The ever elusive sleep! It’s on the top of nearly every parents wish list!
I’ve recently completed a course in Holistic Sleep Coaching and I look forward to being able to support my postnatal doula clients with the new information I’ve learnt. I’m happy to come to your house and give you some support during the day so you can get some rest and talk about sleep or I can do a couple of night shifts a week, so you can get a bit of sleep whilst I take care of your baby’s night time needs.
Here’s a few tips to be getting on with, hopefully you’ll get a few hours shut eye if you take the tips on board…good luck!
Safe sleeping – Please pop your baby down to sleep on their backs and make sure they don’t have duvets, pillows or any other bits and bobs and ensure the mattress is firm. Please take a look at the evidence based information from the Lullaby Trust https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice .
Some people think swaddling can be effective for newborns, it can help them to feel safe and snug, and reduces the startle reflex. Swaddling is a controversial subject and I’m certainly not suggesting you do it, but if you are choosing to please take a look at the advice from the Lullaby Trust to keep it as safe as possible https://www.lullabytrust.org.uk/safer-sleep-advice/swaddling-slings/
Think about the sleeping environment. Make sure it’s dark, the correct temperature (16-20 degrees), there’s no distractions or sudden sounds.
Think about night time cues. If your baby starts to learn it’s night time this can only be a good thing. For example, from an early age a baby can benefit from a calm environment a while before bed, a feed, pjs, and a bedtime story.
Don’t keep your baby awake during the day, thinking that they’ll sleep more at night! Baby’s who are better rested sleep better at night. If you’re baby is over tired it could be hard to get them to bed in the evening. We need to think about sleep pressure, this means the amount of time the baby has been awake, we need to get this right, not too long since the last sleep and not too little.
When feeding during the night keep the experience as boring for your baby as possible. Keep the room dark, no stimulation, no chatting and they’ll soon see the difference between night and day.
Get some fresh air during the day, in particular during the morning. Baby’s who’ve been out and about sleep better at night. It helps them to understand the difference between night and day. This will kick their circadian rhythm into gear.
Babies benefit from interaction with you during waking hours. Play, sing and do activities with your baby, it’ll stimulate and keep them active during their waking periods. This is like exercise time for baby’s and will help ready them for sleep.
Babies can pick up on your anxiety and stress, so try to stay calm to keep your baby calm. It’s easier said than done if you’re up at 2am again, but remember the calmer you are the quicker your baby is likely to settle.
Babies sleep in short bursts of around 45 minute cycles and require regular feeds, day and night. It’s not unusual for them to wake often and want feeding and comfort. You can try the tips above to help them sleep but don’t expect a full nights sleep in the early months or sometimes a year or so. Do try and rest and take naps whenever you can.
If your baby seems unsettled day and night, or seems unusually unsettled please do seek medical advice.
I hope this helps but if not think about hiring a doula, I’m always available to chat about options. Please see the details of my postnatal doula packages here https://breathebirthyoga.co.uk/postnatal-doula-services/
Happy sleeping! x