Having been nestled in the comfort and safety of your womb, the transition into the world is monumental – for both your baby and you.
Out in the big wide world despite being still ensconced in a newborn bubble – your baby is exposed to the difference between dark and light, smells they’ve never experienced, loud noises and sounds, changes in temperature and delightful new sensations around touch.
Every single thing is new to a baby, it is sensory overload. We can only imagine how much information those little newborn brains are taking in!
So, how do they start to make sense of all this new data and stimuli? It all happens when they are sleeping.
It often seems like newborn babies are the lucky ones; bundled up and slumbering away for much of the day. And much to the dismay of parents and family members, after sleeping blissfully all day most new babies are frequently awake all night as they haven’t yet learned to differentiate between night and day.
After the first few months though, babies usually start to synch into our day:night routine. They become more aware of the world around them and all the things to see and discover and at this time your little human gradually becomes more wakeful.
Enter some new challenges, just when you have mastered the old ones!
Some babies can be difficult to settle and may catnap for only 40 minutes and actively fight naptime. Others wake up ready to party in the middle of the night.
Sleep is one of the most common challenges new parents face. And not just learning to function while being deprived of their own sleep but trying to establish a routine to meet the ever-changing needs of their little one.
According to Emma Purdue, founder of Baby Sleep Consultant, there are things that you can do – even in the first 3 months of your littlies’ life – to start establishing sleep patterns.
Helping newborns to consolidate naps for longer, more restorative stretches of sleep is a great start, as is moving towards optimum day-time sleeps. As an added bonus of bringing a predictable pattern to your day, the good news is this can also lead to better night-time sleeps too.
Emma says: “Most newborns come home from hospital with their days and nights mixed up. They sleep for 2-3 hour stints frequently in the day, and can be hard to wake to feed. They then wake frequently at night and are perhaps quite wakeful from midnight until morning. This is normal in those early weeks, the solution is time and slowly extending your newborns awake time during the day. But if your baby is over 6-12 weeks and still has this sleep pattern, you might want to work on less day sleep immediately.”
In terms of babies – sleep is up there with the big issues and we can all do with all the help we can get.
Make sure you check out the Facebook Live we hosted with Emma earlier this month about How To Achieve Better Naps – 3 MUST Knows!