Newborn Sleep: What to Expect

When I was pregnant with my first, my grandmother said to me, “Don’t let anyone tell you labor doesn’t hurt because it does”. Many thanks, grandmother, but absolutely no one told me that. One thing I did hear often was, “Sleep while you can!” and “You’ll never sleep again!” You’ve probably heard this, too. Not to worry, you’ve come to the right place if you want to debunk that myth. You will sleep again!

Setting expectations, debunking myths, and wrapping our heads around something that is quite daunting…the first few weeks of sleep with a newborn.

Written by Moms on Call Consultant Sydney Smith, BSN, RN

When I was pregnant with my first, my grandmother said to me, “Don’t let anyone tell you labor doesn’t hurt because it does”. Many thanks, Grandmother, but absolutely no one told me that. One thing I did hear often was, “Sleep while you can!” and “You’ll never sleep again!” You’ve probably heard this, too. Not to worry, you’ve come to the right place if you want to debunk that myth. You will sleep again!

The First 2 Weeks

Here is a quick breakdown of what the day-to-day routine looks like during the first 2 weeks, before we progress into schedules.

  • Feed on demand every 2-3 hours
    • From the start of one feeding to the start of the next!
  • We are feeding for 30-45 minutes ‘start to finish’. Including burping (for both breast and bottle-fed babies).
    • Try and spend about 2-3 minutes burping (do it ¾ of the way through the feeding and at the end).
  • Keeping the baby awake for feedings can be the most challenging part!
    • Scratch the bottoms of their feet.
    • Undress them down to the diaper.
    • You can also wipe their heads with a cool washcloth to help them stay awake for the feeding.
  • Extend tons of grace – you are both just getting the hang of this!
    • Those first two weeks are a transition period for the entire family.
    • You’ve got this!
  • Then if the baby is healthy and gaining weight, we can adjust to the 2-4 Week Typical Day Schedule found in the Moms on Call Resources.
    • Babies with GI reflux are considered “healthy” as long as they are gaining weight.

In those first few weeks, we are keeping track of wet/dirty diapers, feeds, and, well, just about everything! The brand new Moms on Call Scheduler 2.0 app is the perfect tool for busy parents ready to calm the chaos.

Teenagers are very complicated (so I hear…thank goodness we are DECADES away from that stage), but newborns are pretty simple. Exhausting but simple. Typically, full bellies lead to good sleep. For more information on feeding, read this blog post about feeding guidelines for the first six months.

Eating and sleeping…you too, mama!

While we’re on this topic of eating and sleeping, that’s what mommy needs to be doing, too. Be sure to drink lots of water, eat and rest. Your body just completed a huge marathon of pregnancy and delivery. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of your baby.

Parents are eager to give tips! Here are mine.

Tip # 1 Consistency is key. 

From the beginning, implement sleep associations. The sound machine is on, swaddled tight, lights out, and in the crib. Your baby’s crib should be less than 5 years old with a new mattress, mattress cover, and tight-fitted crib sheet. That tells the baby it’s time to rest. Still, my kiddo’s eyelids get heavy when the sound machine turns on. You can start this from day one. Don’t get me wrong. There is nothing more wonderful than holding a sleeping baby. Enjoy every single minute! When you’re ready to get them into a routine, shoot for 2 naps a day in the crib.

Tip #2 Don’t stare at the monitor!

This seems like a silly tip, but video monitors have turned us into stalkers. Don’t stare at the monitor until their eyes close. If they need you, they’ll tell you. I wasted SO much time staring at the monitor with my first. We didn’t have a monitor in my youngest’s room until he could roll over. I slept SO much better. Read this blog post about getting back to sleep after a feeding.

This goes for daytime sleep, too! If it weren’t for these fancy things, we wouldn’t know if the baby was awake and quiet in their crib or sound asleep without opening the door to look in on them. During this time, if they are asleep, great. Awake and content, looking around, working their way back to sleep…also great. As for Mama, rest, read, have a snack, watch trash tv, or stare at the wall. Whatever you want!!

Tip #3 Try your very best not to compare!

I have to say that I fell into the trap many warned me of with baby number 2. A second boy, born 3 weeks to the day from exactly 2 years apart. Same season (waddled through yet another Christmas!), everything was the same – except for my boys! Number 2 was a pound and a half bigger than my first. Breastfeeding was seamless; where It was filled with hurdles and added stress the first go around.

