It is exhausting having a newborn. So here are ten tips that will hopefully help make the first three months of your baby’s life, and your life as a parent, easier to manage.
1. Feed as much as possible during the day because when babies consume the majority of their calories during the day, they are better able to consolidate their sleep into longer chunks at night.
2. Get your baby into a feed-play-sleep schedule to start building in some predictability.
3. Have your baby nap horizontally when possible because this allows for the most restorative and deep sleep, which encourages brain development and minimises overtiredness.
4. Incorporate positive sleep associations such as swaddling, white noise and blackout blinds into naps and bedtime.
5. Follow your baby’s wake windows, which will be between 45 minutes and an hour in the first two months.
6. Expose your baby to lots of natural light and age-appropriate stimulation during playtime. This will help set your baby’s circadian rhythm.
7. Combine two or three of the five Ss - swaddling, sucking, shhing, swinging and side hold position - to soothe a fussy baby.
8. Establish a calm, steady bedtime routine to help your baby identity sleep cues.
9. Accept offers of help and support even when you don’t feel you need them.
10. Breathe! And cut yourself some slack.