Newborns are born neurologically very immature. This means that their sleep is also very immature, there are no cycles, or consistent awake periods, they can’t self soothe and they need our help to learn all of this while their sleep matures.
As your newborn moves through the 4th trimester their sleep cycles slowly emerge, the long wakeful periods stop, and the long sleepy periods also stop.
In those 12 weeks a few things will help your newborn baby to sleep.
- A good arms down swaddle to help protect your baby from their startle reflex, and re-create that womb feeling they loved so much!
- Limit their awake time to 60-90 minutes in the first 12 weeks. Allowing for a little more awake time each week as your baby gets older.
- Try to recreate the womb sounds your baby experienced for 9 months. Not a heart beat sound, this is not what your baby heard. They heard your heart, but also your blood pulsing past them, the water’s whooshing around, and all the outside noises! Its loud in there, so get some loud white noise cranking to help your baby settle.
- Experiment with settling strategies, patting, rocking, dummies, feeding. Find your babies sweet spot, be patient and don’t chop and change your settling too much in one nap.
- Create the ideal sleep environment, temperature, light, sound. These things are all important when trying to help a baby sleep.
- Ask for help so you can focus on your baby.
- Ensure your baby is gaining a good amount each week, often newborns need to feed frequently while they establish their feeding ability. Low weight gain is often associated with poor sleep, and your best port of call is a lactation consultant if you are worried about your newborns feeding.
Register HERE if you would like to chat to us about your newborns sleep. We would love to help.