- Feeding! I remember the guilt I felt when the nurse told me my daughter hadn’t gained any weight that week. I was round the clock breastfeeding and trying to soothe this unsettled baby. She needed a formula top up to get back on her growth chart, and I needed a visit to a lactation consultant. So many newborn sleep and unsettledness is related to feeding, but we are riddled with mum guilt around formula, and lactation consultants are in high demand. Get help early if you suspect there is a feeding issue.
- Fill your tool box with tricks! My Baby Whisperer tool box is jam packed which is why I love helping new parents, there’s is often very empty, and they are searching for the golden fix or answer. There often isn’t one answer to “fix” your newborn, they are probably just being a baby….but you need new tricks! Try all tricks more than once before you right them off! Some of my tricks are swaddling, shushing, rocking, front pack wearing, pacifiers, bouncing, walking, holding, colic holds, patting, shunting, and more! If people offer you advice based on what worked for them, don’t expect it to be gospel, but don’t immediately dismiss it either. If it feels ok, give it a whirl and you might be surprised that your baby loves being rocked with a pacifier, or they love swaddling and being fed to sleep.
- Don’t panic about sleep associations….just yet. We have more information now than ever before, and this is very true for parents! This can lead to unnecessary concern around sleep props or sleep associations. As a Baby Whisperer of newborns, I would rather see a newborn asleep with a pacifier and being held, than screaming and refusing to sleep all day. We are trying to gradually create healthy sleep habits over the babies first 16 weeks of life. That means regular naps, and 3-6 hours of sleep a day… if this isn’t happening, then this is our first goal! Whether its fully assisted by sleep props doesn’t matter. The self settling and sleeping unaided can’t happen before goal 1, which is regular naps and enough sleep…. We can work on the other goals after this one has been achieved. It’s never too late to wean off any sleep associations you are no longer a fan off, and this process is usually only 3-7 days…. a small sacrifice for good sleep in that 4th trimester!
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