“Your newborn baby and their sleep routine will gradually become your new happy hour”
I often hear; “It’s worth a mother losing sleep for the sake of her baby”, but imagine not having to lose rest and getting all the well deserved sleep you can. Having a new addition to the family completely changes the dynamic. It takes it from a calm, schedule-based environment into an emotional, physically exhausting, sleepless existence and even though it’s so rewarding, all mother’s can agree having a newborn can make you crave a moment of serenity. Establishing a great sleep schedule and having your baby sleep longer hours can be the solution you are looking for! The Snuggly Jack’s team have put together this guide with some useful tips on how to encourage your baby to sleep better, longer and more soundly.
1.Your baby is asking to sleep, so let them.
Yawning, rubbing eyes, not wanting to play, and pulling on their ears/hair are all early signs of tiredness. These signs happen when the body is starting to experience melatonin (the powerful sleep hormone) and it is their bodies way of telling you they are ready for sleep. Don’t wait to long after your child exhibits these behaviors, or they will become overtired and continue to have a restless sleep or wake early.
“A day without a nap for a baby is like a cupcake without frosting.”
2. Its all about the time.
Sick of being up every morning before the roosters? Miss those sleep ins? It’s rough I know. If more sleep in the mornings is important to you, understand that changing your newborns wake up schedule isn’t as simple as putting them to sleep later, each of you will just end up sleeping less and possibly hating life. It takes work and is honestly one of the hardest things to change. Firstly you have to understand they were in control of their own routines in the womb, sleep, eat, roll, kick all on their schedule, not to mention there was no day or night for them. When approaching this change, think of it as changing the time zone of your baby and just like when you travel to a new time zone, you must change when you eat, play and sleep gradually, so does baby. Try changing their entire routine, 15min a day until you reach the desired wake up time.
3.Swaddle, Swaddle and Swaddle some more.
Imagine spending 9 months all rolled up and warm in a confined space and all of a sudden being asked to sleep in the most luxurious bedding. I think we all agree that it would take some adjusting. Swaddling your baby gives them the same security they felt in the mother’s womb. “My baby doesn’t like being swaddled” or “They just keep getting out” seem to be things mother’s often say when their baby won’t follow any schedule or routine. Don’t give up! Things your baby may not like today they may love in a few weeks’ time. Start by using one of our Jersey Stretch Swaddle wraps. Maybe baby likes one arm out (for all those finger suckers) or even their legs free and for the babies who just seem to hate it try the Snuggly Jacks Knotted Gowns. It is recommended to swaddle your baby until they can roll, by this point you would most likely have a great sleep pattern.
4.The womb is loud.
Did you know that half of a baby’s sleep is REM? They spend a lot of time dreaming and the softest of noises or a change in light can wake them. I often found myself falling into the mistake of trying to keep babies’ space as quiet as possible. The trick is to do the opposite. Think about how loud the womb is. Often compared to a vacuum, this is how your baby has spent their last nine months. It’s suggested to create a dark space and mimic those sounds. Try some white noise or some soothing music. Then when your phone rings in the middle of nap time you won’t find yourself scrambling to turn it onto silent.
5. When banking on a baby sleep routine, Double down on the bedding.
Who else dreads those midnight changes. Where your expected to not only change baby entirely but also their bedding set. Causing baby to not only wake out of that drowsy stage but potentially wake them to a point where they are ready to rave into the wee hours. It’s almost impossible to pull off that kind of manoeuvre and keep baby sleepy the whole time? Or is it! Double layer ahead of time to make for an easy midnight change. Put one fitted sheet on your cot, A waterproof cover and then another fitted sheet. Then all you must do is strip off that top fitted sheet and waterproof cover, throw them in the washing basket (you can fix that at a decent hour) and the bed is now clean and ready for a peaceful sleep to continue. Try even putting a spare set of clothes and swaddle wrap in easy reach so you’re not having to use that newly acquired night vision to also search for a new outfit.
6.Temperature is everything.
Just like you like sleeping in a cooler environment so does baby. The perfect sleeping temperature is between 20 and 22 degrees Celsius. The best way to control the temperature is setting your in-house air conditioner, using 100% cotton Cot Bedding (This helps regulate body temperature) or dressing baby in layers. If you are unsure if baby is cold or not touch their chest. If it is warm to touch you have created the perfect sleeping environment.
Keep taking time for yourself until you’re you again.
7.Give yourself a break – every baby has a different sleep schedule.
You got yourself here and now you know some tips on helping baby sleep its time to focus on you. Take these tips and trial out what works and what doesn’t. Both you and your baby are individual and what may work for one may not for another. This process will have some bumps and requires time, patients, and flexibility. Before you know it, you will have time on your hands to sit back and enjoy that cup of coffee and read a book or two.