Newborn babies are so wonderful, aren’t they? They’re all soft, new skin and sweet-smelling heads and tiny, adorable features. I remember each one of my children as newborns, and each of them just broke my heart with their cuteness when they were tiny.
But caring for a newborn? Trying to figure out feedings and naps and swaddling and all the things that go along with parenting a new baby?
That usually doesn’t feel so wonderful. In fact, if you’re a new parent, it may feel totally overwhelming!
Whether you’re a brand-new, first-time parent who’s completely befuddled by your baby, or whether you’re a “seasoned veteran” parent who’s expecting another baby and just needs a refresher course in newborn care – we can help. Keep reading for our newborn baby sleep tips!
Newborn Baby Sleep Tips
1. Swaddle Your Newborn
Full disclosure: swaddling is generally a great way to help newborns sleep longer and more soundly, but not all babies like to be swaddled.
2. Wear Your Newborn Baby
Baby-wearing – when done safely – is a fantastic way to not only bond with your baby, but to also improve sleep. Even the fussiest, most colicky babies generally calm down when held snugly against mom or dad’s body!
3. Your Newborn Baby’s Colic
If your baby is fussy all the time and just won’t settle, you may wonder if colic is to blame. It’s important to remember that periods of crying are normal in the newborn stage. But if that crying is intense and lasts for hours on end, then you may be dealing with colic.
4. Newborn Baby Massage
A bath may not be the most relaxing activity you can do with your baby, but baby massage is a VERY relaxing activity! Baby massage has been shown to help babies (and parents!) relax, and to promote better sleep.
5. Fresh Air and Sunlight
What do fresh air and sunshine have to do with sleep? Plenty, actually. Did you know that exposing your baby to sunlight can go a long way towards helping re-set her circadian rhythms and to correct day/night confusion? It can – more on that in a moment! And fresh air helps, too – studies show that a daily dose of fresh air (like the kind you’d get from a brisk, 20 minute walk) really does help babies sleep better and longer.
6. Your Newborn Baby’s Day/Night Confusion
Babies don’t spring from the womb understanding the difference between night and day – in fact, many newborns have their days and nights completely mixed up! If your baby sleeps all day and is up all night, you can take steps to correct this day/night confusion. Try feeding and playing with your baby in a brightly-lit room during the day, and then keep the room very dark and your interactions minimal at night.
7. Newborn Baby Awake Time
Speaking of day/night confusion – one way to help your newborn sort out days and nights is to keep your baby awake for a short time between daytime feedings. However, be sure that your newborn’s wake time is on the short side – aim for 45 minutes or so in the first 6 weeks after birth.