their diaper is clean and dry, and that they’re not wearing any tight clothing that could be causing discomfort.


Hunger is another common reason why newborns struggle with sleeping in a bassinet. Make sure your baby is well-fed before putting them down for a nap or bedtime.

These are just a few examples of factors that can impact your baby’s ability to sleep in a bassinet. By addressing these issues, you can help create a comfortable sleeping environment for your little one. In the next section, we’ll discuss practical tips for helping newborns sleep in bassinets.

Tips for Helping Newborns Sleep in Bassinets

If your newborn is struggling to sleep in their bassinet, there are some practical steps you can take to make the environment more conducive to sleep. Here are some tips for helping your baby get the rest they need:

Create a Comfortable Sleep Environment

  • Make sure the temperature in the room is comfortable and not too hot or cold.
  • Use a white noise machine or fan to create a soothing background sound.
  • Swaddle your baby tightly to help them feel secure and comfortable.

Develop Healthy Sleep Habits

  • Establish a consistent bedtime routine that includes calming activities like a warm bath or massage.
  • Put your baby down to sleep when they’re drowsy but not fully asleep so they can learn to self-soothe.
  • Avoid overstimulating your baby before bedtime by keeping lights dim and avoiding loud noises.

Consider Alternative Sleeping Arrangements

  • If your baby still resists sleeping in their bassinet, consider alternative sleeping arrangements like co-sleeping or using a bedside bassinet.
  • Keep safety guidelines in mind when choosing these alternatives, such as avoiding soft bedding and ensuring proper ventilation.

By implementing these tips, you can help create an environment that encourages healthy sleep habits for your newborn. Remember, every baby is different, so it may take some trial and error to find what works best for yours. But with patience and perseverance, you can help your little one get the rest they need.

When to Seek Professional Help

As a parent, it can be challenging to know when it’s time to seek professional help for your newborn’s sleep issues. Here are some situations where consulting with a pediatrician or sleep specialist may be necessary:

1. Persistent Sleep Issues

If your newborn continues to struggle with sleeping in their bassinet despite implementing various solutions, it may be time to seek professional help. A pediatrician or sleep specialist can provide further guidance on how to address the issue.

2. Underlying Medical Conditions

Some medical conditions, such as acid reflux or respiratory issues, can make it difficult for newborns to sleep comfortably in a bassinet. If you suspect an underlying medical condition is affecting your baby’s sleep, consult with a pediatrician.

3. Behavioral Concerns

If your baby is not meeting their developmental milestones or exhibiting concerning behaviors during waking hours, this could also indicate an underlying issue impacting their sleep patterns.

Overall, if you’re concerned about your newborn’s sleep habits and have tried various solutions without success, don’t hesitate to seek professional help. A pediatrician or sleep specialist can provide valuable insight and support in addressing any underlying issues that may be impacting your baby’s ability to sleep in their bassinet.


In conclusion, getting a newborn to sleep in a bassinet can be a challenging task for many parents. However, by understanding their sleep patterns and addressing the factors that may be impacting their ability to sleep, you can create a comfortable and safe sleeping environment for your little one.

Remember to stick to healthy sleep habits, such as establishing a routine and avoiding overstimulation before bedtime. And don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed, whether it’s from a pediatrician or sleep specialist.

At Mama Knows Best, we understand the struggles of motherhood and strive to provide helpful resources for new parents. We hope this article has provided valuable insights into why your newborn may not be sleeping in their bassinet and how you can help them get the rest they need. Keep calm and carry on!

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