This New Gadget Will Help Newborns Sleep Better (And Parents Too!)
Our baby sleep expert shares strategies and top tips to help put your newborn go to bed faster and sleep better, so you can avoid new parent sleep deprivation.
Editor’s Note: This article contains sponsored content.
Laurène Mosely, a mother of 3 and CEO of SleepaSloth, outlines some of the strategies you can use to combat those sleepless nights. Inspired by her second child’s sleep struggles, Laurène and her husband created the smart baby sleep aid they wished had existed for their own children. SleepaSloth is extremely flexible and adaptable, giving you the confidence you need to help get your baby better sleep.
The Importance of Sleep for Newborns and New Parents
Whether you are expecting, an experienced parent, or currently adapting to life with a newborn, sleep will never be far from your mind. On top of the constant feeds and diaper duty, learning to get your baby to sleep and making sure you get enough sleep yourself can be a real challenge.
A 2019 study found that sleep duration and satisfaction did not fully recover for the average parent until up to six years after the birth of their first child.
Parenthood is a journey. When things get hard it's important to try to stay positive and take a step back. Remind yourself how much your baby’s world has changed. Not so long ago they were living in a warm, cosy home constantly surrounded by sound. From an ever-present heartbeat to other sounds and voices, babies even learn to recognise their mother's voice in the womb. That’s why SleepaSloth supports recording parents’ voices so that you can be there for your baby even when you leave the room.
Every Baby Is Different: Try Different Sleep Strategies
When it comes to babies, everyone has advice. Just remember that even great advice may not be applicable to you and your baby. Times change and every baby's sleep style is different. It’s up to you to pick and choose the bits you want to try. Consider all advice as an anecdote and potential experiment.
Having had three children, we found that each had their own unique behaviours around sleep, adopting distinct sleep patterns and responding better to different techniques. Some newborns go to sleep incredibly easily for long periods of time, never to be disrupted. Others are fussier, shorter sleepers that require near complete darkness and silence.
Only one person can tell you the kind of baby you have: you! That’s why no one-size-fits-all approach to baby sleep exists. It’s up to you and your baby to find what works for your family.
Constant Experimentation with Sleep Methods
Albert Einstein is often misquoted as having said that doing the same thing over and over again whilst expecting different results was the definition of madness. Despite not coming from Einstein this quote applies nicely to baby sleep: parents need to experiment.
This doesn’t mean that you need to try something new every nap time! Successful experimentation should ideally be coordinated with your partner and different techniques trialed for at least four days to be given a chance of success.
Remember that when you and your newborn first return home from hospital there are no rules. Just do what you need to do, guided by your baby. Newborns can sleep from 8 to 18 hours a day, it’s a wide range and anything within it is normal. Newborns wake up every few hours to feed; breastfed babies more frequently than bottle-fed ones. Perseverance is what you will need for these trying first months of your baby’s life.
A smart baby sound machine like SleepaSloth encourages experimentation by enabling parents and carers to play any sound they want, as long and as loud as they want, helping to soothe any baby to sleep by adapting to your needs.
Keeping Track of Your Baby’s Sleep Habits
Babies begin to understand the difference between night and day, developing their circadian rhythm, from 8 to around 12 weeks old. This is when you may notice a pattern emerging within your baby’s sleep. This could be something you have been encouraging or something that happened organically.
There is no evidence suggesting that overtired babies sleep better than babies that have properly slept throughout the day, so ensuring your baby naps regularly and sufficiently throughout the day is probably a good idea.
Continue to respond to sleep cues but also consider actively recognising and tracking these establishing sleep patterns to help give you confidence in putting your baby to sleep and planning your days. SleepaSloth is completely portable and can be used wherever you are, at home or on the go.
Sleep Regression and Milestones: Always Adapting
Children are great at keeping parents on their toes and babies are no exception. Even once you do find your rhythm, your baby will probably decide to suddenly change things up. One day, something that worked well up to then will no longer work and you will need to start all over again.
Some of these changes are temporary, some more permanent. They can be environmental (a new room or surroundings, a hot day), some developmental (a growth spurt), and others regressive (a sleep regression).
Your job as a parent is to roll with the punches, adapting, changing, and experimenting alongside your child. This approach may start with sleep but it certainly doesn’t end with it, extending to almost every aspect of parenthood.
New Parent Life is Hard: Being Kind to Yourself
Beyond tips, tricks or strategies, remember to be kind to yourself. Parenting is hard and babies can be demanding and all-consuming. Try to remember how much your baby has grown and how far they have come. Remember how far you have come and everything you have fought through to get to this point. Try to be present and enjoy the good moments.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. You’re not doing yourself or your family any favours by bottling up your feelings. To be there for your baby, you need to take care of yourself. Family, friends, and community are there to help you get through the tough moments and share in the amazing ones.
We created SleepaSloth to help any parent going through a tough time putting their kids to sleep. If you have any ideas, questions or suggestions feel free to reach out to us on @sleepasloth (Instagram and Facebook) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.