I will never forget the first time a mom told me I could come over any time, because she had never seen her newborn baby sleep as well as the day I came over for his newborn session!
The more sleep your newborn gets, the more sleep you can get, and you both need all the sleep you can get. So, I will be sharing 8 tips for helping your baby “sleep like a baby” over the next few weeks.
Tip #1: Swaddle
After the nurses are done weighing and measuring your new baby, what do they do?
The hospital nurses help you swaddle your baby when it’s time for your baby to sleep.
Nurses swaddle babies to help keep the startle reflex (Moro reflex) from waking themselves up.
Also, the hospital nurses tell you to remove the swaddle to help your newborn wake up enough to eat during breastfeeding or bottle time.
So, why would you stop swaddling once you get home?
I was so exhausted with my first baby that I didn’t realize that a lot of easy swaddling devices have an option for leaving your baby’s arms out. Sometimes you will have a baby who absolutely hates having their hands tucked in. There are lots of positions for baby’s hands while swaddling. Don’t give up! (I wish I hadn’t with my first, and I was so glad I was a better swaddler with my second!)
Check with your pediatrician that you are swaddling correctly to avoid hip dysplasia. Thankfully, a lot of the easy swaddles and sacks will help you swaddle correctly.
Another great thing about swaddling: there are transitional swaddles and then there are sleep sacks.
I have found sleep sacks are Amazing at keeping young toddlers from being able to climb out of their crib. Yay!
Huntsville Hospital will usually send you home with an easy swaddle like the Halo swaddle/sleep sack. (Note: I do NOT include affiliate links, because I believe advice is best freely given.)
I love photographing babies swaddled, especially when I am photographing them with siblings and family portraits. That way, it doesn’t matter if baby is awake- they will look calm and peaceful because they are relaxed by the comforting swaddle that mimics mama’s womb.