Sleeping - Our top 5 tips! May 12 2018, 0 Comments

We all know that when you welcome your first baby into your family one of the major changes to your life is sleep (or in my case lack thereof). For me, the lack of sleep was short lived, we got past the new born stage and feeding became easier, quicker and not as often overnight. 

Though, some babies struggle from the beginning with sleep, finding it hard to differentiate between night and day as a new born, and the unsettled sleep continues.

Muslin wraps

Let’s see just how much sleep you can expect (in a perfect world) by looking at the ages and stages of sleep:

Newborn (0 to 12 weeks) – require 15 to 17 hours sleep in a 24 hour period and generally feeding every 3 hours. As you hit the 4 week mark you can expect longer stretches of sleep in the night so anywhere up to 5 hours.

3 to 6 months – 2 to 3 sleeps during the day and then generally going down for bed at 7pm with a night cap around 10pm that will hopefully take them through till early morning.

6 to 9 months – 3 to 4 sleeps during the day and should be able to sleep through the night without the 10pm nightcap but waking early morning for a feed.

9 to 12 months – 2 sleeps during the day and sleep through the night generally waking around 7am.

Now obviously the above really is perfect world conditions, as soon as baby is sick (maybe catching a cold), teething, milestone reaching, unsettled for a reason unknown to you, expect to be woken during the night.

There are lots of ways to try and assist with encouraging a good night sleep for both you and your baby, see below our tried and tested tips:

Swaddle – we can’t recommend the love to dream swaddles more, we used these from newborn stage and bub knew as soon as we put it on it was time for sleep. Failing that muslin wraps are great. Wrap baby in a soft, cotton muslin blanket, but always nice and tight to create that feeling of being in the womb.

Massage – each evening after a warm bath, grab some oil/baby moisturiser and massage baby.

You could pop on a diffuser and add a drop or 2 of lavender oil, or another calming blend during bath/massage time. Not only will it promote relaxation but the scent of lavender will assist in sleep and the routine you are creating will be beneficial for baby as they will begin to understand that bedtime is near.

Sound – use white noise to muffle outside noises (fan or white noise machines)

Looking for signs of tiredness – try not to let baby become over tired, always look for signals which include yawning, frowning, whimpering, rubbing eyes, thrashing arms and legs, or becoming tense and agitated. When you see the signs it’s time to start the bedtime/daytime nap routine.

Light – during the night if baby wakes it is important that you do not turn on any bright lights as this can confuse baby that it is daytime. Keep lights dim, do not make eye contact and keep the interaction brief. During the day avoid closing the curtains during nap time, it is good for baby to distinguish between night and day. If baby is struggling to sleep during the day you can try closing the curtains slightly to create a slightly darker environment.

We hope these top tips will assist in creating a positive sleep environment. If you are finding that baby is very unsettled, always seek help or advice from your doctor or local health nurse. We also recommend clicking here: https://www.tresillian.org.au/advice-tips/settling/ for more help on settling baby.

References:

https://www.tresillian.org.au/advice-tips/settling/

Childrens Panadol - The First 5 Years, Edition 4, 1st January 2015.