This is the first post in my Newborn Essentials series.
Sleep precious sleep, what happened to you my pretty!
Newborns and sleep are two things that don’t necessarily go together.
Here is what you need.
A place to sleep
Obviously they need a place to sleep. I’m a bit of an anxious parent, so I did a lot of research to make sure I had a super safe cot and mattress as I was worried about SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). The research has shown that the most safest option is a firm mattress. You can test the mattress yourself but I decided to get one that had been given the tick of approval from the Red Nose Foundation (previously known as SIDS and Kids). I decided to go with the MyBub cot mattress from Clark Rubber. I also brought two mattress protectors, one for the wash and one for the bed.
So once I had picked the mattress. I looked for a cot. Things to be mindful of when choosing a cot are whether your baby can get their arms and legs stuck. Which seems to be a tricky thing to judge as your baby could be chunky or skinny and it will change as time goes on. Eekkk. So again I decided to take the testing out of it and I checked out the reviews from Choice. I decided to go with the Tasman Essentials Palermo Cot, which you can only buy from Baby Bunting. Luckily you can buy online and get it delivered straight to your door.
I was a bit of a nervous Nelly about whether my mattress and cot were a good combination. So I emailed the lovely people at the Red Nose Foundation just to double check it would all be a good fit. They wrote back within a day or two to let me know that this combination met their guidelines.
As Chloe is 8 months old when I am writing this I can tell you that yes on occasion she has put her legs out the cot but she hasn’t had any problems with this, she just pulls them back in and keeps sleeping or rolly pollying around (this is her new favourite pre and post sleeping activity!).
I also wanted a cot that would last a while. This one has the option to lower the cot down, for when they start pulling up to a stand and you can also take the sides off to use as a toddler bed.
So that is the cot but… when the reality of having a baby kicked in. I found out how tiring it is to get a baby in and out of the cot a million times a night. Luckily our friends let us borrow their snooze pod. It is a co-sleeper that allows your baby to be in her own little bassinet attached to the bed and you can easily reach her. This was amazing and allowed me to get a lot more sleep, as I didn’t have to negotiate getting Baby Chloe in and out of the cot when I was an uber tired new Mummy.
We used the snooze pod til about 3 months old. When she started to roll/wiggle (on her back) out of the snooze pod and into our own bed.
I was a little worried about making the transition from snooze pod to cot but it was actually super easy. I used the cot for day naps and she didn’t seem to mind at all, when we swapped it over. I have kept it in the same spot as the snooze pod, butted right up to my side of the bed. At 8 months old Baby Chloe is still sleeping here as we haven’t yet made the next transition to her own room 😉
Once you have sorted out a safe place to sleep your baby will need a bedtime outfit. Many newborn babies love to be swaddled as it helps stop the startle reflex from waking them up at night. You can wrap them up like a little burrito using a wrap or use a sleep sack. I love sleep sacks as you don’t have to worry so much about your wrapping technique, you just zip them in.
For Baby Chloe, she loved a snug burrito wrap the first few days at the hospital. The nurses at the maternity ward are burrito wrapping experts!
The first night at home we put her in a sleep sack and she loved it. After that night she hated both sleep sacks and being wrapped up. So from then on we put her in a Bonds Wondersuit for night time sleeps and for day time sleeps we just had her wearing whatever outfit she was currently wearing. Now that Baby Chloe is 8 months old I can say that we’ve tried a few different brands of onesies and for us the best ones have a good stretch to them. That way you get a longer life out of them. She does have some cute fluffy onesies from Best and Less but they aren’t as accommodating as she grows. At the moment 8 month old Baby Chloe can still fit her 000 onesies (eg if there is a washing crisis or a week with many bed time wetting accidents!) but I prefer to put her in 00 or 0 and for any future onesies I’ll be buying 0.
Newborn bedtime routine
This is optional but I found doing these things made me feel better.From when Chloe was a newborn I tried to have a mini bedtime routine that consisted of:
- Fresh nappy (obviously)
- Leg massage (I didn’t use any special technique – just what I thought would feel nice)
- Pajamas on
- Lavender spray around the cot (mostly for me)
- Bedtime story
We found this routine helped Chloe know that it was now time for sleep. However you should be warned that newborns wake up, a lot!! They need to feed their little bellies. So you won’t be getting much sleep. Sorry…
Getting a crying baby to go to sleep
Unfortunately you will find that your newborn baby will cry a lot, generally the crying stage peeks at about 6 weeks and then starts to ease off. I found that the following helped me through that time:
- Understanding that it is a completely different world for your baby. No snuggley womb and relaxing whooshing sounds.
- Babies cry, it is there only way of communicating.
The thing that worked best for Baby Chloe was cuddling, while walking and singing. I made up this song to help pass the time, feel free to adapt and sing to your baby…
The windy wafts, the windy wafts
Poor Baby Chloe’s got the windy wafts
They don’t feel nice and she doesn’t like when she gets the windy wafts
FYI – the windy wafts is an upset tummy. Sometimes when I was tired I would accidentally sing ‘windy wasps’… Which would make me laugh.
I also did a lot of shussshing which is surprisingly very relaxing and would often send me off to sleep before the baby.
What are your best newborn sleeping tips?