The time has finally come for you to take your little bundle of joy home from the hospital. Whether it’s your first born or your fifth, the butterflies in your stomach and anticipation for what’s to come next can consume your mind quite quickly. With an endless list of tips, tricks and information on the internet, it can be overwhelming to know what to take on board – I know that I did when I had my three girls!
Recent research conducted in Australia found that parents spend up to two working days a week trying to get their baby to sleep be that in a car, pram or rocking chair and a further three in four parents spend up to two hours a day thinking about ways to improve their baby’s sleep habits. These statistics aren’t surprising when we all know that the lack of sleep parents tend to experience whilst experiencing newborn life is a common trend. Whether parents are worried about when their baby will wake up, if they are safe whilst sleeping or consumed with anticipating the lack of sleep the next night will bring each parent, these are all feelings we experience.
So where do you start? As a child’s sleep expert, I’ve put together my top four tips that will help you through the newborn stage.
Awake windows: Awake windows are the time between when your baby wakes to when they are asleep again. Understanding the awake windows is going to be your best friend as a new parent! They will help to ensure your little one is ready for sleep when you try to settle them, and also ensure they aren't overtired, which will ultimately mean they are harder to settle. An awake window for a baby between zero to three months will start at 45 minutes for those first few weeks and eventually reach 90 minutes by 12 weeks.
Wind down routine: Newborns aren’t accustomed to regimented routines; however, they do like predictability. A wind down routine is going to be the closest thing to a routine that you will have at this stage in their life and if it’s possible to introduce a wind down routine to your little one’s naps as soon as you can. This routine doesn’t have to be long; it just has to be consistent. By performing the same order of events over and over again, your little one will come to know that this means bedtime. It could be as simple as dim lights, swaddle, white noise and singing a lullaby.
Sleep environment: Sleep environment is crucial for good sleep when it comes to newborns. They have just spent nine months in a sleep space that is dark, warm, confined and really noisy, so if you can try to mimic this, it will help to make their transition into the outside world a little easier and result in some more consolidated ZZZ’s for you and your baby. For this, I would recommend white/pink noise, swaddling and some block out blinds, these will all help to mimic those sensations of the womb.
Investing in good quality baby products that give you peace of mind: I know purchasing products as a new parent can be overwhelming and expensive. But you know what, we really don't need ALL of the things we think we need. Investing in a safe and secure cot that meets your countries standards, a baby monitor such as the CuboAi that will watch over your baby throughout their naps and some weather appropriate sleeping bags and swaddle suits are my top picks for ensuring you have peace of mind when your little one sleeps. Because if we know our baby sleeps safely, we sleep more soundly.