1. Manage the amount of visitors coming to see you:
It’s really exciting for family and friends when a new baby arrives. Everyone wants to come over to see the little bundle of joy. But often excessive visitors can be over the top for both mum and baby who are recovering from birth. Remember your newborn needs a lot of sleep so minimising visitors to only a few per day is a good idea. A good time to invite people is usually after the first nap of the day, once your baby has had a chance to rest.
2. Start to teach your baby to differentiate from night and day from Day 1:
Your baby’s body clock will not sink in until week 6, so it’s important that you start to teach them to differentiate between night and day from day
1.You can do this by taking your baby out for a walk in the sunlight and feeding outside of their room so they can see light. At night make sure their room is very dark and quiet so outside noise and sunlight doesn’t creep in and cause them to be awake.
3. It’s important to put your baby to sleep for naps in a dark room:
Many people miss this important fact. Your baby will sleep better if placed in a dark quiet room also during the day. They will be able to see it is light outside if you continue to take them out once during the day and also feed outside of their room. Placing them in a dark room also during the day will mean they can be put to sleep in the most optimal sleeping environment.
4. Does your baby need a pacifier from Day 1?
Every baby has a sucking tendency either to prefer their dummy or their thumb and this is usually determined in utero. It is best to let your baby tell you what they prefer not the other way around so you are not forcing either one and going with their preference instead. Either way both will benefit you. Just make sure with a pacifier that you are not giving it too early and compromising your breastfeeding (if you have chosen to be a breastfeeding mom).
5. Reduce stimulation during the day:
It can be very tempting in the early days to be out a lot during the day running from baby activity to play group to just catching up with friends for coffee. Remember that the first few months otherwise known as the “fourth trimester’ is a time when you need to reduce the amount of stimulation your baby is getting during the day. Limit the amount of outdoor time you have to maybe 1 or 2 short outings rather than all day so your baby has a chance to rest in a peaceful and calm environment.
6. Find yourself a mothers group or baby forum online:
Parenthood can sometimes be a very lonely period of time, especially with a first baby. Look out for your local mothers groups and if it’s not an option go online and join the millions of other parents who are there sharing their woes. It can be a very supportive place to get advice and make new friends.
Natalie Herman is an Internationally accredited child sleep consultant. You can follow her and her sleep mission on:
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