My #1 Tip for Newborn Sleep?
Don’t let your newborn stay awake for longer than 45 minutes.
Yes! 45 minutes.
This includes feeding. So have a look at the time when you get baby out of the bassinet, Baby should be back down in the bassinet no later than 45 minutes later.
As weeks go by, you can extend it to 1 hour – however, 1hr is the maximum awake time your baby can handle until around the 3 month age mark.
A lot of fussiness, when it comes to babies, is due to over tiredness.
A baby that is over tired has a hard time sleeping. If a cycle forms where the baby is not getting sufficient sleep, you will, therefore, have a very tired and very fussy baby on your hands.
To help prevent this scenario, ensure your baby has every opportunity to sleep when she needs to. By sticking to the 45 minute awake time, you are doing just this.
Within the first 6 weeks of your baby’s life there won’t be too much of a routine or schedule happening.
Your main guide for sleep is this short awake time. Baby will naturally wake when it is hungry, however, another really good way of keeping a good rhythm going for sleeping and feeding is to try to stick to good full feeds.
Feeding in 2-3 (ish) hour blocks (minimum) initially and then moving to 3-4 hour blocks (minimum) very soon after, can work really well and allow for decent blocks of sleep (for both of you!). As a result, baby get good full feeds at each feed.
You will notice that your baby will start to extend these times out by herself overnight.
Having a 5-6 hour block of sleep is not unusual. Enjoy! I’ve been very lucky to have Jack do these for me from day 1. Obviously if there are growth or other health issues at play, you need to take these into account. Follow your Doctor’s advice.
As weeks go on, you will start experiencing longer periods between feeding at night and shorter in the day (back to 2.5-3.5 hourly feeds).
So you may be on top of the awake time and on a good feeding schedule but bub is still being fussy!
It is totally normal. Research shows that 1 out of 5 babies have repeated bouts of crying for no apparent reason.
Dr Marc Weissbluth suggests that some babies have what he calls ‘fussiness‘ or ‘extreme fussiness’. Weissbluth says that babies with extreme fussiness can have difficulty falling and staying asleep. There is no cure for this. There really is not a lot you can do! Motion, white noise and sticking to a full feed schedule can be a great help for fussy babies. Being able to attend to your baby’s sleep needs may reduce these bouts of crying (if you are lucky!).
Reflux may be present.
I’m not totally convinced Jack doesn’t have reflux yet.. If it does get identified that your baby has reflux, you will need to adjust to this. Medication may be required to allow your baby the comfort of lying on his back.
Your baby may have colic.
Babies diagnosed with colic generally cry for about 3+ hours a day. This is not a medical condition, therefore there isn’t anything you can do to stop it.
As a result, it can be a very tough time for all involved. Luckily most babies grow out of colic around 4 months of age (sometimes earlier, so hang in there if you are currently going through this!).
For those of you currently experiencing life with a newborn, or soon to be, I hope you don’t experience too much ‘fussiness’. Hopefully this tip will change things for you! Give it a shot.