Settle your newborn baby’s to sleep when they have complex sleep needs
Very young babies’ brains operate slightly differently than ours when it comes to sleep. Change in babies occurs very rapidly, meaning that a little one’s sleep becomes a lot more like our own sleep by four months. By having more mature sleep cycles occur. The period I refer to is most known as the much “dreaded” 4-month sleep regression. Only meaning that after around four months of age, our babies can become fully awake while they are between sleep cycles. These sleep cycles are for around 35-45 minutes during the day and overnight, stretching to around every 2 hours.
You will notice more that before the age of 4 months, a young baby finds it much easier to settle to sleep and drifts between sleep cycles during naps and even nighttime sleep. The way you put a baby under 12 weeks to sleep does not impact them staying asleep, unlike when they are nearer the four months mark.
First 12 weeks
During those first 12 weeks, it is perfectly OK to help settle your baby to sleep completely – and do not worry. You’re not “spoiling” your baby during this time. Do not focus too much on any techniques of “self-setting.” However, it does not mean I do not recommend helping your little one by starting good sleeping habits from day 1. The earlier you start this, the better as most babies who have had this start find the sleep transition during the four months to go and be smoother.
To help achieve this, you can try the following suggestions:
– at least once, aim to place your baby to sleep in their cot or Moses basket for their naps. To helps them learn the essential association of this being the place where they will go to sleep.
– help them by where possible to settle the little one to sleep while in their bed, by learning that the bed is where they fall asleep rather than on you. See my blog on patting to sleep.
– allow your baby the opportunity and chance to fall asleep by themselves. When you know they are ready for sleep and drowsy, give them this opportunity if you think they would be able to. At least allow them to try if you can.
– provide the baby with positive sleep associations such as swaddling, white noise playing in a dark room.
Further information is also available in other blogs I have written in various part see below.
In addition, I also offer a FREE discovery 15 min call with myself to help you better understand your newborn sleep.. Where I can offer simple tips and hints and if you wish additional support I can discuss my newborn educational sleep program with you.
Part 1 – A newborn complicated sleep needs
Part 2 – Newborn day & night confusion
Part 3 – night awakenings