It may not feel like it, but newborns usually sleep between 16 and 20 hours a day. But having just a 40 minute sleep cycle and tiny stomachs that need food every 3-5 hours, sleep can feel much more elusive than 16 hours, especially at night.
Just like adults, every baby is different and what sends one baby off to sleep doesn’t necessarily help your baby sleep. Whatever methods you try, establishing a good routine is key – how strict this needs to be is up to you. As baby doesn’t recognise day and night until they’re around 4 months old, these tips are about creating predictable signals for your little one to signify bed time.
Daytime routine is as important as night
One popular article, “Teach your baby to sleep (in just 7 days)”Â by Stephanie Wood in Parent Magazine, really focuses on making stark differences between day and evening routines so your baby understands the difference quicker. During the day it suggests:
- putting your baby’s crib by the window with the blinds up at nap time
- making feeds active and fun by tickling baby’s feet and singing along.
Winding down for sleepy-time
As 7pm approaches, start baby’s night time routine by dimming the lights and being less playful with them. Avoid noisy distractions like answering the phone, playing with musical toys, and if you can, ask guests to leave. Try and keep this pattern the same every night to establish a clear signal to baby that this is the lead up to bedtime.
- running baby a warm bath
- putting on their pyjamas and settling down for a feed in a comfy chair
- loosely swaddling, depending on your views
- using a soft voice to read a simple bedtime story or sing a soothing lullaby
- adding white noise from a fan or radio static to mimic the womb
- enjoy a ‘night-night’ cuddle
- settling them in a bedside crib, such as the award-winning Knuma Huddle
Now whether you leave the room and let them self-settle or bring the cot into your room is up to you. It’s important for babies to learn to self-settle early on, but many parents find they sleep better knowing their newborn is close by.
You’ll find that bedside cribs (or co-sleeping cribs) are becoming ever-more popular. On the Knuma Huddle 4-in-1 bedside crib, you can have the cot-side down to comfort baby and night feed in bed, but without sharing a bed. When the side is up on the Knuma Huddle you enjoy peace of mind knowing that baby is protected from you rolling in the night, they’re cooler in their own sheets and well away from your pillows and duvet.