Gotta Love Those Newborns

From swaddling to sleeping to feeding.

IMG_2211.JPG

I’m getting lots of newborn questions this week… congrats to all you mamas and papas! 

From 8 to 14 weeks olds, I’ve given lots of little tips to help pave the way, so I thought I’d share with you too. 

As always, different strategies for different families depending on your philosophy and goals. Remember… a working parent and a stay at home parent may have different priorities. 

*    *    *

When and how should I stop swaddling?

There are lots of different ways to do this. One approach is to do this slowly with one arm out first then the other. One things is for sure…

If he is starting to roll, then it’s a must for taking the swaddle away. 

Dr. Moon who is on the task force for SIDS prevention recommends getting rid of the swaddle at 2 mos. This recommendation comes from a standpoint that some babies roll at that age, so it is more of a safety precaution recommendation. 

If your newborn starts rolling, make sure you give him lots of practice during the day, so he learns to go both back to tummy and tummy to back.

And, if the swaddle helps your little guy sleep for now, then there is no need to get rid of it — as long as he’s not rolling, that is.

*    *    *

Should I be swaddling him and putting him to bed in the daytime? I’ve probably gotten into bad habits as he’s asleep on me in his carrier now!

Wearing him is always the coziest! Who doesn’t love a good baby snuggle!?! Definitely enjoy this bonding time with your little one… falling asleep in your arms, in a sling, or in a carrier. 

But one of my favorite newborn tips is…

Have your little one practice falling asleep in different ways.

Not only are newborns super portable where you can tote them around with you, but they are also more flexible in where they sleep (for the most part). So every once in a while try and put them down drowsy but awake in the crib or bassinet. 

Giving them this practice now can make it easier in having the skills to do it later. 

You can shoot for doing 2 naps a day in his crib, so he gets used to sleeping in there. This can make the transition to actually sleeping in his crib easier.

*    *    *

How can I stretch out feeds or not have the 3am feed, so I can have a longer sleep at night?

We all want that little bit more of sleep! With a newborn you want to be careful not to push feedings out too quickly though. The first 6 weeks you’ll definitely be feeding every 2.5–3hours.

You also really want to consider your little one’s health and whether he is gaining weight.

The answer to this question really depends on several factors, including your baby’s health and temperament. 

Nevertheless, here are some things to help and to think about with your little one…

For an 8 week old having a 10 /11pm feed and a 2/3am feed is very common. So, I would say if this is your situation, it sounds like you have a really good thing going for this age.

If you have more than two night feeds occurring, maybe your goal now is to go to two night feeds. Sometimes making small changes here and there over time can help with the overall sleeping process.

By 8 weeks of age you can start to see longer stretches of sleep at night too. This is because to your baby is making connections with the world. You can see this through those first smiles. And with those connections, he also starts making connections with sleep.

Your baby at this age also slowly starts to produce melatonin — that powerful sleep hormone. So, naturally with melatonin comes longer stretches of night sleep.

Now if you have a 12 week old, you can definitely consider stretching the feedings a little more. There are several ways to do this, but…

One way is to slowly reduce the amount you are feeding him at that time, so he gets used to not sleeping on a full tummy, 

… and also push that 11pm feed a little later too. 

*    *    *

How can I make sure my baby will take a bottle when I go back to work?

I can’t tell you how many concerned parent calls I get about their little one not taking a bottle. The one thing I can tell you is that he will eventually adjust. 

On that note, I know it doesn’t make it easy in the moment. It’s yet another thing we worry about as new parents.

One of the best pieces of advice I received from my OB before I left the hospital was to start giving my little guy a bottle a night starting around 3 weeks.

There are several reasons why this was such a golden nugget of information. First, the obvious, he was able to take a bottle or nurse. Early on he just became flexible in how he fed (kinda like the sleep tip — feed in different ways early on, and he will be able to do either).

Second, if we wanted to go to dinner, or if I wanted a break, a shower, or little siesta, someone else would be able to give him a bottle in that evening hour. 

Lastly, giving a bottle at the end of the day took out the guess work about how much (ounce-wise) he was getting. I became less concerned about him being hungry if he cried a little or started whimpering in his sleep an hour into sleeping because I knew he got a full bottle.

Win-win.

*    *    *

Have a newborn question?

Whether a newborn question or older baby question, I’ve got ya… Go here to schedule a FREE 15-minute call with me, and we can chat about it!

*    *    *

Last but not least…

Every other week I share 5 things on how you and your little can get the most out of their first 5 years of life in my newsletter — The Healthy Little Note.

If you have little ones, I’m sure you’ll love it!

You can check out the most recent issue here.

Or SUBSCRIBE below:

 
 

----------------------------

 Susie Menkes, PhD is a Certified Infant + Toddler Sleep Specialist through the Family Sleep Institute (FSI) and is dedicated to helping families get their little ones to be healthy little sleepers. As a mom of two, she knows and understands what you are going through and is here to support, educate, and guide you on all matters related to sleep... and more!

Susie Menkes, PhD is a Certified Infant + Toddler Sleep Specialist through the Family Sleep Institute (FSI) and is dedicated to helping families get their little ones to be healthy little sleepers. As a mom of two, she knows and understands what you are going through and is here to support, educate, and guide you on all matters related to sleep... and more!