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Top Sleep Tips for Your Newborn

Dummies - babies love to suck to be soothed. Dummies are effective for overstimulated, tired newborns. It turns on the calming reflex. It is a good idea to phase this out by around 10-12 weeks so it does not become a strong sleep association that you have to replace every 2 hours overnight. In the early weeks be careful that you have breast feeding established before you use a dummy.

Swings/rocking/pram etc – Great way to settle,  this is very soothing to a newborn. A swaddled newborn who is rocked will go off to sleep easily provided wake time is correct. This often loses effectiveness towards 6-12 weeks. Try to use this as your back up rather than your go-to with a baby older than 3 months.

Swaddling –  if your baby is not rolling a swaddle is SUCH a good idea. This stops the startle reflex waking your baby up after 20 minutes and brings them back to a womb like environment. If bub is rolling it is time to transition the swaddle, taking one arm out at a time (the process should take a week). If bub still hasa strong startle reflex and/or is rolling early but you feel you need to keep swaddling to protect their sleep,  you can keep swaddling and use a “safe t sleep” or sleep positioner to keep them in place.

White noise – has to be loud to be effective, rain, water, shhing , radio turned to static are all effective. Great for sensitive sleepers and/or drowning out noisy siblings or pets.

Cat napping and the “4 month sleep regression”- Work on “drowsy but awake”, from 6-12 weeks using shhing and patting to settle in the cot (with pick ups if needed). This teaches bub to connect their sleep cycles. The 4 month regression is a leap forward in development where bub begins to feel the shift from deep to light sleep more prominently than they did as a newborn and tend to wake up after 45 minutes. This is more exaggerated if bub has not learned to settle to some extent out of arms/without feeding etc.

Keep a log of naps and feeds it is quick and easy to do and you can spot issues when things go pear shaped.

Go for a walk - once a day ( 3rd or 4th nap is a good idea), Being stuck inside doing “feed, change nap repeat” is not much fun, get out, meet a friend for a coffee, or just for some fresh air, especually if bub has had a difficult day.

Split feeding - during the bedtime routine (one feed before bath, one straight after, before you take bub out of the towel)  is a great way to ward off overtiredness and keep things relaxed after bath time.