Welcoming a newborn into your family is one of the most beautiful, life-changing experiences you’ll ever encounter. Unfortunately, it also means you can kiss sleep goodbye, at least for the next few months.
Newborns rarely sleep for more than two to three hours at a time. Their little bellies just aren’t big enough to hold enough milk to keep them sleeping any longer than that. In saying that, they still need an awful lot of sleep – around 18 hours a day!
Here are a few tips to encourage better sleep during the newborn stage...
1. Keep awake time short Newborn babies can only tolerate around 45 minutes of time awake. Basically you have time for a feed, diaper change, and a little bit of cuddle and play time, and then it’s time to go back to sleep. Your baby’s primary activity at this age should be sleeping.
2. Differentiate between night and day By creating a clear separation between day and night you’ll help teach your baby that daytime is for active play and night-time is for sleep. Adopt an “EAT – PLAY – SLEEP” pattern during the day. And when your baby does wake during the night, keep the lights dim and ensure interaction (eye contact and talking) is kept to a minimum.
3. Consider their comfort Having spent 9 months curled up in their cozy, warm surroundings, newborn babies have a lot of adjusting to do to cope in the outside world. For this reason, you need to consider carefully what you can do to help them with this
4. Let them practice self settling After the first month or so, try putting your child down in their bassinet or crib to self settle at least once a day. It is best to try when they are drowsy as this gives them the opportunity to fall asleep on their own. If they wake and cry, pick them up, give them a cuddle and once calm, put them back down again.
5. Establish a bedtime routine Establishing a good bedtime routine right from day one is a great way to help your baby organise days and nights and start to consolidate night sleep more quickly. Start your bed routine with a bath. This is a different experience to anything else that occurs during the day, and your newborn will soon learn that a bath means bedtime is near. Once in bed turn on your Aroma Snooze with with either the white or pink noise function.
Read your little one a book, cuddle/feed, wrap them in their swaddle or put them into their sleep sack, then bed.
It's completely normal for newborns to wake frequently. Take things one day at a time. Follow your instincts because this is something we Mamas have - and trust it. When in doubt, don't be afraid to reach out for help.