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,
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
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!