When preparing for baby, one thing on your mind will be
have your newborn
. Some tips to help you make your choices.
much should a newborn sleep?
her own crib or co-sleeping?
Is it OK
to rock her to sleep?
Wake her up
for a feed?
Is it OK to
crying it out
sleeping products are helpful?
How to teach
her to self soothe?
first weeks with your baby are very special. It's when you have your
first encounters and get to know each other.
they last. You can indulge, hold your baby as much as you like. She is
too young to be spoilt or learn
so no need to worry about holding or soothing her
too much: you're free to enjoy it without any guilt!
Most newborns will sleep a lot. 17 hours a day is the average. Average
means that there are many babies sleeping much less (down to 11 hours)
or even more (up to 23 hours).
if your newborn
it's much better just to observe her to see if she is content, check
much sleep is enough
for detailed guidelines. If you are
unsure or worry,
Do you have to
newborn down awake
? Learning to self soothe is indeed an
important skill for a baby to learn. Putting her down in her crib awake
is the always heard advice for this. For some newborns, this works;
have a natural skill to just lie down and sleep. And that is a
wonderful skill you'll want to keep going.
others though, this advice is a joke (it was for me with my babies!).
And at this age, they're too young to be forced (let alone
!). They will easily
or nurse to sleep
be held a
bit and then continue to sleep in their crib. Between 4 and 8 months is
when most babies easily do start
. You can then guide them
by gently decreasing the holding, rocking or nursing to sleep.
to soothe your tiny baby when she cries.
Newborn Sleeping Must-Haves
Basically, there are only two things you need:
safe place to
and a dimmable
in her own room or cosleeping
in your room is a very
personal choice. Often also practical matters play a role: do you have
separate room available, and do you have space in your bed or next to
your bed for a crib.
And also, when baby is finally there, many parents find themselves
doing the exact opposite of what they had planned, just because it
feels right at that moment.
In the first weeks and months,
in your own room
has quite a few
allows you to respond
quickly to baby's needs; you may find you can often soothe her by
simply reaching out your hand on her belly, long before she cries or
asks for a feeding (a great practice towards self-soothing!).
Breastfeeding moms also find it very comfortable not to
have to get up completely for night feedings.
an alternative to in-bed
can highly recommend
That is a
side car bed
attached to your bedside.
It gives baby
her own crib space, but she is
still near you for feeding, soothing and for you to watch over her.
The other must-have is
, preferably one you can dim and brighten as
needed. Light and activity cues help steer your newborn's
by teaching her the all-important difference
During night awakenings and feedings, the adjustable nightlight helps
and still give you enough light to see what you
are doing. As baby grows,
dim nightlight will reassure
her and keep her from
being scared in the dark.
Heidi Holvoet, PhD, is the founder of the Baby Sleep Advice website and movement, an award-winning author, baby & toddler sleep consultant with 14+ years experience as well as a certified lactation counselor.
Over the years, Heidi has received several awards inluding a Mom's Choice Award (MCA) and National Parenting Awards (NAPPA) for her Baby Sleep Advice website, programs and books.
She is also a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants of which she was one of the earliest contributors. She obtained her PhD degree in physics at the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Heidi is passionate about helping babies and their parents sleep more and better, with her trademark approach that has been proven and praised time and again by parents worldwide to be effective and truly no-tears. Respect for you as a parent and your baby, is at the heart of Heidi's warm and kind support. Her approach always keeps in mind a baby's needs and abilities at any given age, is based on pediatric science and the most up to date knowledge in infant care and sleep science.