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Newborn Sleep Tips

Turns out I've not become a blog writer yet, I am working on it... Luckily I have a brilliant guest blog for you all!

Today we had the lovely Emma from Perfect Little Sleepers join us in Teeny Seeds - Newborn class to give us some top tips on newborn and baby sleep. She could not have been more helpful and has also shared her top tips with us below, So read on!!

Hope you find this helpful. Do let me know what other topics you would like to read about!

Lots of love,

Satu x

My Top 6 Newborn Sleep Tips

By Emma Lukey

Hi, I’m Emma, I’m a Certified Baby and Toddler Sleep Consultant and run

my own business Perfect Little Sleepers.

When I had my first baby, Ruben, I remember coming home from the

hospital with him, completely overwhelmed and exhausted from a very long

birth. Like many other new mums out there, I was a clueless first time mum

and those first three months were definitely a shock to the system!

Second time around, I was keen to avoid sleepless nights from early on, so

I worked on putting some healthy sleep habits in place, and by 3 months

she was settling in to a routine and sleeping through the night from her last

feed at 10.30pm.

Understanding what your newborn needs and how you can achieve this is

key to an easier first 3 months.

Here are my top 6 sleep tips:

1. Wake Your Baby During the Day For 3 to 3.5 Hourly Feeds

This will ensure they are taking in plenty of calories during the day so less

likely to wake as often overnight from hunger. Plus waking them up during

the day will help them learn the difference between day and night.

2. Follow Age Appropriate Awake Times

These are the length of time your baby stays awake for between waking

from their last sleep and falling asleep for their next sleep. Get this just

right and you’ll find your newborn will settle to sleep more quickly and sleep

for longer.

The first 3 weeks: Up to 1 hour

3-6 weeks: 1 hour 15 mins to 1 hour 30 mins

6-12 weeks: 1 hour 30 mins to 1 hour 45 mins

If your newborn is kept awake for too long they will become overtired and it

will become much harder to settle them to sleep, they may cry and cry and

cry and once they do fall asleep, they will likely not sleep for very long.

3. Set Up A Great Sleep Environment

The first 3 weeks of age your newborn will likely sleep wherever and

whenever. This is usually due to the maternal melatonin your baby gets

from you during pregnancy, it makes them super sleepy and so portable

during the first 3 weeks! This does tend to wear off around week 3 and

you'll notice your newborn starts to become more wakeful.

Ensuring your sleep environment changes to support their sleep here is

important especially if your baby starts to catnap (take short naps) between

8-12 weeks old.

Start to put them down to sleep in a really dark room for their naps as

darkness helps increase production of the sleep hormone ‘melatonin’ which

helps them to settle to sleep more easily and sleep for longer.

Use some white noise as this mimics the sounds your baby heard whilst in

the womb. It needs to be played the whole duration of their nap and at

night to be effective.

4. Use Positive Sleep Associations

Examples of these are white noise, swaddling, sleep bags and wind down

rituals before sleep. Establishing these positive associations from birth is

the simplest step you can take towards achieving better sleep for your


5. Trigger Their Calming Reflex

When your newborn baby is screaming or crying, to help soothe them we

can trigger their calming reflex. We can do this by using the following 5 S’s

by Dr Harvey Karp. These mimic the sensations your baby felt whilst in the

womb and also help them to fall asleep.

Swaddling - The essential first step to soothing your baby and keeping

them happy! It imitates the cuddling and continuous touch your baby

experienced in the womb. Your baby may fight this first step however it

reduces the flailing arms as they are wrapped snugly beside their body in

the swaddle and helps them to focus on the next 4 steps.

Side/stomach - For many babies rolling them on to their side or stomach

helps to quickly soothe them. It turns on the calming reflex and turns off the

upsetting Moro reflex which is trigged when upset babies feel insecure on

their backs as if they are being dropped.

Shushing – This sound imitates the noise your baby heard 24/7 whilst in

the womb. Your shushing needs to match the noise level of their crying for

it to work. Continue with some white noise whilst your baby is sleeping to

help them sleep well.

Swinging - This echoes the motion inside the womb and helps turns on the

calming reflex. If your baby is really unsettled aim to induce a very slight

wiggle of your baby’s head and when they start to calm slow this down to a

continual rhythmical motion.

Sucking – Newborn babies love to suck and used with all the other S’s it is

the icing on the cake! Use a dummy, breast or bottle.

All babies react differently to each “S” some may settle quickly with 2 or 3

“S”s others may require all 5 to settle so don’t despair if this is your baby,

just keep going!

6. Don’t Stress About A Nap Routine At This Age

Following a nap routine at this age is often not very achievable. Some

newborns may settle in to a routine early on but most will struggle, and this

is absolutely ok. Instead aim to follow age appropriate awake times as

discussed above and keep an eye on their tired cues. What we can do is

introduce a bedtime routine from around 6 -8 weeks old, keep it the same

every evening so your baby soon learns it’s time to go to sleep. As your

baby gets closer to 12 weeks, encouraging your baby to sleep at regular

times during the day will get easier.

Do you need more help with your newborn’s sleep?

Many problems new parents struggle with such as colic, fussiness and

feeding issues can stem from lack of sleep. Perfect Little Sleepers can

help with gentle, proven, settling techniques with a holistic sleep

assessment and plan tailored to your newborn and your parenting style.

Please visit my website for more information:

For plenty more sleep tips and advice, please follow me on Instagram:

And my Facebook page:

Thanks for reading!

Emma xx

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