Newborn Sleep: Tips and Insights from a Sleep Consultant

Bringing a baby home is a joyous occasion, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges… sleep being a big one. Every baby and every family are different but there are some things that are useful to know that translate across many babies.  In this blog, we’ll explore some valuable insights and tips to help you navigate the early stages of  sleep.

Short Wake Windows and Sleepy Cues:

Newborns follow short wake windows, typically around 45 minutes. Observing your baby for sleepy cues, such as rubbing eyes, a glassy-eyed stare, grizzling, or disinterest in play or food, can help you gauge when it’s time for them to sleep again. Keeping an eye on their wake time is crucial to prevent them from becoming overly tired which can (ironically) lead to the baby not being able to get to sleep and a lot of crying.

Crying and carrying:

Waking up to the fact that they are no longer in the womb, babies may cry more after the first month. A good wrap sling can mimic a womb-like environment, reducing crying by offering comfort and allowing parents to multitask. Sometimes, just being able to make yourself some lunch is so important!

Feeding Schedule and Introducing Bottles:

In the beginning, feeding every two hours is crucial for a sleepy baby’s health to make sure they are gaining weight properly and the feeds can take up to 30 minutes, so there’s not much time for anything else! Once given the green light by the health visitor, you can extend the intervals overnight for however long your baby naturally sleeps for. For breastfeeding mothers, introducing a bottle early on can be beneficial, enabling someone else to feed the baby and allowing for longer stretches of sleep. Introducing a bottle for at least one feed a day from the beginning really helps with childcare transition later on. I really encourage mums to have some ‘you time’ away from the baby when you feel ready. This can’t happen unless someone else can feed the baby… and it’s unlikely a baby will take a bottle if they don’t have experience of it previously.

White Noise and Sleep Environment:

Investing in a white noise machine, such as the EasySleep Soothing Machine (link at the bottom), can help create a conducive sleep environment. The continuous white noise and night light feature make it ideal for night-time nappy changes. 

Establishing Day-Night Rhythms:

In the first few weeks, day and night aren’t concepts that will be familiar to your baby. It can take a while for them to get into a routine of sleeping more, and for longer stretches in the night. By around 8 weeks the babies should have worked it out and you can all have some longer nighttime stretches. You can help them to grasp this by establishing an environment of light and noise during the day (even during naps) and calm and darkness in the evening. 

Don’t jump straight up to feed the baby in the night:

Newborns are so noisy when they sleep. Snuffling and moaning/crying in the night is really normal… and sometimes even if the baby is crying they aren’t fully awake and will go back to sleep. So wait a few minutes before getting them up for a feed or soothing them. Hopefully you’ll go straight back to sleep too!


Don’t be scared!!  Regressions are just another way of saying that your baby’s sleep has changed (albeit suddenly and for the worse!). It’s actually not a regression at all but has got more to do with developmental leaps changing their brain structure, and leading to fast paced skill acquisition. Very discombobulating for them! It usually means that some scheduling/environmental or routine changes are needed to get them back on the right path.

Understanding and adapting to your newborn’s sleep patterns can be challenging! I encourage parents to be flexible, observe their baby’s cues, and experiment with different soothing methods to find what works best for their unique little one with the view that one day when you are both ready, you can transition to independent sleep confidently and without any trouble . Sweet dreams await you and your newborn!

White noise machine https://www.amazon.co.uk/Easysleep-Sleeping-Soothing-Settings-Function/dp/B089Q1H12W/ref=asc_df_B089Q1H12W/?tag=googshopuk-21&linkCode=df0&hvadid=535228085039&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=9711857589112342970&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9044959&hvtargid=pla-1393764129342&mcid=0e541d0a04dc3180808c24e7dca406a9&th=1

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