My top tips for getting your head around and accepting normal infant sleep for new and expecting families:

  1. Expect that your baby will wake a LOT and want to nurse back to sleep most times throughout the first year and beyond.

Read more about Normal Infant Sleep

  1. Even if your baby starts sleeping longer, expect it not to last.
  1. Expect there to be times when your baby will be super hard to settle and may be impossible to put down. Embrace the beauty of contact napping and the enforced rest it brings or look into your local babywearing group to find a carrier or wrap that enables you to keep moving and hands-free.

Read more about helping your newborn adjust to the world

  1. Expect that your baby will sometimes catnap during the day (20 - 40minutes) and that may be all they need at that time.  If they are hard to settle within 15 minutes, it's okay to stop and try again later.    
  1. Expect that at times, you will need to call in back-up support to help you get the rest you need while meeting the night time needs of your baby.

Feeling exhausted? Check-in with your sleep hygiene

  1. Expect that you may need to consider some sleeping arrangements that you may not see as your ideal situation (e.g. bedsharing when you really wanted a cot sleeper).

Learn more about safer sleep

  1. Expect that your baby will want to sleep on the boob and not let go at times. This is normal and not a sleep or supply problem.

Find out about the link between breastfeeding and sleep

  1. Expect that in a few short years, it is a long-forgotten stress and all you miss is all the cuddles, nursing and closeness.

Expect these things and then, if it turns out your baby finds sleep more easily than this...winner, winner, chicken dinner! Realistic expectations (even if you consider them low expectations) make it so much easier to mentally to prepare, surrender and make peace with your baby’s sleep behaviour.

Your baby is so much more than their ability to sleep. Expect little in the way of sleep and enjoy them for the whole person they are. 

text: with love, Carly image of a darkhaired fair skinned woman in a pink shirt sitting in the grass. Text: Little Sparklers founder

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