4 Sleep Tips for Newborns
If you've made it to this blog post, you're probably a very tired mom wondering how you are gonna survive the week, let alone the next three months so let's jump straight into what you're here for: 4 Sleep Tips for Newborns
Tip #1: Lower your expectations
Your baby is probably not going to sleep through the night or have a predictable schedule until closer to 12-16 weeks old. A newborn has a very small stomach about the size of a cherry and needs to be fed often, which is why they sleep in short spurts about 1-3 hours long during the day and overnight.
Tip #2: Build healthy sleep habits from day one
While you can't sleep train until closer to 4 months of age, you can begin implementing healthy sleep habits as early as day one. It's as simple as...
ensuring you are placing your baby on their back for all sleep sessions.
following age appropriate wake windows or an 'eat, play, sleep' routine.
keeping daytime hours engaging and interactive and keeping night time hours quiet and relaxing to avoid day/night confusion.
offering at least one sleep session in the sleep space you plan to transition your baby into within the next 6-12 months (crib in parents room/crib in own room).
ensuring baby is getting full feeds throughout the day
keeping the room your baby sleeps in dark and cool - about 70-73 degrees
using a pacifier can prevent the risk of SIDS as well as alleviate pain and soothe your baby. I am a huge fan of the paci!
Tip #3: Master The 5 S's of Soothing a Fussy Baby
Dr. Harvey Karp, an American Pediatrician, coined the 5 S's as a method of re-creating the qualities of the womb that, when used in combination can activate a newborn's calming reflex. Here's how to do it:
Swaddling - use a velcro swaddle or a simple receiving blanket to mimic the snugness of the womb.
Side/Stomach Position- hold baby in a side or stomach position
Shushing - use a repetitive white noise the same volume as your baby's cry. Lower the volume as your baby calms down.
Swinging - softly jiggle or bounce baby to mimic the movement of being in utero.
Sucking - offer baby a pacifier or nipple. Newborns have a natural instinct to soothe by sucking.
Tip #4: Safe Sleep
Following safe sleep from day one not only saves your baby's life, but it reduces the chance of experiencing sleep disruptions later. During the exhausting curveball that is the fourth trimester, it is common for moms to rely on products like the MamaRoo or vibrating swings/rockers to put baby in for sleep because baby is more likely being soothed by the constant motion/vibration thus they will sleep a longer stretch than if they were in their crib. But how long will baby fit in the swing or MamaRoo? Probably not long, so to avoid having a rough time moving away from relying on these products try to keep baby sleeping in an appropriate sleep space such as a crib or bassinet.
Remember, the newborn phase is a time of learning for both mom and baby. Don't feel pressured to have a great sleeper right away and go with the flow. Do what you think is best for your family. Because while I may be the expert of all things baby sleep, you are the expert of your baby!