Hindsight is 2020: Newborn Struggles

I remember with my first, wearing him in a sagging moby wrap and turning a hair dryer on to try and get him to sleep. I was so tired of saying shhhhh. Little did I know that I was keeping him awake too long and then he wasn’t able to fall asleep again easily. I know we have all been there, trying to get a fussy baby to sleep and firing one million different tricks at the same time.

One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give is to make sure that you don’t keep your newborn awake (including feeding time) longer than 30-50 minutes. Try for 30 minutes at first and then gradually extend the time towards 50 minutes depending on his/her temperament. This may feel so strange putting your baby back to sleep after just a feeding and a diaper change, but remember that he/she has been in a dark and cozy womb for 9 months! Any stimulation (lights/sounds/voices/eye contact) can be overwhelming to the senses.

The second piece of advice I can give is to choose one way of responding to your infant and stick with it. Instead of flipping from rocking to the hair dryer (🤦🏻‍♀️) to wrapping, to walking, to bouncing on a ball every 5 minutes, stick with one until baby falls asleep. It can be more overstimulating to baby to be experiencing all of these sensory changes every few minutes than helpful in getting him/her to fall asleep.

The last thing you can do is relax! It’s so tough when you’re in the thick of trying to get a baby to sleep, but take some deep breaths, so for a walk, or close your eyes for a nap when the baby is sleeping. That laundry can wait until tomorrow!