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3 Quick Tips to Help Newborns Get More Sleep

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HELEN WAKEFIELD

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Sleep studies have found that parents of newborn babies miss out on 6 months’ worth of sleep in the first two years of their child’s lives.

 

Most adults need at least five hours sleep a night to function properly – new parents often only manage to get four hours a night. We are currently experiencing a sleep deprivation epidemic – 66% of adults throughout the world are unable to achieve the amount of sleep recommended each night. Some very unlucky parents – 12% of those surveyed – get less than two-and-a-half hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

 

We gathered some tips from Lauren Heffernan – a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Coach – to help new parents and their little ones to get more sleep.

 

1. Create an idyllic sleep environment

 

New babies’ senses are strong, which means they are highly sensitive to temperature, smells, sounds, even the feel of their pyjamas. If their room is too hot or too cold, it smells of a strong scent like cleaning products, if the house is noisy or you’re using a detergent that’s bothering their skin, all of these factors can disrupt their sleep. Take a look at their sleeping environment and adjust it to find out what may be affecting them and adjust to find what works well.

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2. Keep your baby close

 

If your baby is waking a lot during the night, try room sharing – babies want physical proximity, needing their parent to respond sensitively and consistently when they signal. In order to become independent, they must first feel secure. Keeping them close to you at night and during the day when you can will support their needs and keep them settled.

 

3. Avoid overstimulation

 

As babies’ senses are so heightened, they are easily stimulated by everything that’s new around them – noises, smells, sounds. A lot of what babies’ experience will be new to them at this early stage, and so it’s important after such a stimulating day to help them wind down at night with the rest of the family. Going for a walk or shopping with baby before nap time will heighten their senses, so give them longer to wind down if you want them to nap.

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It’s important to find what works for you – every baby is different, and there is no one size fits all. If something works for other parents but doesn’t work for you, that’s ok. Find your own achievements and be happy with them!

 

Remember to focus on your own sleep health too – read our blog on improving sleep quality for 4 quick tips.

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