You’ve just experienced one of the most rewarding and exciting times of your life, welcoming your newborn into this world! It can also be exhausting, especially when you are sleep deprived. “How can I help my newborn baby fall asleep?” is likely one of the most Googled phrases by parents of newborns. The options are endless and often overwhelming.
We know how exhausting those first few weeks can be! You are being overwhelmed with advice (well-meaning, of course), options, appointments, other kids, and day-to-day activities. When did the term “sleep like a baby” come to mean a “good” thing? When in reality, during those first few weeks, newborn babies only sleep 2-3 hours between feedings.
Here is the thing, our little ones know how to sleep. We don’t have to “sleep train” them to do it. It’s just a matter of tapping into their natural and normal process. But how do we do that? By putting a few things in place, like consistency and routine, and allowing those good habits to take root!
Here Are 5 Things You Can Implement Today To Help Create Healthy Sleeping Habits:
That may be every 2-3 hours around the clock for the first couple of weeks.
Once the baby is 2 weeks of age and past birthweight, you can move to 3-hour stretches during the day and on-demand at night.
Safe Sleep Surface (Crib or Bassinet)
The bassinet can be placed in your room several feet away from your bed (this will hopefully keep you from scooping your baby up, pulling them into your bed and falling asleep).
Set the crib up in the baby’s nursery or your room (several feet away from your bed).
We recommend the crib is less than 5 years old and has a new snug fit, firm mattress, and a tightly fitted crib sheet.
Both the crib and bassinet are bare and free of all stimulation.
There should not be any pillows, stuffed animals, loose blankets, or interactive toys (including mobiles) in or near the crib.
Moms on Call’s books and online courses include typical day schedules from newborn up to toddler years that provide great routines to follow.
Grace Period: Within The Moms on Call Typical Day Schedules, you have a 15-minute grace period on either side of the times listed that does not shift the rest of the routine. So if needed, we can feed 15 mins early/late from the listed time and still keep the rest of the day intact!
The goal is to hit your feed times when you can and focus on 2 naps a day at minimum in the crib.
Prior to sleep times, have some sweet time with the baby.
Naptime routine: This can consist of changing diapers, snuggles, baby massages, and some sweet floor time in the nursery with music playing. Then swaddle, sway, kiss, and go down for a nap.
Nighttime routine: Bath time, tender time (even if not so tender, i.e., your baby may be fussier at this time of day) that consists of prayers, singing, rocking, and then feed, swaddle, kisses, and down.
Swaddle (Under 3 Months of Age)
Swaddling is a huge piece of the puzzle!
Not all swaddles are the same. At Moms on Call, we’ve developed a swaddle and swaddle technique to get it right, and tight, tight, tight, in all the right places, imitating the snug environment of the womb.
Be sure to watch our swaddling video (found in our Free Basic Videos, accompanied by our top tips for baby), and get those little hands tucked slightly under their bottoms and away from their face, a bit snug at the elbow level, allowing baby’s legs to move freely, so their hip joints mature properly.
Large square blankets that are not too stretchy (like the Moms on Call swaddle blanket) are best to achieve this specific swaddle.
White noise helps with transitional sleep cycles and allows them to go to sleep and get back to sleep (after waking) easily.
We recommend a high-quality white noise machine placed 2 ft from the head of the crib, level with the mattress.
We are shooting for a white noise sound that is pure without varying frequencies. Here is our favorite!
You can use this for all naps that are in the crib and all night long.
Putting these few things in place can help create a foundation that will move you and your family from the normal “survival mode” of those first few weeks to something that is more sustainable. This results in establishing healthy sleep habits that are beneficial for the entire household!
You’ve got this, and so do they!