Trainer reveals one thing you can do to help your puppy sleep at night — it’s a game-changing solution!

 Boston Terrier puppy in a crate wrapped in a blanket chewing a soft pink toy
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you've just welcomed a new puppy into your family — congratulations! Having four little soft paws padding about your home is enough to melt anyone's heart, but mixed in with all the joy there are certainly some challenges when it comes to raising a puppy.

At the top of the list? Sleepless nights! Even if you've tired your fur friend out during the day with the best puppy toys, you may find that they still struggle to sleep at night. Rest assured, it's a common issue, with many pet parents reporting that no matter what they try, their little one won't stop crying long enough for them to get some shuteye.

Bringing home a puppy for the first time often involves a lot of disturbed sleep, but expert dog trainer Julianna DeWillems says there's a simple trick new owners tend to miss that can help their puppy to settle at night. You can check out DeWillems advice in the Instagram video below or read on for a summary of how she helps puppy parents send their little one off to the land of nod. 

"One of the most challenging parts of puppyhood is new puppy parents not getting a lot of sleep," DeWillems says. "This can be due to puppies whining or crying in their crate at night. It's so important to remember that puppies are babies and no matter how much you love your new puppy and welcome them into your home with open arms, this is a huge, overwhelming change for them."

Because puppies are used to sleeping with littermates, the sudden transition to a new environment where they're alone can trigger a huge amount of distress. Thankfully, helping your puppy to feel safe and secure enough to go to sleep doesn't have to involve tough love.

"It should be expected that a brand new puppy is going to have a hard time sleeping all alone in a new place, especially if isolated," explains DeWillems. "This is why we generally recommend a sleeping set up that helps puppies feel close and connected to you."

So, how exactly can you go about creating a space that feels safe and comfortable for your pup? Well, according to DeWillems she typically recommends a set up that has your puppy's crate at bed level, right next to you.

"This ensures that you can comfort your puppy and help them feel safe and cared for as they're falling asleep. Over the coming weeks, you can slowly transition your crate away from the bed and to whatever space you want it to be in long term once your puppy feels comfortable in it."

If you try out the above tip from DeWillems and still find your puppy is struggling to settle at night, we recommend reaching out to a professional trainer for some 1:1 support.

For more great puppy advice check out our vet's guide to puppy behavior for tips on how to solve some of the most common problems you're likely to encounter during the first year of your new fur friend's life.

Kathryn Williams
Freelance writer

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has been a member of the PetsRadar family since it launched in 2020. Highly experienced in her field, she's driven by a desire to provide pet parents with accurate, timely, and informative content that enables them to provide their fur friends with everything they need to thrive. Kathryn works closely with vets and trainers to ensure all articles offer the most up-to-date information across a range of pet-related fields, from insights into health and behavior issues to tips on products and training. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with her family (which includes one super sassy cat), drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and reading all the books.