First-time mums might think when they are exhausted, that their baby will be too and should sleep relatively easy. This idea can be challenged within the first few nights if your newborn is simply not an easy settler.
In this article, we explore what can occur when it comes to managing sleeping patterns for mums and babies. It is a common challenge and if you’re unable to find comfort and peace, seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional that can include nursing organisations.
When it comes to expectations around sleep, it is helpful to understand that some newborns do not have a sense of timing yet. They are unaware of when they may be sleeping and eating. This can lead to them sleeping for most of the day and waking at night for feeding. Since most mums are not naturally nocturnal, this poses an issue with their sleeping patterns.
So, what might a new mum do?
- Take a deep breath and remember that this is all a normal part of their development. Enjoy your time with them.
- Develop a nighttime routine as early as possible. You may decide your nighttime routine consists of a bath, reading a book, and feeding. As long as the activity is relaxing and followed through with the baby will be able to get used to it.
- When the baby wakes up in the middle of the night to eat, feed them with the lights off or very dim. Avoid making eye contact or riling up the baby. You want to keep them as calm and sleepy as possible, so they can fall back asleep after feeding.
Safe sleeping guidelines are important to understand and follow with newborns. Government health websites and your network of pregnancy medical support professionals should be consulted when setting up the nursery and for detailed advice.
Major guidelines are listed below. More information about safe sleeping can be viewed at government health advice sites like the one here;
- Place infant on back to sleep
- Provide a Safe sleep environment
- Keep Infant Smoke Free
- Separate Sleep Environment
Sleeping and night with your newborn are likely to be a challenge for parents and mums especially. By being prepared you will create a physically safe environment for bub and, hopefully, less pressure on yourself if baby is not an easy sleeper.
Written by Chelsea D.
Chelsea is a mum of one and pregnant with another. She writes about pregnancy, parenting, and body positivity.
All articles are provided as general information and are not intended, nor may it be construed, as medical advice or instruction. Information and opinions expressed are believed to be correct and accurate to the best knowledge and judgement of the authors. Readers should consult their appropriately qualified health care professional prior to taking any action or inaction.