Welcome to parenthood! Those first few weeks of parenting are really, REALLY tough. And, YES, you’ve gotten plenty of unsolicited advice about sleep, eating, and whatever else a baby needs. But the bottom line is- you are tired!
What can you do to help your baby sleep? First, relax and breathe. When you are stressed or anxious- and we all get that way as parents- just stop and breathe. Your baby will pick up on your feelings of anxiety or frustration and sometimes that can cause more crying for you and baby.
Create a healthy routine for your baby to get 15 hours of sleep in a day. Newborns don’t have an internal clock so you can’t set it, but creating predictable routines calms your baby. When your baby wakes up, nurse or bottle feed, then play and do some tummy time, and then put your baby down for sleep.
Create nap time and bedtime rituals that eliminate feeding to sleep. Reading a book, singing soft songs, gentle tickling, touching to connect and loving on your baby are wonderful ways to help you little one drift off to sleep.
Hold, snuggle, cuddle your baby during the day. Don’t worry about spoiling a baby, because you can’t. The more holding and snuggling you give your baby during the day- the better sleep your baby will have at night when they are away from you.
Remember a baby that sleeps 4-6 hours in one stretch is considered to be sleeping through the night during the first few months. Newborns still have a need to feed during the night so don’t withhold feedings. Be sure to discuss any changes to your feeding schedule with your pediatrician.
Enjoy, delight, and bond with your newborn baby!