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January 28, 2021 3 min read

When is my baby going to sleep through the night? Is there some kind of rhythm babies get into? How do I survive the first few months of having a baby? While we were live on our Instagram account, the experts at May explained about a baby's sleep cycle and how it works during the first months. You praised our reassuring and guilt-free advice. We're happy to share this with you in this article as well. 

FROM YOUR TUMMY TO THE WORLD OUTSIDE: A BABY'S FIRST FEW WEEKS

First and foremost, it's important to understand what birth means for your newborn baby. They switch from a warm, cosy world – your belly – where all these needs are met, to the outside world. They go through a sudden change. They discover cold, hunger and many other sensations. 

Your baby is also not fully grown on many other levels, such as their digestion, motor skills, language, brain, etc. They have everything yet to learn. 

Last but not least, your baby is 100% dependent on you. Like a good little mammal, they cling to their mother. You are the centre of their universe.

 

HOW DO YOU SUPPORT YOUR BABY THROUGH THIS TRANSITION? 

Being contained with all their limbs bundled together reminds them of how they felt in the womb. Remember to swaddle them and carry them in a cross-body baby carrier to reassure them.

Your baby loves movement. Rock them, wear them in their baby Sling, and go for walks. These walks will be as beneficial for them as they are for you.

Your little one loves warmth and contact. Reassure them by holding them skin to skin or massaging them. 

Little by little, you will get to know your child and be able to anticipate their needs consistently. They will feel confident with you. 

 

UNDERSTANDING YOUR BABY’S SLEEP PATTERNS

All babies are different, even when it comes to sleep. Some are heavy sleepers while others take just a few naps...

Generally speaking, babies are inverted the first few weeks, because they’re awake at night and they sleep during the day. 

Babies have short sleep cycles of about 50 minutes (versus 90 minutes in adults). This is an average! Don't panic if your baby sleeps for longer or less. As for full nights, it’s more like sleeping for 5 hours in a row. Sorry, nights with 12 hours sleep don't happen straight away.

To help them sleep well, learn to spot the signs of sleepiness. That's the key to getting them onto the sleep train. Signs to look out for: yawning, rubbing their eyes, gazing into space, sucking their thumb or fingers, touching their face, crying, appearing really calm or on the contrary grumpy. As soon as you see any of these signs, get them in a position to be able to sleep within 15 minutes. 

Newborn babies begin their cycle with restless sleep. They move, groan, open their eyes and even smile while they sleep.

 

WHEN WILL MY BABY START SLEEPING AT NIGHT? 

It depends. Most take a few months. If you're lucky, some start sleeping at 6-8 weeks. Fingers crossed for you…

WHERE SHOULD MY BABY SLEEP DURING THE FIRST FEW MONTHS? 

The WHO recommends that babies up to 6 months old should sleep in their parents' room. In reality, it's whatever you feel like. Babies make a lot of noise while sleeping, this bothers some parents, and others find it reassuring. Sleeping in the same bed, a bed in your room, or a bed in their own room... Try things out and see which works best for you and your baby. 

CAN BABIES GO TO SLEEP ON THEIR OWN?

It's really hard for them! They need rocking, hugs and your presence. 

CAN YOU GET INTO BAD HABITS WITH A BABY?

Lots of you were relieved to hear this very welcoming news that no, you can't get into bad habits during a babies' first few months. Don't worry all you mums out there, just keep going however you can and that's already enough. 

HOW CAN YOU START FEELING CONFIDENT AND PUT AWAY THOSE DOUBTS WITH A NEWBORN? 

Believe in your own skills, even if being a parent is new to you. You carried them for 9 months, you gave birth, they’re your baby and you know them better than anyone. Your baby will show you the way. They’re programmed to teach you! Give yourself time to get to know them. 

See you soon on Instagram for more live streams!


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