The Do’s and Don’ts of Baby Sleep Success
There’s no shortage of information out there on the topic of getting your newborn baby sleep, because – let’s face it – being sleep deprived is not fun. So, here are a few do’s and don’ts of baby sleep that we’ve found helpful.
Do: For the first 3-4 months, there’s no harm in letting your newborn sleep as much as they want to.
The circadian rhythms of a newborn baby aren’t fully developed. They sleep a lot (around 16-20 hours a day!) – but in an irregular pattern. Therefore Let your wee newborn sleep as much as they want, whenever they want, for the first 4 months or so.
Do: There should be a consistent place for them to sleep.
Sure, it’s great to let them sleep on you while you’re watching TV, or in the swing, or wherever they want. But once they get past that itty-bitty new-born phase, having them go to sleep in the same place consistently will help them associate their sleep environment with bedtime – and you’ll all be getting the Z’s you need!
Do: A bedtime routine is of utmost importance.
It may seem very minor, but wind-down time right before bed is key for babies. Your bedtime routine can be as simple as a bath, a cuddle and a story, then off to bed. Whatever you choose, keep it consistent so that your baby knows it’s time to relax and drift off to dreamland.
Do: The same routine should be followed at nap time, too.
Naps can be tricky because babies and kids seem to hate them, parents love them – and everyone needs them! So, if there’s anything that can be done to help encourage your baby to nap, we’re all for it. Take a few key things you do before bed every night and try your best to do those same things consistently at nap time. Anything they can associate with sleep will make it easier on you and your baby.
Don’t: Keep them up late in order to try and get them to sleep in.
It just doesn’t work. We’ve tried. When babies are tired, they need to go to sleep because, more often than not, they’re going to wake up at the same time every day.
Don’t: You should not ignore tired/sleepy cues.
If your baby is rubbing his eyes or yawning, that’s usually your first sign that it’s time to get him off to bed. If they’re getting whiny or cranky, that’s another sure sign.
Don’t: Rush in the second your baby makes a little noise, because that’s what they do.
Babies tend to make a lot of noise when they sleep. But just because they’re fussing a little, doesn’t necessarily mean they’re ready to get up. She may be trying to self-soothe. You’ll likely know the difference between a really upset baby and one who’s just fussing a little. Trying your best to let her practice falling back asleep on her own is a huge help in the long run.