Little Routines, Gillian Stewart

Lockdown Routine
Gillian Stewart, Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Unfortunately we are in very difficult times at the moment.

I am sure that those of you with new babies are feeling even more isolated at this emotional time.
Not being able to share the joy of your new little bundle with family and friends, is extremely tough.
Not having that support network to call on if necessary, can be such an isolating feeling.

However, on a plus note, you have the time to set some lovely positive sleep associations, without the worry of time restraints.

It is wonderful to hear that we are allowed to go outside more now. This will certainly help you to set the long lunchtime nap if your little one is struggling to knit sleep cycles together.

Once we are able to socialise again, you will hopefully have a little one in a great routine and sleeping peacefully at night.

A good place to start is to focus on good feeds and positive sleeping patterns for your baby...

1. A nice full tummy. Take your time with feeds and use the one hour feeding window.

2. Stimulating wake times with no snoozing. Encourage your baby to stay awake and enjoy the different sights and sounds around them.

3. Swaddle snugly when it is sleep time. Swaddling gives your baby a lovely safe, secure feeling and avoids ‘waving arms’ waking your baby up.

4. A lovely little cuddle up on your shoulder before bed. Cuddles are so important and will leave your baby feeling relaxed, ready for sleep.

5. A very positive, confident action when popping your little one down to sleep. Confusion leads to an unsettled baby. Your baby will always respond better if they know what to expect and what is expected of them.

6. Always leave your baby for a few minutes to self settle. Your baby doesn’t need you to keep fussing over them and stimulating them, when they are trying to go to sleep.

7. Take a step back and trust your baby. Allow your baby enough time to settle to sleep. It can take some babies more than a few minutes to go to sleep.

8. Ignore any fussing and odd little noises. We all make noises in our sleep! This is quite normal and it is really important not to confuse your baby by thinking they are awake and need attention.

9. Resettle in the pram/Moses basket if necessary. Keep the consistent message of ‘it’s sleep time’. Picking your baby up may cause confusion and also the temptation to feed your baby back to sleep.

10. Encourage your little one to knit sleep cycles together - avoid ending a nap after just half an hour. If your baby wakes too early, always give them time to resettle themselves. If your baby struggles, then a little help may be necessary - a walk out in the pram as a continuation of the nap is a good idea.

Parenting is a full time job. You will have highs and lows. Setting a routine can mean that you and your baby will know what each day will bring. A little hard work in the early weeks will pay off thousand fold, later down track....Everyone will get a good nights sleep.

Stay safe and enjoy the early weeks with your precious little one.