Newborn Expo – Sleep Tips
Dr. Annie Zimmer, Boys Town Pediatrics
Sleep is really erratic at first. You kind of need sunsome day light to establish that nighttime is nighttime and daytime is daytime. Those night waking's can diminish as you start having the circadian rhythm pickup which again turned into daylight versus darkness. When you are up with your baby in the middle of the night, always try to keep your lights dim and lower. Don't do that big interaction and smiling and cooing and talking back and forth. If you have to feed the baby, feed the baby. Lay it down and try to get back to sleep as fast as possible. When you have to change a diaper, don't turn every single light on to find the wipes. Try and minimize. After six to eight weeks, especially sometimes I'll tell parents maybe it is ok to get the baby out of your room, because you get so tuned in to every little noise your baby is making and your baby around this age can start figuring it out on their own. It's really nice if you get your baby nice and drowsy but lay them down while they are still awake. Right around six to eight weeks, start doing that because they'll figure out how to get themselves to sleep, the final steps of falling asleep without you. If you are nursing to sleep or rocking to sleep, then those natural wake ups that everyone has through the night, that they might not even realize they are kind of more awake during those times, your baby is going to need you to rock it back to sleep or feed it back to sleep. So trying to do as little as possible, so even if you can go pat it without picking him or her up, do that and see if you can get away with just patting him back to sleep or just putting a pacifier in and getting them back to sleep.
Parents can expect very little sleep when they bring their newborn home. Dr. Annie Zimmer, Pediatrician with Boys Town Pediatrics, offers some advice for parents during the first few months and at what age a baby should start to develop a consistent sleep pattern.