Hello and welcome to Baby Dribble which is brought to you from Sweet Dreamers HQ by the SweetDreamers team. Baby Dribble is a fun, friendly and FREE parenting advice “channel” for new and expectant parents and caregivers. We aim to offer knowledge, support and insight into to the wonderful world of parenthood with industry expert guests and medical professionals.
Our panel today are two mothers from the Sweet Dreamers team, myself, Lynda a mum of 6 and Lucy new mum to Mason.
This week we’ll be talking about newborn sleep and what you can expect in the first 4 weeks when you arrive home with your little bundle of joy. We hope to offer some informative, entertaining and practical advice on navigating this potentially difficult period as a new parent.
It is said that new parents miss out on 6 months of sleep in their child’s first two years. We can remember back to our first babies and feeling like an extra from the walking dead, essentially walking around like zombies. Often new mums can feel isolated as it can seem like everyone is coping and is not as tired as you however we know this is not the case and wonder if everyone is very good at hiding it. We think some social pressure may be to blame for this as we all want to look like we have it together however it is ok to ask for help.
We all hear the saying ‘Sleeping like a Baby’ and as mothers we think this is a false statement so we delved a little deeper to see where this came from. This saying refers to how a baby sleeps not how much. Babies have no worldly worries or worries to lose sleep over therefore they sleep peacefully.
Earlier in the week we conducted a Myth Busting Newborn sleep poll on our Instagram story to see how much our followers knew about newborn sleep, here are the results.
Newborns need a quiet room to fall asleep
This is a false statement. Babies can hear from around 15 weeks’ gestation so when your little one was in the womb. Babies can hear all sorts in there and those sounds are what can comfort them now they have been born.
Many would refer to these sounds as white noise which is technically speaking a sound that contains every frequency within the range of human hearing in equal amounts, white noise refers to sounds such as static radio or television sound. However, it is pink noise that we know to be the winner.
Pink noise is a richer, more fuller sound but also gentler on the ears which is perfect for baby ears. Pink noise refers to sounds such a heartbeat, womb sounds and rainfall. These sorts of noises are familiar to babies a create a relaxed atmosphere which in turn soothes them to sleep.
Newborn babies should sleep on their back
Yes babies should sleep on their backs. This is the safest position for your baby to sleep. We think the biggest confusion with this and I expect for most new parents is the inevitable change of advice from previous generations, babies used to sleep on their front. Studies since from around the world have shown that sleeping your baby on their back significantly reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. If you want to look into this further the www.lullabytrust.org.uk website has some great advice and also some great fact sheets which offer guides for new parents. They are an organization with the sole purpose on reducing the number of SIDS deaths and the support of bereaved families. They also have a Frequently asked questions sections which covers everything from premature babies to sleep positioners so please head over there for any advice.
You should never wake a sleeping baby
We’re not surprised this one has divided opinion, it is a tricky one. A newborn may not necessarily let you know when they are hungry as they are just working out how to communicate what they want. As a general rule you shouldn’t let a healthy sleeping newborn (4weeks old and under) sleep more than three to four hours without a feed. This is mainly to ensure a healthy weight gain and so they don’t go hungry. Once they have a taste for milk they will soon work out how to make you jump into action. Of course, this does not consider any medical advice regarding conditions such as reflux, milk allergies etc from doctors and if you have any concerns about your child, talk to your GP or health visitor as that is what they are there for.
You can sleep train a newborn baby
This is false, you cannot sleep train a newborn baby. Studies show that newborn babies do not have the development capacity to sleep train. For anyone that is a little hazy on what sleep training is, sleep training describes any approach you take to help your baby learn how to settle themselves.
There are amongst others two main sleep training methods, controlled crying whereby you let you baby cry it out until they sleep or the no tears method which involves consistent soothing bedtime associations i.e. calm bedtime routine.
Whichever you choose to do, it is best to wait until your baby is older around 6 months so they can understand and by this time you will know your baby a little better and you will be able to distinguish between cries etc.
Your baby should be sleeping through the week at 12 weeks
The answer is no, there is no magical date that your baby should be sleeping through the night. All babies are different and there can be so many different factors that can affect this sleeping through the night theory that it is impossible to put a limit on it.
I think it is important to also remember that everyone’s definition of ‘sleeping through the night’ is different.
We would recommend you speaking with your GP or any medical professional if you are worried about your baby’s sleeping habits as it doesn’t hurt to check it out.
We wanted to announce the winner of our first podcast prize Gertie the Good Goose,
Sarah Gatecliff, congratulations, we will be contacting you shortly to give you your prize.
We also have another giveaway this week of our very own Ewan the Dream Sheep. He has four soothing pink sounds and soothing pink glow so perfect to help any baby settle into a great bedtime routine.
We would like to thank everyone for listening and we hope you enjoyed our Baby Dribble podcast.