Newborn Sleeping Tips
The first few months after having a baby tend to be the hardest on new parents. One of the most difficult aspects of parenthood are the many wake-ups throughout the night while your baby adjusts to a sleeping schedule. The general idea of putting a newborn to sleep can be intimidating for some parents, which is completely understandable.
Getting your baby to sleep is important not only for their health but also so you can catch up on your sleep too! Every ounce of energy refueling you can get is very important. At Charleston Birth Place, we care about you and your baby’s well-being and are always here to help when you need it. Try some of these newborn sleeping tips the next time you lay your little one down for the night!
Swaddling is the act of wrapping up your baby in a receiving blanket. It makes them feel warm, snug, and secure by creating a womb-like environment.
To swaddle your baby:
- Spread the receiving blanket on the bed in a diamond shape
- Fold-down the two corners
- Place your baby on the blanket in a way that their head and neck are free
- Wrap the left side and fold it into the bottom
- Wrap the right side
- Make sure it isn’t too tight, and ensure that your baby remains on their back
And then let your baby sleep! Swaddling can be tough to get a hang of initially. Your baby might not like it at first, but experts recommend that you keep trying it because your baby’s sleep habits change a lot during the first few days. If you notice your baby flings their arms and startles themselves awake a lot, swaddling might be the perfect solution!
Put Your Baby In The Same Room
Your baby might love having you around and feel more secure when they can sense your presence near them. Putting them in a separate room alone initially might make them anxious, causing them to be unable to sleep.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing during the baby’s first year of life. You can put your baby’s crib or bassinet near your bed. This might help your baby feel more at ease since they can see you and feel you around. This also makes it easier for you to keep an eye on your baby and lowers the chances of SIDS.
Make Sure They’re Well Fed
Hunger and thirst are one of the major reasons why babies wake up in the middle of the night. If your baby is being breastfed, the milk digests quickly, making them hungry more quickly.
So if your baby is having trouble falling asleep, try to feed them to see if that’s what they need. You can also optimize feeding times by setting their feeding times near their sleep times so they coincide and the baby doesn’t have to wake up mid-sleep.
Remember that hunger is a sign of a healthy baby and that they need this food to grow optimally. Restricting or ignoring these hunger alarms is not healthy or recommended.
Make Diaper Changes Hassle-free
Babies often end up needing a diaper change in the middle of the night. You can make it easier for both you and your baby by preparing for it beforehand. Here are some things that might help you last-minute:
- Keep fresh crib sheets nearby in case an accident happens! You can also layer sheets with one of those waterproof disposable sheets, so you can quickly toss them and get going
- Keep fresh diapers and a change of clothes ready so you don’t have to rummage drawers for them
- Make sure your baby’s nightclothes are easy to remove, so they cause minimal disturbance during a diaper change
Try White Noise Machines
Even the smallest of noises can be enough to wake a baby; be it a cough or the sound of a door closing. It’s practically impossible to maintain complete silence though. Instead, try using a white noise machine near your baby’s crib. That, along with darkening the room creates a womb-like atmosphere for the baby, enabling them to sleep better.
White noise helps by muffling external noises while being tolerable enough to sleep peacefully.
Give Yourself A Break
Last, remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can and no one has it all figured out from day one. Everyone learns through trial and error, and that’s completely normal for new parents! These tips are to try to help you if you feel lost, but what works for some babies might not work for others, and that’s okay. As long as you and your baby are healthy and happy, you’re doing a great job as a parent!
To learn more about newborn sleep and other new parent skills, we encourage you to check out the Mama-Care class offered at The Exchange!