One of the most common comments that a newly pregnant couple will hear, from family, friends and passersby in the street, is that they should say goodbye to sleep for the next few years. Whilst there is no doubt that a newborn baby will impact your sleep routine, there are a number of things that you can do to help your little one sleep through the night. These baby sleep tips might be just what you’re looking for!
At A Little Bit Brilliant, our job is to help your baby get the best night’s sleep they can. Our Zero-G mattress uses space-age technology and is up to 10mm thicker than other travelcot mattresses, helping save you from exhaustion! We’ve called in the experts from Shuteye Sleep Clinic to give you some great baby sleep tips and advice on understanding your baby’s sleep cycle.
Top Baby Sleep Tips
by Jeanette Courtman
Having a new baby can bring many questions focusing on sleep, as well as a lot of well-intended advice, from cuddle your baby, co-sleep, leave them, wrap them up, wake them, feed them, and so much more. Here are a few baby sleep tips from us here at Shuteye Sleep Clinic to help you understand your baby’s sleep and how to get them to sleep.
Understanding your baby’s sleep habits
A newborn baby’s sleep cycle is more simple and shorter than that of older babies. They have two stages, active sleep and quiet sleep.
Light active sleep is first in the cycle, this is similar to REM sleep and babies can be woken more easily during this stage. This is when you may see fluttering eyelids, some body movement and sounds, such a brief crying noise. Your baby may even smile in their sleep, this is known as the ‘sleep smile’.
Deep quiet sleep comes at the end of the cycle. When babies are in a quiet sleep, they are less likely to be awoken from this stage and their breathing will be steady and regular. You may have seen this in your little one, where nothing will wake them, no matter how hard you try. It is at this stage your baby will revitalise their bodies and brain.
Babies are born with the sense of hearing, touch and sight. So they need to see you, hear you and feel you as much as possible. It is totally normal for them to in the early months for feeds and when they do they will need to feel close to you.
Up to around 6 months of age, your baby will continue to wake for feeds in the night. Your newborn baby will be waking for feeds frequently and your 3-month-old baby will still be waking, perhaps every 2-3 hours for feeds. The reason for this is that babies have a very tiny space in their stomach and frequent feeding allows their stomach to feel full. However, once all of their food has been digested they will wake and want more and this happens throughout the night when they are young.
When we discuss a baby sleeping through the night, here at Shuteye Sleep Clinic we are talking about a baby sleeping for up to a 5 hours period. Over the age of six months, babies may be able to sleep for up to an 8 hours period, but this is a guide and every baby is unique and different.
One of the most common problems identified with sleeping issues with a baby over the age of 6 months is often associated with a bedtime routine.
A lot of the problems identified with sleep can be resolved with a bedtime routine. This may sound very basic, but it really is true. This pre-bedtime experience will have a huge impact on their sleep. Here are a few tips we would recommend to help with your bedtime routine.
Top Baby Sleep Tips for Your Bed Time Routine
- The bedtime routine should be calm, relaxing and focused.
- The whole routine should take around 30 /45 minutes in total.
- If your little one falls asleep while feeding – Bottle/Breast/Cup – feed them before their bath. This may feel strange at first but it really works.
- Prepare your baby’s bedroom before starting your bedtime routine – dim the lights, draw the curtains/blinds to create the right light environment.
- Bath them before bedtime- a warm, relaxing and calm bath will make a big difference – 5/10 minute.
- After you have bathed them, take them straight into their bedroom to get them dressed and into bed.
- A baby massage or calm lullaby will help your baby feel relaxed, as they can hear/feel you close to them, and will encourage them to sleep.
Jeanette Courtman BEM: RGN, RN Child, SCPHN Health Visitor