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New Born Babies

Top NewBorn Baby Sleep Tips

Our son gave us a run for our money when he was first born! We really struggled trying to figure out the whole baby sleep thing for quite some time. Learning all the newborn baby sleep tips, we still fumbled through it for the first six weeks. We were so unsure of ourselves! Thankfully, we pulled ourselves together, armed ourselves with some key infant sleep facts, developed a plan and implemented it. We stuck with it, and at 4 months old, our son was sleeping 11-12 hours at night and naps extended to 1.5 to 2 hours. Woohoo! We’ve experienced sleep regression, sleeping on the go, sleeping through teething…and so much more!

If you’re interested in learning some awesome newborn baby sleep tips, then you are in the right place. When your baby sleeps better, you will notice a more patient, more tolerant, more engaging baby after a good nights rest or quality nap. Be encouraged. It’s never too late to foster excellent sleep habits in a baby, and ultimately help yourself get some much needed rest as well.

1. Swaddle
From birth to about age four to five months, babies innately possess a startle reflex, in which they feel as if they are falling. The sensation of falling causes jerking movements, and the baby will incidentally wake up. Keeping a tight swaddle prevents babies from startling themselves awake, helping the newborn baby sleep both better and longer. I like to think of the baby as ‘snug as a bug in a rug,’ and I used to tell my son this every time I’d swaddle him snugly.

2. Dreamfeed.
The dreamfeed is the feeding given to the baby right before you go to bed, and it helps prevent the baby from waking up just after we moms finally drift off to sleep. Isn’t this the pinnacle of sleep deprivation? You just fall asleep and the baby wakes up. The dreamfeed can really help your newborn baby sleep for longer while you sleep. We used it until about age 4 months.

3. Limit naps during the day.
I know it’s hard to wake a sleeping baby, but sleeping too long of a stretch during the day can rob nighttime sleep. If the baby sleeps past the two hour mark, I would go ahead and wake the baby up, feed him, keep him a wake for a bit, and then lay him down for another nap. If you feel the baby truly needs longer naps, feel free to increase the nap limit to 2.5 hours. Breaking up sleep during the day will help your newborn baby sleep better at night.

4. Use white noise.
No one wants to miss a party, so if your baby is listening to all the fun going on in the house it can be hard to fall asleep and stay asleep. I place a fan on medium in the baby’s room rather than directly next to the baby, so it does not blow directly on him or sit too close to his sensitive ears.

5. Follow the eat, wake, sleep cycle.
The baby wakes from sleep and immediately eats. Then the baby is awake for a while to play. Then the baby goes back to sleep….

This cycle has several purposes. First, it encourages full feedings by allowing the baby to eat immediately after waking. The baby will have the most energy immediately after waking, making him more inclined to take a full feeding and go longer between feedings. Also, by feeding the baby after sleep rather than before sleep, the cycle prevents the baby from associating food with sleep or using food as a sleep prop. When using this cycle, a feeding before bedtime is typically only feeding before sleep.

Of course, there were times where I definitely fed my baby before sleep. He needed a little TLC for a certain nap, and I was totally fine offering it when he needed it. But for the most part, I tried to avoid feeding him right before sleep.

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