Create a Confident Newborn Sleeper
It is important to allow your newborn to do as much eating and sleeping as they want in their early days of life, however even at a few weeks of age there's a golden opportunity to start encouraging your child to assemble the building blocks of healthy independent sleep. Slowly, gently, you CAN teach newborn sleep skills by taking baby steps.
In my Newborn Sleep Class I walk families through a step by step process so that you'll be knowledgable, prepared and supported as you navigate your own unique path to helping your little one get the sleep their brain and body needs. We start with a general - and, not gonna lie: overwhelming at first! - Newborn Sleep Plan that sets the stage for each lesson's key information and skills to practice.
Then, each week parents will receive a 15-30 minute class to give them information and strategies to use in the week ahead. Not every family is the same, so some skills may not helpful and must be used at a later time when baby is developmentally ready. My Sleep From The Start Facebook Group provides concerned parents with feedback on what's normal and what may need adjusting.
I'm always amazed at how very ready most babies are to learn how to sleep independently - they start putting themselves to sleep with little protest and sleep for much longer durations in several weeks or sometimes days. Parents are challenged to be consistent but relieved when babies quickly feel better rested and more alert during the day. Some are able to eat more and quickly gain weight or achieve developmental milestones because all those Zzzz are just what the brain needs to develop. Once solid sleep skills are in place, it gets easier to relax about new sleep habits and routines and get back to living life fully - with everyone feeling better rested!
My newborn sleep class covers these basic principles in greater depth and helps families to customize strategies to achieve them.
Some parents implement these shifts on their own over a few weeks and see great success when they try them. However, if your child is struggling with less sleep and more crying, that's usually a sign of confusion and over-tiredness, which can make it that much harder to build skills. My newborn sleep class could help you make sense of why your little one is struggling, and I'll also give you a plan to follow so you'll know the how, too! Learn more and see the curriculum here.
Follow an “Eat, Play, Sleep” Schedule: Encourage full feeds during the day by feeding babies when they wake, playing, and then going to sleep after a short routine that doesn't involve a feeding. This means that baby will be getting bigger meals and helps to avoid spitting up and reflux symptoms.
Bedtime Routine: Establishing a good bedtime routine early on is a great way to help your baby organize their days and nights and start to consolidate nighttime sleep more quickly.
Soothing Vs. Crying: It takes time to learn to self-sooth, so your challenge will be to give your baby the opportunity to put themselves to sleep, but not to get too worked up for too long. Listening to your baby for a few minutes will help you determine if they may be able to calm on their own, or if they need your help.