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January 29, 2021

Baby sleep expectations: Do yours match up with reality? (Part 1)

It has to be said, going into the birth of my first kid, I had given zero thought to baby sleep. Sure, I’d seen literally everywhere that new parents are exhausted and sleep deprived, but somehow I hadn’t made the connection that getting your kid to sleep wasn’t necessarily just a matter of watching them drift off. I had no idea babies needed guidance on getting their much-needed Z’s. My baby sleep expectations were WAY off, so I’d like to do you the favour of giving you a heads-up if you’re just about to be a mum for the first time, or you’re in the throes of newborn life…


Baby sleep expectations: Getting to sleep

I’d always assumed that just like us adults, babies would simply close their eyes and go to sleep when they were tired. Ehhh… Nope… In reality, kiddo hasn’t got the first clue what to do about feeling tired except scream their tired little lungs out. They need a bit of help getting there (unless you have a unicorn baby, in which case, I’m jealous…). Whether you rock, pat, feed, sing, shush, play heavy metal to get them to sleep, whether you use a dummy or white noise, or swaddle, or don’t, here’s the thing:it’s all completely normal and OK.Your kid will need what they need, andyou will come to know that best out of anyone on the planet. And if anyone DARES to use the words, ‘a rod for your own back’ in your direction at any point, it’s time for them to make a swift exit from that and any further parenting conversations.


Baby sleep expectations: Staying asleep

Keep in mind, while your baby sleep expectations may be high, things might be a bit patchy for a while. Your absolute newborn may lull you into a false sense of security by sleeping a whole bunch in long stretches, but by about week 6 they’ll be waking up to the world, and curious to understand it. So from here on out, sleep might be a bit of a puzzle. Getting them to sleep is one thing, keeping them asleep is a whole other challenge. Tiny people operate on a 45-minute sleep cycle (it’s an evolutionary thing – adults have sleep cycles too!), and if anything is different from when they went to sleep, chances are, kiddo will be unnerved and struggle to get back down. By some miracle, however, being close to mum makes all the difference, so don’t feel like you can’t just hang with your tiny love while they snooze… And if you happen to get a snooze in too? Well, that’s bloody great.


Stay tuned for part 2…


~ Sinem xo



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