You’re looking at this blog post because you want to get the hang of Sleep Consultancies.
Babies thrive on predictability, so a simple bedtime routine can really help settle your little one for the night. That could be something as straightforward as ‘milk, cuddle, story’ – whatever works for you and your child. Regardless of when baby wakes, parents should begin to instill a cycle of eating, being awake, and falling asleep. This cycle may be established in the Early Newborn Stage, but will be easier to do once the baby is slightly more awake and aware after week six. Your baby should wake up in a good mood and then entertain herself in her crib without crying until it is time to start the day. In other words, the baby should not wake and then immediately scream for the parents to run into the nursery to pick her up out of the crib. From 6 months onward, babies do the bulk of their sleeping at night. However, other issues such as teething, growth spurts, illnesses, or sleep regressions may start leading to nighttime awakenings. Parents may opt to use more specific sleep-training strategies if babies aren’t sleeping through the night at this stage. Many sleep experts warn that moms who lull their babies to sleep in their arms or while suckling are setting themselves up for misery. They caution that these babies won’t learn to self-soothe and will scream for Mama’s help every time they pop awake. A sofa is one of the most dangerous places to fall asleep with a baby and increases the risks of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome by up to 50 times. Babies could fall off the sofa, or become wedged at the back making it difficult for them to breath.
Put your baby to sleep on his back every time until he’s 1 year old. It’s not safe for a baby to sleep on his side or tummy. If your baby can roll from his back to his side or tummy and back again, it’s OK if he changes positions while sleeping. Make sure baby has a feed during their awake time and wind them well after this. While feeding them right before their nap can make them sleepy you want to avoid feeding them to sleep. Remember, the aim is to have them fall asleep in their bed, rather than on the breast or in your arms. So feed them soon after they wake, when they are bright and alert. Every baby has a different personality, and some develop greater attachments to their parent or caregiver than others. However, most babies will experience some degree of separation anxiety, which can make sleep more difficult. When it comes to sleeping and babies, the most important thing to do is hang in there and don’t feel that you are doing anything wrong. All babies (and parents) go through this and it will settle down eventually. We hope, for now, that these newborn baby sleep tips help and that you can enjoy fewer disturbed nights in the future. Whether its something specific like sleep regression or really anything baby sleep related, a baby sleep consultant can guide you to find a sleep solution as individual as your baby is.
Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Nightlights can also provide comfort for babies and if you do have to do a change or feed in the early hours, nightlights will stop you sleepily walking into things. Young babies can’t really stay awake for more than two hours: if you watch closely you’ll see them yawn and their eyes may glaze over. This is the time to take them out of a stimulating environment to a calmer one and let them sleep. If you miss the cues, they can get over-tired and seem hyper-alert when in fact they’re craving sleep. Baby has been continuously fed and embraced in Mum’s tummy and sleeping when they like, whereas on the outside world, gaps in feeding and different sleeping environments are introduced. It’s a sensory overload for your little one and it will take some time for them to work it out. It’s therefore natural and normal for baby to express their feelings through crying and to have irregular sleep patterns. The best evidence suggests that newborns (0-3 months of age) should generally sleep no more than 19 hours per 24 hour period, infants (4-11 months) no more than 18 hours per 24 hour period, toddlers (1-2 years) no more than 16 hours and pre-schoolers (3-5years) no more than 14 hours per 24 hour period. Remember you need to count daytime naps as well as night-time sleep into this total. In the long run, it’s best if you strive to put your infant in the crib when she’s drowsy but still awake. For some help with what that really means, as well as how to do it and what to do if it’s just not working out, read on. If you're looking for a compassionate, effective and evidence-based approach to sleep or just advice on one thing like gentle sleep training then a baby sleep specialist will be able to help you.
