Newborn Sleep Mistakes Commonly Made

By Vanessa McFarlane

June 23, 2020

Looking to see the biggest newborn sleep mistakes commonly made? You’ve come to the right place! Below you will find the most common mistakes made when it comes to newborn sleep.

Mistaking the ‘active sleep stage’ as hungry, gassy or awake!
The newborn sleep cycle is present in two stages; the active sleep stage and the quiet sleep stage. When your baby is falling asleep, you may notice that they have their eyes closed however they are grunting, straining, and calling out occasionally. This is a very normal part of sleep for your baby and is referred to as the ‘active sleep stage’. The active sleep occurs as your baby is falling into a deeper sleep, often referred to as the ‘quiet sleep stage’. Many parents confuse this active sleep and pick baby up thus waking baby out of their sleep therefore making it harder for baby to get back into their quiet sleep stage! If your baby is a noisy sleeper, give them a little bit of time to see if they will fall into a deeper sleep!

Too nervous about ‘creating bad habits.
It can be easy to worry about creating bad sleep habits with your newborn. The best piece of advice new parents should take when it comes to their newborn is, do what feels right. Cuddle your baby, let them sleep on you, wear your baby for naps. These are often labeled as ‘bad’ for sleep habits, but rest assured, you can never love your baby too much or cuddle them too much. The best approach is to continue to use the newborn stage as time to “practice” sleep habits. For example, you can practice putting your baby in their crib for a nap or two. Or you can practice putting baby down drowsy but awake. It won’t be perfect, but that is ok. Most babies begin to learn sleeping habits around the four-month regression. This regression can happen anytime between three months and five months.

Mistaking that it is safer to sleep with baby on a couch or recliner instead of a bed.
This is a big one. Safe sleep is something to take seriously, and it’s important to remember that sleeping with baby on the couch or recliner is dangerous as baby could slip down into the cracks of the furniture. If you find yourself getting drowsy while cuddling or nursing, it is best to put baby down in a safe sleep space before nodding off.

Your baby will tell you when they are tired.
It is normal for your newborn to want to sleep every 45 mins when they are first born. Then as they age, their awake windows will naturally begin to lengthen. Unfortunately, babies do not show the typical signs of sleepiness that we expect. Your newborn may show signs of being tired when they are unable to engage, begin to get more wired after staying awake longer than 45 mins, or they get irritable or refuse feedings. These are only some of the newborn cues. Watch closely and you will begin to learn your baby’s specifics cues which will help you in the long!

If you are expecting a newborn, have a look over our newborn course offered from the Mama Coach! You can also reach out to your local Mama Coach to book any class from prenatal, lactation and sleep support. 

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