WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Hello new moms and dads! Feeling a little (okay, a lot) tired at the moment? Developing a great sleep routine for your newborn baby can be tough. Carolynne Harvey, founder of Dream Baby Sleep, shared some tips on how to avoid the common mistakes new parents make when it comes to getting enough shut eye for you and your baby.
DAY AND NIGHT CONFUSION
You’ve heard this one before, “My baby sleeps all day and is awake all night! Help!”
Harvey said to eliminate day and night confusion for your baby, you want to expose him or her to natural light all throughout the day.
“When they are doing tummy time, even if you place them on a blanket near a window,” she said, “When you’re out and about in the stroller, we want that exposure to daytime light.”
But she said the key to success here is to avoid disturbing your baby at night.
“As tempting as it is to ooh and aah with the baby at night, don’t do that,” Harvey said. “Keep it dark, keep it very quiet and use continuous white noise, it’s a healthy sleep cue for baby that it’s nighttime.”
When it comes to co-sleeping, Harvey said if you start it, you’ll be lucky to get out of it. But more importantly, you want to keep your baby in a designated, safe sleeping space. Those three safe places are a crib, a pack 'n play or a bassinet.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you room share, not bed share,” Harvey said. “So with the bassinet, you can keep it super close to you.”
Room sharing is different from bed sharing. “We don’t want to bed share, but we do want to room share,” Harvey said.
DO YOU WAKE A SLEEPING BABY?
Harvey’s pro tip when it comes to waking a sleeping baby: You do actually wake a sleeping baby.
“So specifically, for daytime, your newborn should not nap any longer than two hours at a time – not for the whole day – but any one nap should not last longer than two hours,” Harvey recommended.
Why do you wake up your sleeping baby? She said that’s when you feed the baby and calorie load during the day, do tummy time and have play time.
“Your day sleep is really driving your night sleep as well,” Harvey said.
BABY SLEEPING GEAR
If you are putting together your baby registry, Harvey recommends including these four things.
- White Noise Machine
- Room Darkening Shades
- Safe, Designated Sleeping Space
Don’t know how to swaddle an infant yet? Harvey said, “Challenge your nurse in labor and delivery how to really do a traditional swaddle.”
With so many bassinets and cribs on the market, Harvey recommended her favorite sleeping space for the baby is a 4Moms Mamaroo Bassinet, which has white noise built into it and mimics the motion of the mom.
Harvey said setting yourself up for success with a couple of baby product hacks will help give you the edge on developing a good sleep pattern for you and your baby.