Caucasian family, Mum, Dad and small baby. All laydown on a bed sleeping peacefully.

How to help your newborn with sleep during the fourth trimester

How To Help Your Newborn With Sleep During The Fourth Trimester.

Top tips to helping your baby to sleep

Caucasian family, Mum, Dad and small baby. All laydown on a bed sleeping peacefully.

Worried about how well your Newborn will sleep?

When it comes to supporting your brand new baby with sleep, it can feel so overwhelming. Everyone you speak to has an opinion on sleep and what you should do, from ignoring their cries to never leaving their side. So what is right? What is normal? And most importantly what can you do to help your newborn to sleep? This will depend on you, how you want to parent, your needs and your families needs.  I want to help you feel relaxed and confident when it comes supporting your newborn with sleep in the fourth trimester. 

 

How much and how often should a newborn sleep

A new baby will typically need around 18 hours per 24 hours, which sounds a lot! Unfortunately your baby wont yet know how to consolidate sleep and they will wake up many times and for lots of different reasons. 

A newborns wake window is usually very short and they will need to sleep often to recover from any stimulation. Take some time to notice your sweet babies unique sleep cues. She will show you when she needs quiet and time to rest. 

You might notice she tries to turn away from from noise, yawn, become jerky within her movements or rub her eyes.

If you miss these subtle cues she might begin to get upset and need your help to calm down so she can sleep. 

A newborn will also let you know when they want to play and engage
Your baby may show you subtle signs that they need to sleep

Our babies become our best teachers when it comes to learning how to help your newborn sleep. 

When we are able to respond to, and nurture in a relaxed environment, your baby should view sleep as a non stressful activity.

Of course a newborns main goal in life is survival and so when they feel other sensations, ones they do not quite understand yet, she may become stressed and frustrated and sleep will not be so easy.

let’s take a brief look at what these are and how you can help. 

 

newborn baby sleepin on his tummy with a white blanket draped across his back

Hunger

Responsive feeding for your newborn. There is no need to feed on a strict Schedule with such a little baby, they will let you know when they are hungry and when their body is saying to feed, it will cause Unnecessary stress if you try to push them to wait until a certain time. This applies to both breast and bottle fed babies. Only feed what they need, don’t be tempted to over feed as this may cause tummy aches and excess wind. 

 

Temperature

Babies hate to feel cold, they feel uncomfortable and vulnerable. They are also not able to regulate their own temperature and will need your help to get them warm again. Even a slight drop in body temp can trigger a wake up. Keep sleeping temp at around 16-21 degrees Celsius. 

Also consider dressing in natural breathable fibres such as bamboo cotton. 

Babies like company

It is a struggle when all you want and need is a 10 minute shower or alone time and your baby seems to sense when you leave the room or you cant put them down. It’s hard, and you feel stressed. And because you feel stressed, your baby feels stressed. You then find yourself in a cycle of Frustration. 

If this sounds like you, make sure you have someone to allow you to take a breather, to catch up on your own wellbeing. You need it. It is essential. 

Newborns are hard. It is a hard transition. Be kind to yourself. 

For when this is not possible. Baby wear, so you have two free hands, take a bath together. Share a baby massage…it will release that love hormone to make you both feel good.

Swaddle and wrap your baby, pop on the white noise or just cuddle. 

Overstimulation is dysregulating

Newborns can very easily become over stimulated. Their engagement windows are very slight. Once you become attuned to your babies cues, you will notice very quickly when your baby is beginning to ask for a break.

They may become fractious, cry out and be difficult to settle. Try to keep activities short and sweet and not overwhelm them. 

If you find your brand new love is very sensitive to changes in her environment, you might want to allow her frequent rest breaks to give her opportunity to relax and shut down. 

Becoming attuned to your babies unique behaviour and communication cues and acting upon her needs will help to teach your newborn to settle and relax. 

Katie holding her newborn son, with their faces almost touching

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