I wrote this review/blog post while participating in the Kids II blogger campaign and received monetary compensation and/or free products to facilitate my review. Tips included are based on my own opinion.
Let’s be real – having a newborn is a crazy time in life. You’re recovering from labor and delivery, you’re adjusting to a new role and/or adding a new member to your family, and on top of the HUGE changes, you aren’t getting much sleep, either. It’s rough but one thing that gets me through – from experience – is that NOTHING in motherhood lasts forever, good or bad. But I’ve also learned a couple tricks that make the newborn stage a little easier so I’m sharing the newborn sleep tips I wish I had with my first baby.
I’ll never forget the first night we brought my oldest daughter home 4.5 years ago. We had NO idea what we were doing and she was waking up every. single. hour. By the time morning hit, my husband and I were exhausted and thinking ‘Uhhh, what have we done?!?!’ I also remember being awake for HOURS during the middle of the night, watching bad TV, feeding her and just hanging out while she was awake. She had her days and nights confused – a common complaint of new parents. Here’s the thing… it’s your job to teach your baby what to do – she definitely won’t be born knowing that nighttime is for sleep!
These tips helped us get our babies to start establishing healthy sleep habits early. I’m not a doctor or a sleep specialist but this is what’s worked for our family so I wanted to share my favorite newborn sleep tips so, hopefully, you can catch a few more Zzzzz’s:
1. Keep Daytime Bright
Open the curtains, turn on the lights, get outside. Let your baby know daytime is the best time to party!
2. Make LOTS of Noise
If you have a dog, let it bark. Other kids? Let them play. There’s nothing worse than a baby who wakes at the sound of a pin dropping. Get them used to a loud daytime world early.
3. Keep Naps Separate from Nighttime
This time around, baby Emmy naps in her FoldAway bassinet in a well-lit room, unswaddled. It’s a totally different experience and place than her nighttime sleep setup.
4. Start a Daytime Routine
I don’t mean naps at 9, noon and 3 (yet) – when baby is a newborn, the only schedule you can count on is an unpredictable one. Help her by setting a pattern of eat, activity, sleep (EAS). The basic idea is that you don’t want her getting used to eating to fall asleep during the day.
5. Start a Nighttime Routine
We aren’t super strict about this yet, and it’s not a drawn-out routine, but we always change into pjs, swaddle, nurse, and I put her down in her crib awake but drowsy around 8pm. Then around 11pm I go in, change her diaper, re-swaddle and she goes right back down.
6. Master the Middle of the Night
Newborn babies wake up in the middle of the night – often. If you’re nursing, expect to go in to feed every 2-3 hours at first. The trick is to getting baby right back to sleep after she eats. I keep the stimulation to a minimum – dim lights (we have a dimmer on our ceiling fan), minimal talking to baby, and, honestly, I don’t change her every time I go in to feed unless I can tell that she’s pooped. I feed her, burp her, and put her back in her crib. Nothing fun to do or see in the middle of the night = a baby who’s ready to get back to dreamland.
- It’s super portable and holds and unfolds with one hand – essential when I’m always holding a newborn or corralling a toddler, preschooler, and puppy.
- Emmy loves it because she can look around through the mesh sides and when she kicks, it rocks; it’s also really easily converted to a stationary base for sleeping.
- It’s totally big enough for an older baby and really sturdy, definitely a good replacement for a pack & play. If your room is like ours, their really isn’t room for anything huge.
- It’s only $80 at Target, much less expensive than some of the bassinets I’ve seen.
- The design and pattern doesn’t scream “BABY!” so it fits into our decor pretty well.
- We haven’t traveled yet but it will definitely be going with Emmy whenever she has her first trip away from home 😉