3 things you need to know about your newborn’s sleep



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Updated on Jul 12, 2024 · 3 mins read
3 things you need to know about your newborn’s sleep

When it comes to babies and newborn sleep – it’s an absolute jungle of information out there. There are so many differing opinions, techniques and promises of “quick fixes” or “miracle cures”. However, when it comes to newborns and sleep the fundamental principles are actually very simple. Forget the bells and whistles, and the routines and schedules at this stage… Right now your baby’s sleep needs are actually very simple.

1. Understand your baby’s sleep and feed cycles

A newborn baby will generally sleep anywhere and very well and will come in short bursts of anywhere between 1.5-3 hours, with feeds generally every 2.5-4 hours. You’ll quickly realise that baby’s sleep and feeding go hand-in-hand.

Don’t be caught up in the idea of routines or schedules at this stage – let your baby lead! The most important thing during this time is to ensure you are giving your baby ‘full feeds’ and putting them down in a safe, sleep environment. Oh, and make sure you catch some rest too, whenever you can.

After a few weeks you will notice this start to change slightly and what worked in the beginning, doesn’t necessarily work anymore. Welcome to the start of your little one’s sleep journey! It will be constantly evolving and changing as they grow and their brain matures.

2. Awake times

Understanding awake times is a game-changer when it not only comes to newborn sleep but as your baby grows as well (even into toddlerhood and the preschool years).

As any parent will tell you, getting an overtired baby to sleep can be a nightmare because the brain releases cortisol as a stress response, which makes it difficult to settle them. Then once they do finally get to sleep, their sleep is often disrupted and they may wake after only one sleep cycle and then an overtired cycle begins.

Knowing the ideal awake window for your baby’s age is key, and recognising their tired signs will help you get your baby down before they reach the “danger” zone. You will come to learn your own baby’s sleep cues as every baby is different. Things such as yawning, fussing/winging, looking away, clenching fists or jerky arm/leg movements – can all be early signs of tiredness in your baby.

Be sure to check out the Daily Rhythms in our app for your baby’s awake windows based on their age. Trust us on this one – they are gold!

3. Cocoon bub in a Cocoon Swaddle Bag

Cocoon Swaddling your baby is important for settling and calming your baby for the first 10-12 weeks. They will then transition into an arms-out Swaddle Bag once they start to roll.

Swaddling a baby not only keeps them comfortable, warm and secure, it can also prevent them from being disturbed by their own startle reflex. The startle reflex is an automatic reaction that causes the baby to startle and become distressed.

When it comes to sleep, there are so many variables and things out of your control. At the end of the day, we have to remember these are little humans are learning as they grow and each baby will be unique. But with a few simple tips and tricks up your sleeve, you can set them on the right track to better sleep.

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