A child who takes a long time to settle into sleep for naps or at night is usually just struggling with the method being used to “get them” to fall asleep in the first place. That is, the child naturally wants to lie down, close their eyes, and fall asleep, but they only know how to fall asleep with assistance, be it rocking, nursing, strolling, or sleeping next to someone else. Settle your baby to sleep in a dark room with white noise. White noise mimics the noises babies would have heard in the womb so it is very comforting and can also help your baby to fall asleep by drowning out background noise. To help little ones develop healthy sleep habits, put babies down for the night when they’re drowsy. Although a personal choice, you may want to try to avoid rocking the baby to sleep in your arms before bedtime because this can become a habit. Babies eventually need to learn how to fall asleep in their bed on their own. It’s normal for newborns to spend 14 to 17 hours1 asleep in a 24-hour day, broken into shorter periods to accommodate feeding, diaper changes, and interaction with their family. Sometimes a baby who’s given up night feeds will suddenly start waking up in the night because they’re having a growth spurt. Obviously you are always going to feed a hungry baby! It’s a good time to think about giving more solid food during the day. There are multiple approaches to ferber method and a sleep expert will help you choose one that is right for you and your family.
Baby Sleep Patterns
My approach to naps is similar to that for sleeping at night. Babies up to 18-24 months of age need to sleep every morning and afternoon. For some of their naptime, they might chew on a soft book, look at a toy, or just have quiet time, but they need to stay in their cribs for the duration of their naps. Basically, babies need to slow down to catch up. Some newborn baby can sleep around 16-17 hours day (not necessarily at night, sadly), falling a bit to around 15 hours at three months but some sleep a fair bit less than that and that is normal too. Around five or six months, many couples move their babies into a crib in another room. Babies tolerate the switch pretty easily at that age, although it’s fine to wait longer. If you’re comfortable trying sleep training, it can be a good option for babies who wake up frequently to feed throughout the night. Either way, your little one needs help learning how to self-soothe so she can fall back to sleep on her own. If your baby isn’t sleeping well, it’s tempting to delay bedtime until later to try to maximise the chances of a good night. But babies who get over-tired and over-stimulated by being around adults in the evening find it harder not easier to get to sleep. Try gradually bringing forward bedtime by a few minutes each day until it’s somewhere between 7pm and 8.30pm, depending on your family circumstances. If you need guidance on 4 month sleep regression then let a sleep consultant support you in unlocking your child's potential, with their gentle, empathetic approach to sleep.
So you've stepped past delirium and are about to completely lose your mind from lack of sleep. Don't worry, all new parents have been there. Babies control their temperature predominantly through their head and face. This is why we recommend that you put baby to sleep on their back with head and face uncovered. You can't sleep train a newborn. Crying is how a newborn communicates his basic needs, and the most important lesson he needs to learn now isn’t how to sleep on a schedule, but that when he cries, you’ll be there to comfort him — even in the middle of the night when you’re beyond exhausted. Invest in blackout curtains, as reducing light exposure helps the brain release melatonin and keeps baby’s internal clock in rhythm. Babies are too young to be scared of the dark, so they really don’t need a nightlight. Of course, you might need one, so you don’t trip when you’re in baby’s room. The proper sleep environment will matter more and more as baby gets past the 6-week mark. Set up a room for your baby to sleep for naps and bedtime. The sooner your baby starts to associate darkness and loud white noise with sleep, the easier his or her life will be. A sleep consultant will take a holistic approach to create a sleeping system that you can manage and one which takes into account sleep training as well as the needs of the baby and considerations of each family member.
Create The Right Atmosphere
Everyone knows that babies can be little sleep stealers and unfortunately there is no way to bank your zzzzzs for when the deprivation kicks in. However there are ways of making things that bit easier for when your baby arrives. Good sleep hygiene (getting the environment right) is always of benefit and babies will feel comforted by routine; this can be nothing more than being put down in the same space to sleep, making sure the room is dark and quiet and doing night feeds in a quiet way rather than singing and playing! Having a bedtime is useful once baby starts to sleep for longer periods and doing all feeds after that as night feeds will encourage baby to go back to sleep calmly. Sleep training involves helping your baby learn to fall asleep on their own. Once you have cued your baby that it is time for bed through the bedtime routine, the next step is to put him in his bed while awake. Find additional details relating to Sleep Consultancies in this NHS article.