Sleep tips for you and your newborn baby
In the first few weeks, newborn babies can be very unsettled when it comes to bedtime and it will take some time for them to adjust to a sleep pattern.
We all know and have heard about the trials and tribulations a new born baby can bring, and some parents don’t get a decent night’s sleep for up to six years according to research published in the ‘Sleep’ journal.
In a recent survey conducted by Silentnight, a staggering 78 per cent of parents have also admitted to doing something silly due to exhaustion. (I.e. Prince William falling asleep in church!) Over a third (35 per cent) admitted to mistakenly drinking their baby’s milk formula due to excessive fatigue and one in five accidently put items such as a nappy or kettle in the fridge.
Emotions will also be running high during the first few weeks and it can take time for the whole family to adjust to the new addition. The study also revealed 20 per cent of parents admitted to forgetting to pick up their other children from nursery or school, while 18 per cent admitted to cradling the dog instead of their baby, and the same percentage confessed to bursting into tears for no reason.
It’s easy to worry and feel anxious, but there are things you can do to help give your newborn, and you, the best night’s sleep.
Tips for getting your newborn to sleep
Create a relaxing environment
From the moment you bring your precious newborn home, they’re overloaded with new experiences. This can be overwhelming to their developing senses, meaning it’s especially important to create a calm, relaxing environment in order to give them the soothing atmosphere they need to nurture their sleeping pattern.
Play soothing music
Soft music played each night can not only relax your child, but it can also help to create a sense of routine for your little one. It can act as a trigger, letting them know that it’s time for bed, and is the perfect way to add another sense of familiarity – which can leave your baby feeling more secure and relaxed.
Putting on your favoured lullabies/background sounds around half an hour before your child’s bed or nap time will allow them to absorb the music and “wind down”, before you actually put them to rest.
Invest in a good mattress
A mattress can be essential to ensure your little one sleeps safe and sound, and there are so many options to choose from. A foam-free core is much safer for babies and offers pressure relief. It’s also important that the mattress is able to adapt to your child’s body as it changes in the early years. Silentnight’s Safe Nights Airflow Cot Mattress promotes comfort and support for your little one as they develop, and is 100% recyclable with zero impact on landfill, so your precious one can sleep well at night, without it costing the earth.
These are tips on how to help your baby to sleep, but how do you get that all important kip?
Take a nap
Napping has many benefits. It can help you stay alert during the day after losing sleep at night. Our energy levels naturally dip around 3pm and our resident sleep expert Dr Nerina Ramlakhan says that we should power nap for around 10-20 minutes.
You may think that alcohol helps you to fall asleep but it actually increases wakefulness during the night. Dr Nerina says, “Remember, alcohol can also impair deep sleep quality so you are likely to wake up feeling tired and fuzzy-headed if you have overindulged the night before.”
Get more sleep in advance
If you haven’t yet given birth, try to get as much sleep as possible. Getting extra sleep in advance could mean that the sleep deprivation won’t feel as overwhelming once the baby arrives.
Now you have the tools to settle a newborn baby and help you get a good night’s sleep, here’s a quick recap:
- Create a relaxing environment for your baby
- Play soothing music
- Invest in a good mattress for your little one
- Make sure you take naps
- Avoid alcohol as much as possible
- Get more sleep in advance
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Last revised: 10 December 2019
Next review: 10 December 2020