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Baby's Sleep

Newborn babies sleep a lot! However, their sleep is unlikely to fit in with your usual sleeping pattern. In the early days babies will be asleep more than they are awake. They will wake frequently and will need feeding during the night. Getting enough sleep is essential for their development, it is the time when they can process their new experiences and skills that they are learning and wake feeling ready to learn some more!

Things You Can Do to Help

  • Look after yourself, sleep when your baby sleeps! This way you will feel more able to cope with the broken sleep at night.
  • Help your baby learn the difference between night and day from early on. At night keep the lights low and don’t talk to or play with your baby, put them down to sleep after a feed. During the day talk to and play with you baby whenever they are awake, don’t limit household noise. Your baby will learn that it is more fun to be awake during the day!
  • You may want to start introducing a bedtime routine at around 3 months of age. Watch your baby to see if you can notice how your baby tells you that they are tired Do they rub their eyes? Yawn? Flutter their eyelids or stare into space?
  • Your bedtime routine should help your baby to calm down and unwind ready for sleep. Things like having a bath, putting pyjamas on, sharing a book or a song or putting on some familiar music or white noise can all help.
  • We do not recommend allowing your baby to cry themselves to sleep, they may learn to stop crying for you but will probably still be feeling upset.
  • Try to put your baby in the cot/crib when they are drowsy but not fast asleep whenever possible, stay with them and comfort them while they fall asleep.
  • If you are worried about your baby’s sleep it is useful to start keeping a sleep diary with key information such as:

    • The time that your baby fell asleep and how long they slept for
    • How and where they fell to sleep, was it feeding? Being rocked or cuddled in your arms?
    • Their emotional state when they woke up. Were they quiet and happy or were they upset and crying?
  • Make sure you always follow safe sleep guidance 
  • To find out about choosing safe sleep products: *Click Here*

          

Who Can Help?

A member of the 0-19 team will discuss your baby’s sleep with you each time you see them, this is an ideal opportunity to ask and questions that you may have.

Baby’s sleep is affected by lots of different things, such as a growth spurt, teething, illness or developmental milestones. If your baby’s sleep pattern causing problems for you as parents or you are concerned that something is not right for your baby, talk to a member of the 0-19 Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

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