Newborns are new to this world. They have just been born, out of a dark, safe, snuggly womb and into a vast world that is confusing to them. To make it even more difficult, we now put them in a large, flat, empty crib and expect them to sleep well. The crib is the safest place for them, and I encourage you to continue to offer the crib for sleep so they get used to it. However, there are things we can do as parents to help make it more of a welcoming place.
Your goal is to mimic the womb– where they have been for the last 9 months. You can do this by:
Swaddling: Swaddling involves wrapping your baby snugly in a blanket. This can help your baby feel secure and calm, and may also help them sleep better. It mimics the close comfort that they felt while in mama.
Rocking and patting: Gentle rocking can be soothing for newborns. You can hold your baby and rock them back and forth, and pat their bum. The rocking mimics the movement they felt when you were walking around, and the patting mimics the feel of your heartbeat that they felt for 9 months.
White noise: White noise, such as the sound of a fan or a noise machine, can be soothing for babies. This can help drown out other sounds and create a peaceful environment. This mimics the sound they heard in the womb and makes them feel safer.
Remember, everything is new and just takes practice. 10 minutes asleep in the crib is still 10 minutes of practice! Count every victory and give opportunities for practice every day. It gets easier, I promise!
For support with your newborn’s sleep, consider Peaceful Peanut’s Newborn Guide package, which provides you with the education you need to start your baby off on the path to success. It also includes 3 sleep plans– 1 for now, 1 for at 3 months, and 1 for at 4 months.