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Top 10 Sleeping Tips for Newborns

By Emily Savage

Photo cred: @babys_land9
As you’re preparing to bring a newborn home from the hospital, it’s helpful to learn some top tips to help him/her sleep before you’re in the thick of all of the excitement (and let’s face it, sometimes chaos!) of welcoming a new baby into the family!  We talked to Pediatrician, Dr Belinda Radis at Associated Pediatric Partners, who shared some of their practice’s expert tips for helping a new baby sleep…which means more sleep for parents too! 🙂

Top 10 Sleeping Tips For Newborns:

Tip 1.
Adjust expectation:
Babies sleep 16 – 20 hours in the first few weeks, but not necessarily when you want to sleep.

In utero, the baby was likely lulled to sleep during the day when mom was walking around. The baby started to kick when mom relaxed.  So expect newborns to have longer stretches of sleep during the day and shorter stretches at night.
Tip 2.
Keep stimulation of your newborn to a minimum at night.  Keep lights low.  Decrease entertaining the baby during your desired sleep times. Feed your baby on demand and only change the diaper if very wet, or if the baby has pooped.

Tip 3.
During the day, allow plenty of sunlight into the house, or take your baby outside.  Put your baby down for daytime naps in a well-lit room.

Tip 4.
Sleep safe:

No upholstered basinets or crib bumpers.
No co-sleeping in parent’s beds or on couch.
No loose blankets pillows or objects in the basinet or crib.
Do place baby on his back on a firm mattress, in or close to parent’s room.

Tip 5.
Prevent a flat head on your baby by adjusting head position each time you put the baby down to sleep.

When the baby is awake, start tummy time and face time.
Tip 6.
Your baby may protest being put to sleep on a firm mattress. Swaddle your baby to emulate the safe cocoon- like sensation of the womb. Swaddling also reduces the startle reflex that can wake up the baby.

Tip 7.
Try and nap when the baby naps

Tip 8.
Put the baby in the crib drowsy and allow to self soothe to sleep

Tip 9.
Your baby will eventually be able to sleep longer stretches at around 3-4 months of age, when their brains have matured.
Tip 10.
If the baby wakes during the night after the neonatal period, give your baby an opportunity to self soothe to sleep.
If you’re an expecting or new parent in the Chicagoland area, join our August 19 Expectant Parent Dinner: Newborn Sleep Safety & Strategies (sponsored by Ergobaby and ViaCord!)  Our BCB Resident Expert, Janeen Hayward of Swellbeing, will discuss more safety standards and techniques for newborn sleep!
Dr Belinda Radis is a pediatrician at Associated Pediatric Partners.  You can also find their practice on Facebook.
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