How soon is too soon to promote healthy newborn sleep habits?
When families of newborns reach out to me for support, the first question I typically get asked is “Is it too soon to sleep train?”
The short answer is, yes. But the better answer is… Your newborn is too little to formally sleep train, but is of the perfect age to start setting in place some healthy newborn sleep habits.
I would love to share with you a few newborn success stories so you can see the benefit of investing in a prenatal or newborn sleep education package to get your family started on the right path for successful sleep in the days, weeks, months and years to come!
The gift of sleep
Rebecca was gifted a newborn sleep guide as a baby shower gift. She has an 2.5 year old son who didn’t start sleeping through the night until he was 2, and she refused to do that again. So, she was really invested in learning the ins and outs of newborn sleep and instilling healthy newborn sleep habits with her second kiddo from the get go. She knew that with a toddler at home and newborn baby on the way, it would be important to really focus on sleep for their entire family.
Rebecca used the newborn sleep guide as a tool and asked lots of great questions during our consultation. She is happy to report, “my daughter, using Brittney’s plan, sleeps 12 hours a night, and she’s only 3 months old!!! The plan was great, easy to follow, and no crying involved which was amazing! Brittney really took time to make sure I knew and understood the plan before my baby was born.”
Bouncing be gone
Another newborn client, Helen started utilizing the newborn sleep education when her daughter was about a month old. “In just a month, our baby went from going to sleep between 11 pm and midnight and needing to be bounced to sleep at night and held for naps all day to going to sleep at 7:30 pm, falling asleep on her own, and napping in her crib.”
If you are a parent who is having to bounce your little one to sleep at night, you know what a physical stressor that can be for your body! When Helen reached out to me, I knew we needed to break her daughter of the bounce to sleep association or her poor mama was going to end up with terrible back and joint pain!
One of the biggest mistakes that newborn parents make is keeping their little one up too long during the day. This 100% of the time results in overstimulation and overtiredness. I am sure to prioritize with my clients the ideal timing, at various ages in the newborn stage, for feeding and sleeping so that the whole family is fed, happy and well-rested multiple times in a day!
Helen loved this part of the sleep education and reflects by saying, “Brittney helped me understand her daily patterns so I could recognize when she was ready for sleep and helped me be consistent with getting her to nap on her own.”
Make room for routine when creating healthy newborn sleep habits
The final aspect of the newborn sleep education and healthy newborn sleep habits that I want to showcase is the often overlooked bedtime routine. This piece of a little one’s schedule is so important but often rushed, inconsistent or completely neglected by busy parents. When I started working with Jessica and Shawn, their son was 6 weeks old and they did not feel they had time for a bedtime routine with him.
They were worried that with Jessica returning to work soon that they’d never be able to establish, and stick to, a routine, but I gladly helped them to create an effective and efficient personalized routine. “Brittney helped us set up a good bedtime routine which we started right away, and had even attempted Logan in his own crib in his own room. It all worked out great. Logan is still so young, but he knows when his bedtime is and knows his bedtime routine.”
Why do I teach newborns the skill of sleep?
Working with families before baby comes or during the 4th trimester (first 12 weeks of life) to reach the sleep milestones that are described by my clients above is such a pleasure for me, and I LOVE when parents are being proactive in their approach to sleep by creating healthy newborn sleep habits from the start.
I am also partial to this age group because this is the age my son was when I found the Sleep Sense program and utilized it for his sleep habits. He was 8 weeks old when I was familiarized with newborn sleep education, and by 12 weeks, he was sleeping through the night! I have personally seen (and felt) the success of starting early and what an impact it can make on the lives of parents! You can read more about our experience using Sleep Sense here!
Support for proactive parents who want to teach healthy sleep habits
At the Sleeper Teachers, we love supporting families during the first 12 weeks of a baby’s life because it allows us to be proactive in our approach. Rather than “fixing” sleep once baby is 4 months old, we can get started early on by promoting safe and healthy sleep habits. When we work with newborns, we do not get a day-by-day sleep plan in place, but rather focus on sleep education and setting the right foundations early on, so that your little one becomes a great sleeper early on in their life.
If 1-on-1 guidance with customized sleep support is something that you could benefit from, please reach out to us here for a free sleep introductory call with one of our consultants.
Finally, if you prefer a DIY approach to instilling good sleep habits early on, check out our Foundations of Newborn Sleep Guide. The guide will help parents proactively lay a solid sleep foundation for their little one, as well as educate parents on the best practices for newborn sleep (or babies on the way) in the first 12 weeks of life.