Ready to Sleep Better?
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
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Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together. Hi, Courtney Zentz. Here.
Thank you so much for joining me today, I am most excited to be chatting all about a newborn sleep schedule. I know as a new mom myself with two little ones, that bringing a baby home from the hospital is the craziest change that you’re ever going to have in your entire life, reading books, talking to friends, parenting Facebook groups, nothing is going to prepare you for those first couple of weeks of life. But I’m here to tell you that with grace, balance and empathy with a little bit of self care, we’re going to make sure that your little one is rocking it in the sleep world so that everyone can be at their best and feel at their best. Today, I’m going to cover the top five things that you need to make sure you’re paying attention to when you have a little one to build the proper newborn sleep schedule. The first thing that we’re going to talk about is newborn sleep needs. According to the American Academy of sleep medicine, newborns should sleep approximately 16 to 18 hours in a given 24 hour period. For the first several weeks of life. It’s somewhere between three and four months that the number reduces a bit to somewhere between 12 and 16 hours, which carries them through their whole first year. newborn sleep and their needs are very important. Because if you get a newborn, that gets into overtired territory, it is going to cause you a lot of trouble with feedings, and a lot more trouble with getting them to settle peacefully for sleep both in the day. And for overnight. With newborn sleep. The first and most important thing that I wish someone had told me when my little one was born, was to pay attention to the awake windows, a newborn can only tolerate being awake approximately 45 to 60 minutes in between sleep, that is not a lot of time, especially if you’re feeding them. And that takes 25 minutes. So you want to pay particular attention to that awake window, frankly, for the next several years. Because that’s going to be the single thing that tells you how and when to put your child down to sleep. A baby is going to be awake and asleep a lot throughout the day, they’re gonna wake up, eat, go back down to sleep, wake up, eat, go back down to sleep. And for a newborn, it could be happening six or seven times throughout the day, and often multiple times at night to ensure they’re getting the right intake, but we’re going to get to that. So you only make sure that you’re setting your child up for success. From zero through three months of age, they’re awake, Windows should really only be between 45 and 60 minutes, somewhere around three months that a week window can start to stretch to about 90 minutes. And it’s gonna stay there through three months and into month four, where things will start to lengthen to about two hours in between sleep, at five months, you can set the goal somewhere between two and two and a half hours. And then at six months, you’re going to set that goal for somewhere around two and a half to three hours of sleep, which is going to carry them the rest of the way through that whole first year. Till at about 12 months of age they can tolerate somewhere between four and five hours. Little ones are going to change a lot those first week. So it’s important to understand things around their sleep hygiene. Aside from a week windows, that’s very important. The first thing that’s important to remember is that your newborn, as much as you want a set newborn schedule is not going to follow it every single day, you will start to build consistency. And you will start to have the same number of naps in general every day. But the timing may just be a little bit different. If your little one wakes up today at 715. And tomorrow at 630. Their day is going to look a bit off. And it’s going to be different because you go by that awake window. You cannot set a forced schedule for a newborn to sleep. However, you can build structure and consistency into your day if you’re watching the awake window. Now the next thing that’s important to remember is actually how a newborn sleeps. The first six to eight weeks of life. They’re actually sleeping in two stages of sleep 50% REM and 50% non REM sleep and it’s the only time in their entire life where their sleep is going to mimic this person. ticular habit, what happens with that particular habit or pattern is that around three months of age, they go from two stages to sleep into cycles of sleep, which is where a lot of times folks find themselves with the three month sleep regression, or the four month sleep regression. And really what it is, is behavioral and cognitive development. So you want to make sure that you understand short naps for this age are completely normal. Long naps are completely normal. A supported nap that is much longer than a non supportive nap is completely normal. So give yourself some grace, when you’re trying to understand what your newborn is telling you. There’s a lot happening in there. And so one day, they may take a 20 minute nap, the next day, they may take a two hour nap. And they could be the exact same situation in the crib noise machine on it’s dark. And one time they sleep for 20 minutes one time they sleep for two hours that is developmentally appropriate. Now I will tell you what you want to pay attention to is if you notice a pattern of short sleep, it may be that your timing is off, you need to make sure that your little one is not under tired or overtired, both could cause those challenges with a nap. The next thing that you want to balance is intake management, a newborn is going to eat the exact same amount, the entire first year of life 24 to 32 ounces is the typical intake. From a range standpoint, that’s recommended. So that means that when your child gets that particular range in the day, they’re going to take longer sleep overnight. And you’ll have more consistent expectations. It’s important to also understand that when you’re nursing, you don’t exactly know how much intake they’re getting. So my suggestion for nursing moms that I work with as I am a lactation counselor as well is to set up a weighted feed with your pediatrician, the next time you’re at one of your checkups, tell them that you want to do a weighted transfer to understand how much milk they’re getting. The time in which a baby nurses is not indicative of how much milk they’re getting depends on the latch, you’re let down and the supply. So make sure that you understand and then can better calculate how much milk your baby’s getting to ensure that they’re growing right along their own curve. And in a healthy and normal way. The next thing for you is to set up expectations. Sleep is crazy the whole first year, which is why I often work privately with clients the entire year to help them build healthy sleep habits because it changes just when you think you haven’t figured out boom, something happens. We talk about sleep regressions we talk about when your child will sleep through the night we talk about sleep schedules, all of those things can be very fluid. I often tell parents that they’ll try something but they’re missing a piece. And that puzzle is never going to be complete. set realistic expectations of yourself and your baby and give yourself grace. The whole first year is very hard. I do want to take this time to invite you out to join my facebook group called slumber Made Simple. every couple of weeks I’m doing a newborn sleep workshop where I dive so much deeper into newborn sleep and what’s happening, as well as a live q&a to make sure I answer any questions that you have as a new parent because it’s hard. And I provide a lot of information, a lot of resources. And certainly, I want to make sure that you’re not feeling overwhelmed with that little one at home. Every newborn is unique is going to have unique needs. And you’re going to need to respond in a unique way, which is why myself and my team of sleep specialists here at tiny transitions are here to help you. Furthermore, I invite you to jump out to tiny transitions.com forward slash tools out there are a host of things that are going to be beneficial for you first is going to be a sample schedule generator so that through that whole first year, you’ve got a rough framework of what your day could look like and how you set yourself up for success to maximize feedings and to maximize sleep at the right time.
I invite all of you to download my ebook. It is a free over 30 page guide walking you step by step through the first 12 weeks of life and that also can be found at tiny transitions.com forward slash tools. I hope you’ve found this particular episode to be helpful. I look forward to connecting with you send me a DM shoot me an email, follow me out on Instagram at tiny transitions sleep coach and I look forward to seeing you soon and helping you to build great sleepers for life. Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleep Not just in the times you’re listening to the show, but all day every day, every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. It’s a place to gather with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research, to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable content and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community that’s tiny transition stuff comm forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search slumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.