Number 2 was “easier,” but as month 2 turned to 3, he wasn’t sleeping well at night as big brother did. How could this be!? He’s in the same swaddle, crib, and even pajamas as my first, and he weighs more! It’s because they are different. He’s not a repeat. He’s a baby! So, what did I do? Reread every word of the MOC book. Made sure everything was in place, and after a few nights, we were rocking and rolling. Were tears shed? – Sure! Is my baby the jolliest baby since his big brother? – Absolutely.

Moms on Call provides simple, sensible parenting resources to sleep, feed, laugh, and love birth through toddlerhood. If you are looking for additional support, MOC Certified Consultants are here for you. 

View all of Moms on Call’s safety product recommendations on our Products We Love and Toddler Toys & Safety pages.  Our Online Video Courses and books are also great resources with safety tips throughout!

Collections Clouds

Read More

Help My Newborn Baby Fall Asleep

Help My Newborn Baby Fall Asleep

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 Your Newborn Baby Fall Asleep Feed Well 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. We recommend a dual-firmness crib mattress like the Sleep & Grow Crib Mattress. It features extra-firm support that infants need on one side and less firmness on the other side to provide the comfort that toddlers prefer so that it will grow with your baby and their nursery! 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. Routine 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. Sound Machine 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!
Read more
Moms on Call Premier Consulting Network

Moms on Call Premier Consulting Network

With each and every Moms on Call Consulting experience, we have one goal in mind—to equip you with the confidence you need to become the best parent possible for your child. We are proud to partner with Certified Consultants who are uniquely trained to work with families utilizing the Moms on Call philosophy. All Consultants are nurses with pediatric experience who have used Moms on Call within their homes. Tell Me More! Our Premier Consulting Network now has easy online booking with immediate availability options. From full consults (in your home or virtually) to unlimited email packages or quick, 30-minute phone calls where you can get 2-3 specific questions answered or simply figure out if Moms on Call is for you; we have an option for every family. In-home Consultations (limited areas) are great for hands-on support.  The In-home Consult allows you and your consultant to work together through all the day-to-day realities with hands-on demonstrations, feeding support, and practice as you navigate the newborn through toddler years. During your appointment, you and your Consultant will discuss everything from everyday issues and questions, sleep and nap routines, typical daily schedules, comfortable feeding options, and healthy growth. In-home Consults are designed to support one baby (or twins). Includes 1 month of unlimited email support so your consultant can help guide your family and walk alongside you as you navigate your new normal. For a complete description of an In-home Consultation, including topics covered, visit here. Our Virtual Consultations include: Feeding support for all options, personalized routine support, and demonstrations Working with your Consultant to make a specific plan and routine for your family Support for upcoming transitions according to age, like sleeping through the night, unswaddling, developmental breakthroughs, daycare, and toddler issues by design With 1-1.5 hours of face-to-face meeting time (virtually) plus 1 month of unlimited email support, it’s the perfect option for getting the details and personalization you need! Virtual Consults are designed to support one baby (or twins). For a complete description of a Virtual Consultation and everything that’s included, visit here. With unlimited Email Support, you can pick whether you want to try it for 1 week, take it 1 month at a time, or know that you’ll have a trusted partner with ongoing support for 3 months. Whichever package you choose, you work one-on-one with the same Consultant so that they can get to know you and your family. No bots, algorithms, or outsourced support. Email Support is ideal for the following: Parents who have a list of specific questions based on specific needs. Families familiar with Moms on Call and have already read the books or taken online courses. Parents who desire a trusted voice to walk alongside you and navigate the day-to-day questions. Moms and dads who want to email on their schedule and timeframe. For a more detailed look at what to expect with Email Support, visit here. Your consultant will meet you right where you are! Wherever you are in your parenting journey, Moms on Call will meet you there. You and your Consultant will navigate all of your questions together with custom guidance for your family. (You will likely get answers to questions before you even knew you had them!) Our consultations are specific to the Moms on Call methodology, and all of our Consultants are nurses with pediatric experience and have used MOC in their own homes. What’s Included with Premier Consulting Services? You will have access to your own Consultant that knows you and your family Special discounts on MOC products* Regular, developmental information specific to your child’s age* Additionally, Moms on Call provides ongoing customer service support for customers who book appointments with Premier Certified Consultants.  *These benefits are included with In-home Consult, Virtual Consult, and 1 and 3 Month Email Support packages only. Ready to get started? Here’s what to do next. Search our list of qualified consultants by selecting the type of service you prefer and select a consultant who is ready and excited to work with your family! From in-home services to quick email options, we’ve got a wide range of services that match your needs, budget, and availability. Get peace of mind for your parenting with Moms on Call. Have more questions? Email [email protected] for additional information regarding consultation services or assistance choosing a consulting service that best suits your family!
Read more