Newborn Sleep: Tips for Helping Your Baby (and You) Get More Rest

mother with her newborn baby

Welcoming a new baby into your life can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences you’ll ever have. But it can also be exhausting, especially when it comes to getting enough sleep. In the first few months of life, most newborns will sleep for 14-17 hours a day, but this sleep is often interrupted by feedings and diaper changes. Here are some tips to help you and your baby get more rest.

Establish a Routine

One of the best things you can do for your newborn is to establish a bedtime routine. This can help signal to your baby that it’s time to sleep, and help them learn to self-soothe. A bedtime routine can include a bath, feeding, and reading a book. Try to keep the routine consistent each night, so your baby knows what to expect.

Create a Soothing Environment

Newborns are sensitive to their environment, so it’s important to create a soothing sleep environment for your baby. This can include a dark and quiet room, a comfortable temperature, and white noise to help drown out any distracting sounds. Using a swaddle or sleep sack can also help your baby feel secure and comfortable.

Use Safe Sleep Practices

Safe sleep practices are critical for newborns. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends placing your baby on their back to sleep, on a firm and flat sleep surface (such as a crib or bassinet), without any soft bedding or objects that could pose a suffocation hazard. This includes pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals.

Follow Your Baby’s Cues Newborns have their own unique sleep patterns and may sleep for varying lengths of time throughout the day and night. It’s important to follow your baby’s cues and let them sleep when they’re tired. Try not to wake your baby for feedings unless advised by your pediatrician.

Ask for Help

Taking care of a newborn is a full-time job, and it can be overwhelming, especially when you’re not getting enough sleep. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from family, friends, or a professional. Hiring a postpartum doula or baby nurse can be a lifesaver for new parents struggling to get enough sleep.

Getting enough sleep is crucial for both you and your newborn’s well-being. By establishing a bedtime routine, creating a soothing environment, using safe sleep practices, following your baby’s cues, and asking for help, you can help ensure that you and your baby get the rest you need.

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