Congratulations on your precious little bundle of joy that is a newborn baby. This is a beautiful time in both your own and your baby’s life as you both have to overcome new experiences. One of the most stressful for new mums after giving birth is establishing a sleeping routine and getting your baby to sleep.
Every baby is different but their basic requirements for sleep are the same. When they’re tired, they’ll sleep – simple as that. It’s also well documented that an ‘all night’ sleep for a baby is five hours. If five hours sounds like a dream to you and your partner, there are some steps you can take to help your baby get to sleep. but remember, this is normal and it can take a whole year before your baby develops a mature sleeping pattern.
It’s worth mentioning that newborns sleep patterns tend to depend on their diet. It’s 100% liquid and therefore digests very quickly, meaning newborns need to be fed every few hours, sometimes more in the early months as your baby grows. Because of this, it is important to develop a realistic attitude about sleep time. You can’t force your baby to sleep, so a more successful tactic would be to create a comfortable and safe environment for them until they fall asleep on their own accord. If your current routine is working, great! but be aware that sleeping habits of your baby can change so don’t be afraid to change your routine if it becomes less effective. You may find that what worked for your child when they were an infant, is not working for them as they grow so perhaps it might be best to try something new.
Like all of us, babies are habitual creatures. The way your baby falls asleep at night is the way they expect to return to sleep once they’re awake. To make this easier for you, try and associate a variety of things with sleep time for your child. Some common sleep associations for your baby would be rocking them to sleep, nursing them, singing, tape recordings, as well as balancing the responsibilities between you and your partner so they are comfortable with both of you.
Another common association that is a touchy issue is allowing your baby to fall asleep at the breast or bottle. Some researchers define this as a negative association, especially as your baby grows as they may not be able to shake this powerful association. You’ll notice that this is in fact one of the easiest ways for most parents to get their baby to sleep. So, to counter the negative effects of this, let your newborn baby suck until he is tired and almost asleep and then remove the breast or bottle. This may be met with some resistance from your baby the first few times. It’s ok to give them back the breast or bottle, and try again a few minutes later. Eventually they will learn how to reach sleep state without it.
Create a Comfortable and Familiar Surrounding
The startle reflex that is primitively hardwired into us can be disturbing for your young one. Having some nice and soft baby blankets to snuggle your baby in is a good idea. Some of the better ones we’ve used are from O.B Designs and Weegoamigo. Both of these baby blanket makers produce some of the softest baby blankets we’ve had the pleasure of touching! The Weegoamigo blanket range has some fun adventure patterns including dinosaurs, ice cream, circus, and beach themes. The blankets are made from a soft, plush fleece which your baby will love snuggling up to.
Learn the Tired Signs
Nobody likes being kept awake past their bedtime, and this is especially true for young babies. If your baby is forced to stay awake past when they want to sleep you’ll know about it! This can also lead to sleep deprivation issues as your baby matures. Learn to recognize your baby’s sleepy signals like losing interest in toys and people, becoming notably quiet, and becoming restless of fussing. If you notice these signs, take the opportunity to start your sleep routine. Missing this could make your little one grumpy!
Do you have any techniques that work for your little one? We’re always looking to extend our knowledge database so feel free to shoot us an email! your going to be up for a while so you might as well put that time to use 🙂