Sleep survival kit for a newborn

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"I slept like a baby" is a stupid saying. Why would you be pleased to have a shorter sleep cycle and wake multiple times through the night? Personally, falling asleep at 7pm and waking at 5am is not my ideal bedtime routine. Neither is a couple of nappy changes and needing to drink every few hours.

To help you (and your new edition) to sleep better here are some fantastic solutions to ease the transition from sleeping in the womb to sleeping in the outside world. There is increasing evidence to show that babies sleep safer and longer if on or near their mother especially for what is called the 'fourth trimester' or first 12 weeks after birth. See benefits of baby wearing.

Here are some of the fantastic products available that mother's love.

Remember that each mom and baby are unique. Do what works for you and baby!

Sling - The more a baby is held or carried during the day, the better they sleep at night. There are many slings on the market. Newborns appear to respond best to the long, soft sling wrap for the first few weeks until they develop head control.

soft sling copy

Thereafter, slings that are more structured like the Baby Bjorn offer support for mom/dad as well as the opportunity for baby to look out. Slings help free up a parent's hands without taking away from baby's need to be held.

baby bjorn structured sling copy

Co-sleeper - The co-sleeper is perfect for breastfeeding moms who want to try and stay in the same room as dad (rather than being relegated to the nursery). The baby sleeps next to its mother but not in the bed which often gives both parents a sense of comfort... they can see baby but do not worry about rolling onto baby if they are in a deep sleep.

bed-side-sleeper copy

Wedge for incline - Babies sleep better when slightly upright. A simple wedge pillow at 35 degrees can help decrease reflux and painful winds which often interrupt baby's sleep. baby wedge pillow copy

Nesting pillows - Pillows which mimic the womb are also helpful. Beware of loose pillow covers. The pillows should make a firm nest that keeps baby in the fetal position (arms and legs flexed). There are many pet products which are well suited to this (and sometimes cheaper and easier to get your hands on) and even come with a carry handle.

nesting copySwaddling wrap - Swaddling has come a long way. Beautiful fabrics cut in clever patterns make it easy to wrap up your newborn. The idea is that swaddling prevents baby from startling awake as the limbs are pressed tightly by the blanket. swaddling copy  There are even swaddle blankets with sleeves so baby has freedom of movement of their hands. This is useful as many babies use suck their thumb or stroke their heads to fall asleep as they did in your tummy. Other swaddlers have 'pants' so that baby can be strapped into the car seat or pram without being unwrapped and woken up.  baby wrap legs copy

Weighted blanket - Mimicking the tight confines of the womb, a weighted blanket offers deep, calming pressure to babies body. This feeling is said to give the baby the feeling of being held. Plus its harder for baby to kick this off and get cold.

weighted blanket copy

Sleep monitor - If you end up needing to have baby (and its noises) in a another room then a baby monitor may offer baby some added protection and give you peace of mind. There is a huge selection on the market. From monitors that work like walky talkies (you can hear baby) to advanced monitors with heart rate, temperature and video settings. Some even allow two way communication so you can sing or talk to baby from the comfort of your bed.

baby monitor copy

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