When you first have a child, you may think that they barely sleep. After all, it feels like you hardly get any shut-eye between feeding, cuddles, and playtime. But the average newborn should get around sixteen to seventeen hours every single day. You just feel exhausted because they rarely take this sleep in long stretches like adults do. They’ll awake regularly for feeding, changing and sometimes just for a little cry for crying’s sake. While you may be tired, you need to remember that sleep for baby is much more essential than for you as a functioning adult. So be patient and they’ll grow into a more convenient sleeping pattern over the next few months. Here’s everything to know about your bundle of joy’s sleeping patterns, habits, and needs.
Moses baskets & Cots
Your baby needs a comfortable space to sleep, and there’s a general consensus that the best place for a newborn to get kip is in a Moses basket next to their parent’s bed. A crib or cot can appear overwhelmingly large with too much room for your newborn to roll around in. A Moses basket, on the other hand, will swaddle them, giving them less room to move about and creating a more comfortable space that feels safe and compact. A Moses basket is also much more portable, so if your little one wants a nap in the day, you can move the basket to whichever room of your home you’re in, allowing you to keep an eye on them at all times. If this sounds good to you, browse ranges of moses baskets and opt for something sturdy, reliable, soft and comfortable that has good recommendations and reviews from other parents. Read the manufacturer’s height and weight limitations and opt for something with a wide base, as the basket will be less likely to topple if bumped into. As your baby outgrows their basket, you can help them transition into sleeping in their own cot, which will be more spacious and comfortable for them.
Differentiate between day and night
Remember that babies aren’t used to all of the distractions and unnatural lighting that we are. They’re still adjusting to the world, and they will find difficulty in differentiating between day and night if you have all of your lights on, background noise and activity going on around them in the later hours. Your baby won’t know any difference during their first couple of weeks, but after that, it’s just a matter of time before they figure it out. Help them on their way by hitting the hay at the same time as them when possible, or at least dimming lights and surrounding them with a calmer and tranquil atmosphere at night.
Recognise signs of sleepiness
Babies will sometimes communicate discomfort or frustration in ways that we’re not all too familiar with. A good example is a way that many babies will fight against feelings of sleepiness and instead of just relaxing into sleep will cry and act disgruntled with the unfamiliar feeling of tiredness. Many new parents mistake this behaviour for hunger or boredom and are surprised when their baby doesn’t react positively to stimuli such as milk or toys. So keep an eye out for tell tale signs such as them rubbing their eyes or pulling their ears. You will then be able to comfort them, easing them into sleep easily.
Choosing comfortable sleepwear
Admittedly, the majority of clothing for any newborn is comfortable. Special fabrics and styles are used to ensure that their sensitive skin avoids irritation. However, you also want to bear your baby’s body temperature in mind when they are sleeping. Invest in a temperature gauge that can monitor the room temperature in the space where your baby sleeps. This will allow you to ensure the temperature is fine and your baby won’t overheat or get a chill in their sleep. You can then opt for soft, breathable babygrows for night wear. Remove any bibs or other items, so your baby is free and cannot get tangled or caught on anything.
One of the most important things to remember with a newborn is that every baby is different and thus it makes sense that every baby is different when it comes to sleep. Some will sleep more than expected, others will sleep less. Always go with your gut and if your child is doing well with a different pattern to what others report, stick with it. You can always contact your doctor or health care advisor if you have any doubts, worries or queries. But for now, you’re doing a great job. Keep it up!
Artist, Baker and Blogger. Mum to my two beautiful, cheeky girls. Muddling my way through parenthood with equally cheeky Husband.