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Baby Sleep Hygiene

Sleep hygiene is a very under discussed topic for new parents. You are sent home from the hospital with minimal information around sleep and without the understanding that it is a learned skill for your newborn.

Children learn HOW to fall asleep by how they are taught.

We are all born with the ability to sleep, but it takes some skill and good habits to be able to achieve restful and restorative sleep. One of the most crucial elements for teaching children to go to sleep and stay asleep is helping them develop self-settling strategies. We all use these techniques; some of us have to be in a particular position to fall asleep, some of us need to read, some of us need to wear eye mask or listen to music to fall asleep, etc. For newborns, many like the swaddle, continuous movement or the comfort that comes after a nice feeding session.

The first 12 weeks slowly sets the foundations of what is yet to come. If your baby has never been in their cot and then at 12 weeks you decide it's time, it's a new and unfamiliar space that they need to get comfortable with. If the only way they fell asleep for the first 12 weeks was to feed/rock/pat to sleep, they won't magically wake up and know how to lay quietly and fall asleep on their own in the cot or bassinet; they will expect you to feed/rock/pat them so they can fall asleep. It's important to start with at least 1 nap a day in the space you eventually want them to fall asleep and stay asleep. This will allow you to gently transition and help them learn the self settling skill. It is a safe environment and allows them to get comfortable there.

Understanding that the sleep environment, the timing of sleep, and ensuring a child is fed at regular intervals while their bodies grow are all important for proper sleep hygiene. Sleep is a skill, and you need to help your baby to understand how to sleep and to learn that they can do it without looking for those other sleep props to assist. Quickly, they will start sleeping longer, feeling better and enjoying their beautiful new world even more.

For further advice contact me via whatsApp on 0490 022 371 or

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