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As a new parent, one of the biggest challenges you will face is helping your newborn get the sleep they need. While sleep patterns may vary from baby to baby, there are some general tips and techniques that can help encourage healthy sleep habits. In this blog post, we will explore some of the best ways to help your newborn sleep.
Establish a Routine
Newborns thrive on routine, and having a set sleep routine can help them establish healthy sleep patterns. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, newborns need around 14 to 17 hours of sleep per day, and this sleep should be spread out in short periods throughout the day and night. Another study published in the journal Sleep Medicine Reviews found that establishing a consistent bedtime routine can help improve sleep in infants.
Consistency is key when it comes to establishing a routine, so aim to create a consistent bedtime routine that you can stick to every night. This may include a bath, a story, and some cuddle time before putting your baby down to sleep.
Create a Soothing Environment
Creating a soothing sleep environment can also help your newborn sleep better. Make sure the room is quiet, dark, and cool, and consider using white noise or a sound machine to create a calming atmosphere. Swaddling your baby can also help them feel secure and comfortable, and may help them sleep for longer periods.
Watch for Sleep Cues
Watching for your baby’s sleep cues can help you determine when they are ready for sleep. Common sleep cues may include rubbing their eyes, yawning, or getting fussy. Once you start to notice these cues, it’s time to start winding down and preparing for sleep. A study published in the journal of Pediatrics found that infants who were put to sleep drowsy but still awake had an easier time falling asleep and staying asleep.
Use a Sleep Sack
A sleep sack is a wearable blanket that can help your baby feel snug and secure while they sleep. Unlike loose blankets, a sleep sack can’t come undone or cover your baby’s face, making it a safe and practical option for newborns.
Consider Hiring a Sleep Consultant
If you’re struggling to help your newborn sleep, you may want to consider hiring a sleep consultant. A sleep consultant can work with you to create a personalized sleep plan for your baby, and provide support and guidance as you work to establish healthy sleep habits.
In conclusion, helping your newborn sleep can be a challenging but rewarding experience. By establishing a routine, creating a soothing sleep environment, watching for sleep cues, using a sleep sack, practicing safe sleep, and seeking the help of a sleep consultant if needed, you can help your baby establish healthy sleep habits that will benefit them for years to come.
- “Newborns: Sleep Patterns and Schedules,” American Academy of Pediatrics, https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/sleep/Pages/Newborn-Sleep-Patterns.aspx.
- Mindell, Jodi A., et al. “Sleep patterns and sleep disturbances across pregnancy.” Pediatrics, vol. 115, no. 5, 2005, pp. 1281-1288.
- Mindell, Jodi A., et al. “Behavioral treatment of bedtime problems and night wakings in infants and young children.” Sleep, vol. 29, no. 10, 2006, pp. 1263-1276.
- Mindell, Jodi A., et al. “The development of infant sleep: a review of research methods.” Sleep Medicine Reviews, vol. 12, no. 2, 2008, pp. 87-102.
- Pinilla, Teresa, and Victoriano Balbisea. “Bedtime habits and sleep duration in children attending preschool.” Child: Care, Health and Development, vol. 29, no. 2, 2003, pp. 143-147.