Newborn Sleep Basics Part II

February 12, 2018

 We all want to find out ways to help our newborn learn how to have healthy sleep habits and associations. This is part II of my newborn sleep blog series. There are a few more helpful things you can do as a parent to make this newborn stage a little smoother.

  1. Drowsy but awake- This is perhaps the biggest thing you can do to prevent the need for sleep training as your infant gets older. I did not do this at all until my daughter was closer to 4 months old. Place your baby into their crib on their back for bed time and nap time, drowsy (look for their sleepy cues) but awake.

  2. Optimal Sleep Space- Think of your newborn child’s sleep space as mimicking the womb. How scary is it for a newborn to all of a sudden have to be in the real world with bright lights, loud noises, and not snug in their mommy’s tummy?

    • White noise machine- this is crucial and portable for when you go on vacations.

    • Black out curtains- awesome for naps and bed times.

    • Swaddle your child- creates a feeling of safety and dulls their startle reflex.

    • Crib sleep, put your child to sleep on their back.

  3. Take time for yourself- This is a hard one to do and certainly something I am guilty of not doing enough of, but whenever it is possible to take a nap, call a friend, go out by yourself for coffee, binge watch a TV show, go on a date with your spouse, do it! Your baby will be fine for the hour or two that you are not attending to them, as long as someone else is watching your child! It’s impossible to be a perfect parent all the time. I remember feeling guilty going out to get my nails done when my child was a newborn (I think I did this one time for a Holiday celebration). If you don’t take the time to nurture yourself, your health and emotional well-being, then you are doing a disservice to your child. Talk to your partner, friends, and family members, find a sitter. Even if it’s just an hour a day, you’ll feel more empowered and rejuvenated as a parent to take on any challenges your little one will throw your way…

 

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Emily Klein, LPC

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