Newborn sleep goals are a game changer!
But allow me to have a little vent first please….
We have had a household of sickness over the last few weeks. It has been TOUGH! I was the last one to get sick and by some miracle, Jack has survived unscathed (so far!).
It is always tough trying to shield your newborn from potential bugs and viruses.
You can only do what you can do!
Try to restrict ‘face time’ with other young children as childcare bugs can be rife at this time of year, and it is not ‘rude’ to ask people to wash their hands before they have a hold.
There will be a time that your baby’s immune system will start to have to work overtime (usually due to the introduction to day care or school), but at this young age, sickness can be quite dangerous so be as tough as you feel you need to be to protect that little one of yours.
I wrote a blog a while back about keeping good sleep skills up when your babies fall sick. So if you have older children as well, you might like to have a read if you missed it.
So let’s talk about Days and Nights and newborn sleep goals.
The newborn sleep goals will help your baby differentiate between days and nights.
It is quite common that newborns tend to sleep longer blocks in the day and shorter blocks at night. They may have had this rhythm happening whilst in utero so it’s the natural 24hr period for them.
This may not be the case for your little one, or they may naturally swap their days and nights themselves fairly quickly. If not, here are a few things you can do to help the change.
- Bring baby out into the light at each wake up during the day. This is especially important for the first feed of the day to mark the start of the day
- Some fresh air during the day will also help with the distinction of day time
- Whilst keeping the same routine prior to naps each time, add an extra step to the routine prior to going down for the evening. A bath is a great addition to the routine prior to bedtime.
At the moment, we are doing a bath every 2nd or 3rd night with Jack.
Your newborn sleep goals are also a great help to getting your baby on a good 24 hour day/night schedule. Let’s talk about one of the newborn sleep goals now. A very powerful goal!
NEWBORN SLEEP GOAL 1: EAT-PLAY-SLEEP
- To avoid a feed-sleep association forming, keep the feed happening on wake up rather than prior to going down for sleep
- At this age, I suggest changing your newborns nappy on wake up first (before feed) to prevent a crying=feeding connection forming
- Have a good efficient feed (around 10 minutes in length marks a good feed – bottle or breast)
- Follow the feed with a play period (pretty much just cuddles at this age). This is the time to get them out into the sunshine, or bright light, in the day
- Always remember the appropriate awake time – no longer than 45-60 minutes awake at any one time.
Try to avoid them falling asleep on you after the feed.
Instead, pop them back in the bassinet or cot to fall asleep.
Being so young and sleepy, this is almost impossible all the time but keep the goal in mind. If they keep falling asleep whilst feeding, tickle their toes and have a little chat to try to keep them awake.
During the night, no awake period is needed (other than a good opportunity for burps). Up; nappy change; good full feed; back into swaddle or sleeping bag; and into bassinet or cot.
N.B Keep the room where your baby naps very dark, regardless of whether it is day or night. This will help promote better sleep. Use the awake times for the infiltration of light.