Newborn days are snuggly and sweet, but also messy and challenging, and learning a new world with such sleeplessness is hard! We had a really hard time with my now toddler’s sleep as a newborn (and baby!), but when I became a pediatric sleep consultant this past summer followed by newborn mama part two, I realized how different our sleep journey could be, and that I could actually teach her sleep skills from the start! Yes, there’s absolutely a piece of newborn life that is more sleepless, because those sweet babes need to eat several times a night and they still have days and nights mixed up. And of course they like those sleepy snuggles with mom or dad! But unlike so many think and experience, newborn life doesn’t have to be marked by endless hours of rocking and tiptoeing out of the room just in time to hear baby wake up again. And we don’t have to wait for “luck” to get our baby’s falling asleep on their own. There are actual tips and tricks you can know and apply from the start to help your baby learn to sleep, and after walking through newborn world the second time around, I want to share my top 4 newborn sleep tips with you.
Follow your baby’s awake windows! From 0-6 weeks old, newborns can’t handle much more than 45-60 minutes awake before becoming overtired. And that includes the feeding!
Give space for partial arousals. Your baby will naturally squirm and make noise in her sleep, and may even open her eyes. If you think she’s waking, wait a moment or two before getting her to see if she’ll slip back to sleep on her own.
Know the difference between fussing and crying. It’s okay to let your newborn fuss for a bit as they try to figure out sleep. If she is crying, you of course want to help.
Set up a nap and bedtime routine! Routines are so key to helping your newborn learn when sleep is coming, and it prepares her little mind and body to sleep.
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