Newborn sleep can be the most difficult of all sleep periods for your little one, but it doesn’t have to be. It can seem particularly overwhelming if you are a first-time mother (like I was).
Everything is different – your body, your routine, your environment, your relationships. It can be like navigating a foreign city.
START WITH GRACE
The best thing to do during the first six to eight weeks is give yourself grace. While it is never too early to establish a healthy sleep foundation, there are no bad habits that can be formed in those first few weeks.
Do make sure you are practicing safe sleep from the very beginning.
Baby should always be placed:
on their Back
in their Crib (bassinet)
for all periods of sleep.
Around six to eight weeks is typically when babies start to show signs of being social and picking up on cues by smiling.
This is a good signal they can understand a routine. They begin to understand if mom or dad does X then it means it is time to bed.
Having a solid routine will help do the road as you continue to build upon the healthy sleep foundations you establish early in their life.
The number one problem I see with newborn sleep is they are kept awake for too long.
Over time they will become overtired and it will become harder and harder for them to fall asleep.
Babies who are overtired have a hard time falling asleep, staying asleep and fight sleep way more.
Be sure to keep the wake windows short!
DROWSY BUT AWAKE
As your little one moves more towards 16-weeks adjusted age, we want to slowly beginning to shape their sleep by placing them down more and more awake.
This will help when circadian rhythms come into place at 16-weeks and their sleep changes.
The more we focus on this when they are younger, the less time and attention we will have to spend sleep training down the road.
Don’t stress if your newborns sleep is all over the place and changes on a weekly basis. This is to be expected during these first few months.