My Top Tips for Babies Sleep 0-6 months – Sleep by Alexandra
I understand first hand just how important sleep is for both baby and parents. Sleep deprivation can have serious effects on the whole family — not just your child. Studies have shown that sleep deprived households have heightened emotions, can suffer from depression or anxiety and can even develop health issues. This is why sleep is so important.
You generally do not ‘sleep train’ babies until they are 6 months+ as this is normally when we are able to start encouraging sleeping through the night. However, with younger babies it is still beneficial to instil good sleep habits early on.
Here are a few points that I recommend you start with to help establish a good routine-
• Try to maintain a regular feeding and napping routine during the day. Now this is a challenge with a newborn so definitely do not put pressure on yourself; take your time and take each successful feed/nap as a win. Even a very relaxed routine will help, as the aim is to maximise the difference between daytime naps and overnight sleep. Daytime naps can be around noise, bright daylight and in the sitting room. Overnight sleep should be quiet (unless using white noise), in the parent’s bedroom and with little/no light. This will help develop your baby’s internal body clock/circadian rhythm. After 6 weeks, their circadian rhythm has typically set.
• Notice your baby’s cues. Signs like rubbing their eyes, yawning, or pulling on their ears are indicators that your baby is tired. Signs like fussing, impatience, clumsiness indicates that your baby is overtired.
“Be kind to yourself, always”
• Focus on effective feeding. This will determine how long your baby is satisfied for between each feed. Again just do what you can, having a newborn is a whirlwind and they can sometimes feed round the clock so trust your instincts. If you have any concerns, contact your GP or Health Visitor.
• Evening routine. It is never too soon to implement a nice bedtime routine. This can be very simple. To make bath time relaxing, a little baby massage after a bath can be lovely to help release Tryptophan, which encourages Serotonin. Both are happy chemicals that promote healthier and better-quality sleep.
• Room temperature. Having the right room temperature can make a big difference. Around 18-20 degrees Celsius is ideal.
• Baby’s room. Try to ensure baby’s room is a peaceful place. As baby is in with the parents until at least 6 months try to keep the room decluttered, not too much noise (unless using white noise) and no bright lights.
• Be kind to yourself. Remember we are simply developing a good routine at this age, so don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t all fall into place on your first try. Sleeping well is a learned skill, try not to put pressure on yourself. You are doing a great job mama!
Different children need different amounts of sleep. Getting those crucial naps in place, can really help encourage better night time sleep.
Here is a handy nap guide – (nap duration & number of naps)
💙 Newborn-6 weeks – 15mins-4hours with between 4/8 naps a day
💚 6 weeks-3 months – 30mins-2 hours with between 3/5 naps a day
💛 3 months-6 months – 30mins-2 hours with between 3/4 naps a day
Newborn 0-6 months
Baby 6-12 months
Toddler 12-18 months
Child 18 months-5 years
Once downloaded, you get to keep the guide forever. Simply use code: TMC10.
Sleep by Alexandra helps your family sleep better so you can enjoy more time together. Alexandra Collingbourne is a sleep consultant specialising in safe, holistic methods of getting your baby, toddler or young child to sleep in a way that empowers parents to live better, happier and with more energy. Specialist postnatal depression & anxiety support is also available for those who need it.