3 hacks every pregnant person needs to know about baby sleep

sleep by steph

Today on the Cold Coffee, Hot Mess Podcast Nadean and Olivia caught up with qualified sleep consultant, Steph Gouin from ‘Sleep by Steph’, to understand more about how to encourage healthy baby sleep - with steps you can learn now and implement when the time is right.

Steph has now assisted thousands of families in Australia and around the world to help make bedtime run a little more smoothly. This all comes back to putting the right foundations in place and ensuring you are setting yourselves up for success.

During our chat with Steph, she identified three tips that can make settling into an effective baby sleep routine easier from day dot. Yep, that’s day dot. As in the moment you come home from the hospital.

1. Forget ‘making’ a routine. Lean into your baby’s natural routine

Steph revealed that babies are designed to follow a very simple and natural routine of sleep, eat and awake time. If you tend to lean into this very natural pattern, instead of assigning a sleep time or a feed time and trying to make them fit into your schedule, you’ll find you have more success at ensuring a more restful baby.

2. Establish day from night

This is an important thing to distinguish early on, as we don’t want our babies to be awake throughout the night and sleeping all day long. In our chat on the Cold Coffee, Hot Mess Podcast, Steph highlighted the importance of ensuring parents follow the routine of sleep, eat and then play, before going to sleep again during the day, and then following a routine of sleep and eat, and sleep again at night - without the awake time. While there probably isn’t the need for blackout blinds in winter, Steph confirms they might be worthwhile using in the warmer months when it is still light at baby’s bedtime. 

This will help your baby to distinguish night from day, as daytime naps are taken with some light still coming through, and the night stretch should be as dark as possible.

3. The bedtime routine is the secret weapon

During our chat with Steph, she recommended the bedtime routine to start at around 5pm with a relaxing bath, before taking your baby into a dimly lit room and perhaps having a soothing baby massage before getting dressed into pyjamas and sleep suit and having a bedtime feed before a bedtime of around 6pm. All of these little steps may seem meaningless, but in fact they are all working as sleep associations to let your baby know that night time is here and it’s time to go to bed for our big stretch of sleep. 

Babies - and children and adults - are programmed to wake between 6-7am, so a bedtime of 6pm will help to ensure your baby is receiving 14-17 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period.

Parents, you've got this! Be kind to yourself, always.

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