Viewing entries tagged
routine

Newborn Sleep

newborn sleep

When I see my little girl sleeping I just want to kiss her little nose, squeeze her little cheeks and cuddle her into me as close as I can.  But that’s not advised!  Let sleeping babies sleep.  It’s a glorious thing.  And you don’t realise how glorious it is unless you have a baby that doesn't sleep well.  Getting into a good newborn sleep routine is one of the most important things to do when you bring baby home from the hospital. 

It all sounds wonderful in theory but can be quite tough, especially if you have a child with colic and reflux issues, or something else.  The below is a guide – a baby sleep checklist of sorts.

  1. A well fed baby is a happy (and sleepy) baby.

  2. Establish a routine as quickly as possible, either use the babies own rhythm to identify key times of the day for sleeping or eating or use a guide – Save Our Sleep and Happiest Baby on the Block are two great books. I personally used Save Our Sleep and it was a fantastic resource with routines by age. Rebecca Judd also has a routine on her blog that she used for her babies.

  3. Make sure your baby is well burped. Most people don’t spend enough time on this.

  4. If you are having trouble with sleep, try and rule out possible reasons e.g. reflux, colic, not enough burping, routine, not enough food, room/bed temperature. Speak to your maternal health nurse and doctor, read and talk to other mums to see if there is any sage advice they can offer.

  5. The maternal health nurse network have sleep consultants that can come out to your home and help with getting you back on track. They are at no cost for a one time visit. Or there are independent, private sleep consultants that can help in the home.

  6. Have an established bed time routine – keep a consistent time for everything; it means baby gets used to a certain way of things happening before bed time. Try: a warm relaxing bath with lavender oil to relax baby; make sure tummy is full and well burped; read a little baby book; if baby needs some extra help snoozing off try a few minutes rubbing or tapping. Whatever you do, consistency is important.

  7. Room temperature is very important. We have a tendency to overheat because we are worried about baby not being warm enough. If baby is too hot she won’t be able to settle.

  8. Lavender – try this in the bath, a candle, oil in the humidifier or oil burner before bedtime. It’s very calming.

  9. Sleep school – I have heard great things about Masada. It does not come cheap but for parents that need some time out and need settling time of their own it is incredible. You need a referral from your GP.

  10. Try not to disrupt sleep as much as possible, i.e. don’t wake your baby and try to put baby into his own bed so that he wakes in the same place he went to bed. (This is where a routine helps – you can build appointments etc. around when baby is due to sleep and eat, no surprises). Obviously it’s not always possible, i.e. when baby unexpectedly falls asleep in the car, but as with anything in life, all you can do is do your best.

  11. Daytime sleep is absolutely crucial for night time sleep so do your best in getting a good daytime sleep routine happening.

  12. Make sure the room environment, particularly the sleep area does not have distractions (or attractions) and is as serene as possible.

Getting your newborn sleep rhythm right doesn't have to be difficult but it does take a little bit of effort, patience and discipline.

Here are some other resources:

Baby Centre - Understanding your babys sleep

Raising Children Network - Baby Sleep

 

Breastfeeding resources

Breastfeeding is natural.  And I truly do believe that it is best.  But it is far from easy and does not come as "naturally" as some people make it out to be.  Being the mother that can whip out a boob and have a baby attached in the blink of any eye in a public space is lucky group.  And some don't ever get there.

iStock_000003226881XSmall.jpg

I have had both a lucky and unlucky experience breastfeeding run.  I am not one of the blessed and it was an emotional roller-coaster when I was in the thick of it.  

My mother had no milk at all.  Not a drop.  And I had a wet nurse - the days before formula necessitated it. When I was pregnant, aside from having a healthy baby, I wanted to breastfeed. I didn't care about anything else.  I knew it was not a great sign when my boobs didn't grow even a cm when I was pregnant.  (Slight side step - EVERYTHING else GREW.  A lot. But my boobs, which are tiny anyway, not a mm. It's my one and only gripe with the universe about my pregnancy. Come on!!!!) 

Anyway, while I was pregnant there were positive signs as well - I had colostrum coming through in small amounts, and ultimately, I had a little bit of milk.  So I was able to feed my baby some breastmilk in conjunction with formula. 

The midwives and maternal health nurses are very helpful but beware - everyone is going to give you differing advice.  And some people will be very insistent on things that may not sit well with you.  Follow your instincts and do what is right for your family.  And even though I found this hard to do myself, please don't get disheartened.  

Below are some other resources I thought you might find useful.  And Check out our previous blogs on this subject. 

breastfeeding resources

www.breastfeeding.asn.au
www.breastfeedingonline.com
www.nhmrc.gov.au/publications – go to ‘Infant feeding Guidelines’