Learning how to sleep
If your baby doesn’t seem to want to go to sleep, she may need more stimulation during the day. Play with her, introduce your baby to lots of new sights, sounds, textures and smells and let her kick her legs and wave her arms around and try lifting her head as she gets older. Massaging your baby can also help promote sleep.
• Newborn babies enjoy being rocked or fed until they fall asleep but, for your own sanity, start good habits now by letting your baby fall asleep on her own. The difference between a baby who sleeps all night and one who wakes her parents frequently is that the ‘good’ sleeper sends herself back to sleep whereas the ‘bad sleeper’ needs her parents to re-settle her. One of the greatest gifts you can give your baby is to teach her how to fall asleep by herself.
• Try to stop your newborn falling asleep at the breast/bottle at each feed.
• From birth gently wake your baby before putting her down so that she is aware of where she is and that the feeding is over.
• If your baby drops off during a feed, hold her against your shoulder and gently rub her back to help her wake up a little and then put her down in her Moses basket when she’s drowsy but still awake.
• Newborns enjoy being rocked to sleep and it might be the only solution for some small babies who seem to find motion soothing. However it’s important not to make this too much of habit so spends less and less time rocking her until she can settle by herself.
• To help settle your baby it’s a good idea to give her a warm relaxing bath, followed by a gentle massage before bedtime.