07914921222 deb@savvytotsleep.com

There is nothing wrong with holding and cuddling your baby as much as much as you like in the early weeks. Your baby has landed in a strange, alien world outside wombland and it’s not surprising they need reassurance and close contact with someone they feel “safe” with – that’s you! Anyone who has lived in a different climate and culture will know it takes a while to adapt to a new way of life. Easing your baby into the world with all the new sights, sounds and smells is surely the most humane way to go. Let’s face it – some of us adapt more quickly than others and that goes for newborn babies too. There is simply no point in comparing one baby to another.

Many sleep gurus recommend starting routines from birth with the “start as you mean to go on” mantra but here at Savvy Tot Sleep we do not agree. Over the years we’ve seen thousands of babies and you know what? – they’re all different. Each mother/father and baby bond is as unique as our fingerprints. So – our most important message to all new parents is;

GO WITH YOUR GUT

Trusting in your gut instincts as a parent is surely the most natural response for any human being. However, we must also be mindful of SAFE sleep guidance such as always putting baby on his/her back to sleep and feet to the foot of the crib etc. We like to think that the first few weeks of your baby’s life is a period of “getting to know each other”, a sort of honeymoon period of slobbing and eating (you and baby) and letting the world pass by. The first 6 weeks are undoubtedly, the most full on parenting experience you will have (hopefully) in your whole parenting career.

After the honeymoon period which may last anything from 2 – 10 weeks it’s worth knowing a few things about your baby’s sleep. Here are our top 10 tips;

  1. Do some research – it will only take a few minutes of your time. The problem with babies and sleep is that their sleep needs change dramatically throughout the first year. If you are forewarned of these changes it will help you manage them with confidence.
  2. In the early weeks newborn babies will fall to sleep feeding on the breast/bottle. When you feel baby is ready try and implement an eat, wake, sleep cycle. That is avoid feeding baby to sleep. The feeding to sleep association is the most common cause of night waking in later months. If you’re uncertain when to start this routine try at around 7 weeks of age when your baby is most likely over the 6 week growth spurt.
  3. Why do small babies never sleep in the evening? Answer – they have an uncanny knack of knowing when you want to relax – just joking! The truth is that evenings are often their most wakeful time. Get your head around the fact baby is likely to be your evening companion for several weeks. Gradually bring bed time forward so that between 3 – 4months old baby is in bed by 8pm (ish).
  4. Start a simple calm and relaxing bedtime routine. Babies learn through consistency – do the same thing EVERY night.
  5. When your baby is a little older (from 6 weeks or when you feel ready) don’t rush to your baby at the first squeal! Always give them time to settle themselves back to sleep (as long as they are having predicted weight gain). This is particularly important to remember when your baby is between 3 – 4 months old. Remember we all wake several times a night – it’s the ability to self settle that babies need to learn. This is a self taught skill.
  6. Watch out for babies sleep cues – this can be anything from yawning to fussing and may change as baby develops. As soon as you see sleep cues start calming baby ready for sleep. Avoiding overtiredness is key to a baby fighting sleep.
  7. Remember don’t overstimulate your baby! Just getting used to daily living is enough stimulation for one little baby.
  8. A dream feed (that is the feed you give your baby before you go to bed) may help tank him/her up in the early months for longer night sleep.
  9. Implementing routines gradually and consistently is the way to go. Most human beings hate changing their routine and that goes for babies too.
  10. Finally – the way you put your baby to sleep at night will most likely impact on how he/she needs to resettle during the night. So – if you feed/rock/give dummy your baby will expect this at the natural nightly wakenings between sleep cycles. At bedtime gradually guide baby into independent self settling in the crib/cot with a little shush/patting. It is particularly important to do this from 3 – 4 months of age.