Define a 12 hour window when you'd like your baby to sleep
- 7 pm to 7 am is a popular one-
During that 12 hour window, you want to always have your 'sleep environment' set up
- Keep it cool - a temperature between 68–72˚F reduces Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Keep it as dark as possible - eliminate any lights while your baby is sleeping (or supposed to be sleeping) If you need a light, choose a red light to help your baby develop a circadian rhythm
- Keep it quiet - use a sound machine to drown out other household noises and 'shush' your baby to sleep
- Minimize stimulation - Try not to interact with your baby other than what is absolutely necessary
- Only change diapers/clothes if it's truly bothering your baby and keeping them up
- Keep your baby snug and swaddled - It helps them feel secure
- Feed your baby as quietly and calmly as possible to keep them in a sleepy state - Dream feed them if possible so they are not alert and awake at night - We try to avoid letting them get to the point of crying at all -
- In the early days and weeks, continue to increase the amount of milk they receive so they can go longer periods between feedings.
Once your baby is gaining weight steadily and starting to go 4 hours at night, we can guide you on how to gently reduce those feedings to put your baby on track for sleeping through the night.DATYTIME TIPS!! (JUST AS IMPORTANT AS NIGHTTIME TIPS)When babies are new new, they just nap and eat and nap and eat but once they are 4-6 weeks old and developing some patterns, try to get solid napping in and stick to a routine.
It's really important that your baby is laid down a little sleepy but awake so they are able to
fall asleep on their own
Doing so, helps them connect sleep cycles by themselves/day and night
It's also ok to allow your baby to lay in bed awake for a while if they wake up from a nap early,
see if they'll settle themselves back to sleep
Try to only feed your baby when they are calm and happy (not upset and crying)
Sticking to a schedule will help your baby sleep better
Every time your baby eats, try to get them to fill their belly (take a whole feeding)
and go a minimum of 2-3 hours before the next feedingIT'S GOOD TO HAVE A GOAL IN MIND BUT REMAIN FLEXIBLE
WE'D LOVE TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS!
Abbey is a birth and postpartum doula and placenta specialist in Dallas/Fort Worth and a mom to 4 children between the ages of 26 and 13.