02 October 2014

Newborn Sleeping Tips & Tricks








1. Don't set expectations, it takes time. When I was pregnant with Ryder I was always told "enjoy sleep while you can. When the baby comes you won't be getting any!" Well I should have listened to those people. I expected to lose sleep but I didn't realize just how much. Having high expectations made it hard. A baby doesn't come out knowing the difference between night and day and they have no idea what napping is. It will take time for a baby to learn good sleeping habits. So stock up on coffee and prepare for the worst but hope for the best. 

2. Limit using "soothing" items. Don't get me wrong, a Swaddle blanket, binky and swing will save your sanity the first few months after your baby is born. But if you use them for too long it can create a problem. Ryder hated a binky, being swaddled and hated being in a swing. It was hard the first few weeks but he learned quickly to self soothe and soon he slept pretty dang good without anything. Gage however, had to be swaddled in his swing with his binky to sleep at all. It was really nice up until It was time to transition him to his crib. I spent many nights sleeping on the couch so he could sleep in his swing when he just wouldn't sleep in his crib. It has taken a lot of work to transition him to sleep in his crib and he still wakes up when his binky falls out. Babies need to learn how to self soothe so slowly start taking away those items when you feel the time is right. 

3. It's okay to let them cry. A lot of people have different opinions on this and I am not saying it is okay to neglect your baby. But if they are in good health, fed, changed and safe it is okay to let them cry. I remember when Ryder was only a few months old and was having a hard time sleeping. I fed him, changed him, burped him and he still wouldn't stop crying. Out of exhaustion I set him in his crib and walked away. He cried for 5 minutes then fell asleep. Want to know why is he was crying? Because he was tired and every time he made a sound I went and picked him up. This goes back to letting them learn how to soothe themselves. After that day I could put Ryder to sleep in his crib drowsy, but awake and he would fall asleep by himself. Sometimes he fussed and other times he didn't. But it's okay if they cry even If tugs at your heart strings a little. 

4. Routine is key. I am the type of person who loves routines and schedules and I think they are a must for babies and kids.  Nap schedules and bedtime routines are important when trying to get a baby on a sleep schedule. If you give a warm bath, read a book then nurse/bottle feed every night at the same time they soon realize it's a routine and afterwards it's time to go to bed for the night. As far as a nap/bedtime schedule goes I wouldn't start that until they are a few months or are ready for it. We all know you don't want to stick to a strict schedule with a newborn. They run the show...not you! 

5. Try to follow a Sleep, eat, play schedule. Now, as a newborn you shouldn't set a ridged schedule especially with feedings. Obviously If they are hungry, feed them. But as they get older try to make it a goal to get on a schedule where they eat, play and then sleep while trying to not let them stay awake for longer than 2 hours max. Here are some example sleep and feeding schedules.






Some of my favorite resources that I have found the most helpful when it comes to newborn sleeping is The Alpha Parent: Timeline of Baby and Toddler sleep, Our Nest in The City: Sleep Training 3.0 and the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Now, I am obviously not an expert and all babies are different. Make sure you talk to your pediatrician if you have any sleep/health concerns and before implementing a ridged schedule.
Remember it takes time for a baby to learn healthy sleeping habits so try not to get frustrated. They aren't newborns for long, so soak it up!



 

6 comments:

  1. I agree with everything in your post! Maddox is same way with his binky right now. It's pretty bad when you actually contemplate taping it down...or imagine what kind of robotic device you can create to help hold the binky in...lol. That's when you know you're tired. Mine is also not liking his crib as much for naps. Ugh. These are good tips.

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  2. Ugh I hate that stupid binky!! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who has contemplated taping it down haha ;) if it makes you feel better Gage is back to not like naps PERIOD. oh babies.... Is he feeling better??

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  3. I have actually read a lot of your blog posts in the last hour. I really enjoy what you are doing here. (And as a writer of fantasy novels, I'm enjoying looking at different aspects of that when you go through them in blog post). And truly, I love world-culture building. Thanks for this post, very good to know, especially for first time moms. www.babychortle.com

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  4. All great suggestions for new moms! And yes- a swing of some sort can be a lifesaver especially when you end up with a little one who gets fussy often. And burp cloths! Buy ALL the burp cloths, lol. ;) baby care

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  5. I use white noise machine for baby. I think it is one of the most helpful methods to get into sleep. My daughter loves to have some gentle noise for better sleeping. Even sometimes, she doesn't sleep without white noise machine working. Thanks for your great works.

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  6. Thanks for your article. I`ve tried to use sleep and feeding schedules and they are really useful! But I also should mention that the right bed is very important for baby`s rest too. Personally I use best pack n play - it`s comfortable and good for child health.

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