There are many healthy sleep habits to be knowledgeable in for newborns. These sleep habits will carry over into their infant stage of life. It is important for caregivers and parents to be on the same page and that these healthy sleep habits are followed so that baby will be well on his or her way to sleeping through the night as soon as possible.
Below is a list of healthy sleep habits that are recommended to follow:
KEEP THE NURSERY DARK
Keep the nursery dark. When a baby wakes during the night, it is important to keep the lights dimmed or off. You can keep a nightlight on the dresser to use if you as the caregiver or parent need a dimmed light. It is important that newborns establish their days and nights. During the day blinds should be opened and it should be light and at nighttime, all lights should be off, and the room should be dark.
KEEP NOISE LEVELS LOW
Noise can be stimulating to newborns, just like lights. It is important to keep noise levels to a minimum. A sound machine is a good option in the nursery, so it blocks out all unwanted noise for the infant. I recommend a white noise sound machine to all my clients.
NEWBORNS SHOULD SLEEP ON THEIR BACK IN THEIR CRIB
It is important that newborns sleep only on their in their crib. The baby should never be sleeping in a doc a tot, bouncy chair, swing, car seat, or anything other than a crib. Baby should sleep on their back until they are able to roll. If baby is sleeping in the parent’s room, it is recommended that baby sleeps in a bassinet or pack and plays on their back.
MINIMALIZE TALKING AND EYE CONTACT
Nighttime is a time for the baby to sleep. This is not a time to play and talk to your baby. It will stimulate them, and they will not be able to fall back to sleep easily.
DO NOT PICK BABY UP AS SOON AS THEY MAKE A NOISE- GIVE THEM A MOMENT
Newborns make a lot of grunt noises during the night. Many newborns will stir and make noise but not completely wake up. See if you can leave them for a minute before picking them up. They will most likely fall back to sleep on their own.
FEEDING SCHEDULE DURING THE DAY
It is important to maintain a consistent feeding schedule during the day. Baby should eat every 2-3 and should be woken during the day to eat so they sleep better at night. Newborns also cluster feed in the evenings which means they eat more frequently before bedtime.
DO NOT WAKE A SLEEPING BABY OVERNIGHT
Once you have approval from the doctor, you should never wake a sleeping baby overnight. Let them sleep as long as they can! You do not want to mess up their sleep pattern. If they eat enough during the day, they will not need those ounces overnight.
AWAKE AND BED TIMES
Baby should have a bedtime between 6:30-8:30pm depending when last feeding of the night is. This should be the time they go down every night. Baby should have a bedtime routine so they know they are about to go to sleep. This could be bath, pajamas, book, song and down for sleep. Baby should also have a wake time each morning.
For more information on healthy sleep habits, check out www.ncta.online. The Safe Sleep Practices and Advanced Sleep Training Course will provide you with more information on healthy sleep habits for the infant.