How To Settle Your Newborn
Check out these great tips for helping your baby fall (and stay!) asleep, from maternity expert and baby book author Kathy Fray
4 min read
Most poorly sleeping infants are over-stimulated and over-tired
So quieten life in general! With young babies, expect 3-4 hourly day-feeding (with them up for just 1–1½ hours, then back down to bed for 2-3 hours); and then an evening cluster-feed period before going down to bed for their longest sleep.
Young babies need the lifestyle of a cat … 16-17 hours sleep a day. And without doubt, the better the day-sleeper, then long term the better the night-sleeper!
Do you know your infant’s ‘tired signs’?
Wee babies can go from ‘tired’ to ‘overtired’ in just ten minutes … and it’s essential to put them to bed awake and swaddled in a darkened room, while they are tired (before they become overtired). Universal infant ‘Tired Signs’ include body becoming tense, jerky arm and leg movements, clenching fists, facial grimacing frowns, cranky grumpy fussing noises, moving head from side-to-side, sucking fists, big blinks, burying head into your chest, a nasal-sounding wailing cry that builds in intensity, and a first yawn.
Don’t use sleep-inducement props
Avoid the accidental parenting wing-it strategy of desperately introducing sleep-inducement props to lull your wee one into their snooze, because they will quickly become sleep-inducement addicted junkies … be it the rocking to sleep, dummy to sleep, feeding to sleep, music to sleep, nightlight, special blankie, etc etc.
Babies are born with the ability to go to sleep (they’ve been doing it for months!), and sometimes wonderfully caring parents can unintentionally teach their infant a complete inability to go to sleep unaided. And, babies who are unable to go to sleep unaided, are generally unable to learn to sleep right though the night. So give your wee one the gift of being taught to become a great sleeper!
Try a BabyOK™ Babe-Sleeper
From around 4-8 months of age, many infants begin to ‘escape’ from their swaddling, and end up moving ‘all around’ the cot, getting limbs stuck through the bars; losing the blankets waking up cold; standing and jumping and even climbing to potentially fall out of their cot. This is when a previously ‘good sleeper’ can rapidly become a bit of a handful. It’s time (or better still, slightly earlier) to introduce an attached sleep-sack and my personal favourite (as I helped create its design so I know it’s wonderful) is the ever-popular BabyOK™ Babe-Sleeper (fits 3-30month olds, you can buy here).