There are a plethora of text books out, each with their own different and comprehensive lists of what you must or should be doing when it comes to your new born baby and their sleep, or lack of it I should say! You may find that along with these often frustrating and contradicting text books people will also bombard you with "Are they are good baby,do they sleep?", "Are they sleeping through the night yet?" or the dreaded" You should put that baby down or you will spoil it".
It can be draining and constant as even strangers start showing a healthy interest in your baby's night time activity and their not so polite enquiries. These can lead to feelings of failure and frustration or even worse thinking that something is wrong your precious baby or your parenting if their new born is not playing the game from the off!
I am passionate that you cant' spoil a baby ( they aren't made of cheese after all), so hunker down, sniff in your baby and enjoy those precious new born snuggles whilst reading my top tips. You will be pleased to see that there are no should or musts here.
Help Them Differentiate Between Day And Night
Babies are born naturally nocturnal. This is because when in the womb your day time movements would soothe them to sleep and at night when you rested they become active. To help them get on to our time zone gently introduce day and night to your new born by having it bright, curtains open and noisy during the day and keeping the lights down low, blinds down and muted volume at night.
The Holy Grail ... Sleeping Through The Night
It is very rare indeed to have a new born that sleeps through the night( they need to feed at regular times to survive and be healthy!) and your baby isn't bad for not sleeping through or having you up during the night for feeding or for a cuddle with you despite what other well-meaning people will tell you.Once the sleeping through the night pressure Is accepted and off the cards you may be surprised how liberating it can feel to not feel the constant frustration and stress of a baby that wont and can't sleep through.
Go With Your Baby's Sleep
In the beginning babies are still in the 4th Trimester meaning they are adjusting to the outside world (which is very different from life in the womb!)Babies are pre-programmed to want to be near you all the time so don't feel that you are making a rod for your own back or spoiling a baby by letting them sleep on you in the early days. It is a great way to comfort them and bond with them so enjoy those early New born snuggles, you cannot spoil, love or cuddle a new baby too much or get those precious new born snuggles back. When your baby matures and develops naturally so will their sleep.
Realistic Sleep Expectations
There is no such thing as a text book baby, they are all beautifully unique! Some will take short cat naps, some will nap for great chunks of time, and some will sleep good chunks during the night whilst others are up every couple of hours. All variations are completely and utterly normal so try not to fret or compare your baby.
Find Your Baby's Natural Sleep Rhythm
All babies are born with a natural sleep pattern and rhythm. To find your baby's note down daily their feed, nap and sleep times as well as their mood and you should notice a pattern emerging. This will help you and your baby establish a natural routine that works for them minus all the frustration and thinking something is wrong with your baby or parenting when in reality they just do not fit the mould for a text book schedule or routine.
Bedtime rouitne is important
It is never too early to start a good nap and bedtime routine for your little ones. Doing the same thing every night will help calm your baby and reassure them as well as letting them know what is coming. A good, solid bedtime routine will see you and your new born through the next 8 years and beyond.