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The Brightside - Sleep Tips For The First Six Weeks With Jodie Curry

The Brightside - Sleep Tips For The First Six Weeks With Jodie Curry

The Brightside: Sleep Tips For The First Six Weeks With Sleep and Lactation consultant Jodie Curry of Mindful Mum.

Welcoming a newborn into your life is an exciting and transformative experience. One of the biggest challenges new parents face is ensuring their baby gets enough sleep. Here are some essential tips to help your newborn develop healthy sleep habits and ensure both of you get the rest you need.

For more information and assistance you can find Jodie via her website Mindful Mum

Educate yourself about normal newborn sleep

During the first two months postpartum, the average baby sleeps about 14-15 hours every 24 hours. However, this can vary between 9-10 hours and 16-18 hours or more. It can vary from day to day with no particular pattern, so being flexible and relaxed about this is important. There are a multitude of apps to track sleeping and feeding, but in my experience, it adds extra stress, anxiety, and unnecessary work.

Swaddle your baby for sleep (to help with the Moro reflex)

The Moro reflex is often called a startle reflex. That’s because it usually occurs when a baby is startled by a loud sound or movement, and if asleep -  this can wake them up. Swaddling can help your newborn feel secure and comfortable, mimicking the snug environment of the womb. Use a soft, breathable blanket or swaddle and ensure it is snug but not too tight, allowing for natural hip movement. 

Pay attention to sleep cues and behaviour

Newborns often give subtle signs when tired, such as rubbing their eyes, yawning, or becoming fussy. Paying attention to these cues can help you assist your baby in sleeping before they become overtired (and wired). How long your baby can stay awake between sleeps depends on a multitude of factors. Tune in to them rather than trying to follow timed routines. They will show you what they need by their behaviour. Learning this is the KEY!

Sleep strategies

There are many wonderful ways to help babies fall asleep. You will naturally and instinctively use these techniques. These may include feeding to sleep, cuddling to sleep, rocking to sleep, or having them sleep on the go in a pram or carrier. Enjoy and optimise these tools to find what works for you and your baby.

Implement safe sleep practices

Familiarise yourself with the Red Nose Safe Sleeping Guidelines. They have safe sleeping and safe co-sleeping guidelines. Be mindful of how tired you might be and how easy it can be to fall asleep in unsafe sleep situations with a newborn, e.g. on a couch (even if that is not your intention). 


Exposing them to fresh air and natural light in the daytime stimulates their senses with different sights and sounds, skin-to-skin, and lots of cuddles all help promote sleep.

Be patient and flexible

Every baby is different, and what works for one might not work for another. Be patient and flexible, trying different techniques to see what helps your newborn sleep better. Remember, it’s normal for newborns to wake frequently, and sleep patterns will evolve with both time and the development of their circadian rhythm.

Seek support

If you’re struggling with your newborn’s sleep, don’t hesitate to seek support. Talk to your paediatrician, join a parenting group that aligns with your parenting style, or consult a sleep specialist for personalised advice and reassurance.

Take care of yourself

Caring for a newborn is exhausting, and it’s essential to take care of yourself too. Rest when your baby sleeps, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from family and friends. Taking care of your well-being will better equip you to care for your baby.

Helping your newborn develop healthy sleep habits takes time, patience, and a bit of trial and error. By establishing a routine, creating a sleep-friendly environment, and being attentive to your baby’s needs, you can help your little one get the rest they need to grow and thrive. Remember, every baby is unique, so trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to seek support when needed.

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