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How to Implement Good Sleep Foundations From the Get-Go.

Welcome to the exciting world of parenting! As you embark on this incredible journey, laying the groundwork for healthy sleep habits is key. In this blog, we'll explore how to establish solid sleep foundations right from the start, ensuring you and your little one enjoy the benefits of restful nights.

1. Create a Soothing Sleep Environment:

  • Invest in a comfortable cot, bassinet or basket.

  • Use soft, breathable bedding and consider a cosy sleep sack.

  • Maintain a consistent, soothing sleep environment.

  • Using white noise can be helpful for newborns as they transition from the noisy womb to the outside world.

2. Understand Newborn Sleep Cycles:

  • Recognise the active (noisy) and quiet sleep states.

  • Allow your newborn time to transition between sleep states without immediate intervention.

3. Embrace Day & Night Differences:

  • To start, try and keep day naps in the light and overnight sleep in the dark. This will help little ones understand when it is day and when it is night. Once your little one has established their day and night, naps in the dark are best.

  • Expose your baby to natural light during the day to establish circadian rhythms. This can be done by getting outside on a walk. However, if you're still feeling sore and want to rest, sit by the window to give you both some natural light.

Newborn baby photography

4. Gentle Bedtime Routine:

  • Establish a calming bedtime routine. Include activities like a warm bath, gentle massage, or a lullaby to signal it's time for sleep.

5. Responsiveness without Overstimulation:

  • Respond promptly to your baby's needs during the night.

  • Keep nighttime interactions calm and low-key to avoid overstimulation.

6. Introduce a Feeding Routine:

  • Feed your baby when they wake from a nap rather than right before sleep. This not only helps with your little one's digestion but also helps avoid a feeding-to-sleep association.

Baby breastfeeding

7. Encourage Independent Sleep:

  • If you can, try helping your baby to fall asleep independently by laying them down when drowsy but still awake.

8. Monitor Wake Windows:

  • Adjust wake windows based on your baby's age to prevent overtiredness - see my website,, for downloadable age-appropriate daytime routines.

  • Pay attention to sleepy cues and provide opportunities for naps.

9. Prioritise Consistency (where possible):

  • Be consistent with pre-nap & bedtime routines.

  • When you want to start more of a set routine, wake little ones up and put them to bed at the same time every day to help set their body clocks.

  • Follow a 'wake, feed, play, sleep' schedule.

10. Seek Support When Needed:

  • Don't hesitate to seek guidance from paediatricians or sleep consultants.

  • Trust your instincts and adapt strategies based on your baby's unique needs.

By weaving these principles into the fabric of your daily routines, you're setting the foundations for a lifetime of healthy sleep. Remember, each baby is unique, and it's okay to adjust your approach based on your little one's cues and needs. Also, remember that there is no rush to start any of these tips after having a newborn - take advantage of help, sleep where you can and those snuggly contact naps!

Sleep Consultant family

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