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  • courtneyannclark193

7 Sleep Tips for Newborns

Age 0 - 6 weeks:

  1. It is completely normal for newborns to feed a lot! They have a very small stomach and (if breastfed) will likely feed more often than every three hours, day or night. It is normal for them to cluster feed in the evening and is beneficial for them to get as many calories as possible during the day .

  2. It is normal for a newborn to want to contact-nap and fall asleep at the breast. The sucking motion is very comforting to them and helps them fall asleep. They are not yet used to being outside of mom, so of course they like to be warm and close. Though this is normal for newborn babies, when they age past 6 weeks it is often good to change some of these habits and allow little ones to learn to self soothe.

  3. You can try the 5 S's! Swaddling, Side or Stomach Position(for while in arms not in bed), Shushing, Swinging, and Sucking. These are some tactics to try helping a little one stay calm by mimicking the environment of the womb.

  4. I do not recommend trying soothers to help with sleep issues! If your newborn has issues with sleep, then chances are that there is a reason for it that will not be solved by adding a soother. When a soother is added, the infant will begin to associate it with sleep. This may seem positive, however, when the little one gets older he or she will begin to wake up at the light phases of his or her sleep cycle and will need you to put the soother back in to fall asleep. 

  5. A newborn has an awake window of 45 minutes to 1 hour and needs approximately 15.5 hours of sleep! This means that apart from feeding they are not awake for very long. I often have parents that worry if their little one sleeps too much, but usually, it is good for them to sleep tons as long as they are waking up to feed.

  6. Babies are often born with an opposite day-night cycle. It is important to transition them to the same day-night cycle as us. Make sure that during the day they do not sleep longer than 3 hours at a time or it will disrupt nighttime sleep.

  7. If you have a newborn that does not seem to sleep the amount recommended here - ideally 15.5 hours per day, there may be other reasons for it. I recommend hiring a sleep consultant to do a full overview to see if there are any other issues that could be helped with. Often feeding issues cause sleeping issues with newborn babies for which a lactation consultant or doctor checkup would be recommended.

If you do have issues with infant sleep, please book my infant sleep package! There are answers to your questions that I would be more than happy to help with. There is no need to "just get through it" when you could be enjoying the time you spend together.

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