It may surprise you that as a Sleep Educator, I do not suggest “routine” or “bedtime routine” as the be-all-end-all for a peaceful life with littles.
And, to be fair, I’m not anti-routine at all. I think we all - babies, kiddos, and grownups, too - benefit from predictability and cuing our bodies that it is sleep time with restful, relaxing steps.
But, at the same time, if your routine is so ironclad that it doesn’t make space for adaptability and flexibility when competing needs for various members of the family come up - then does that routine truly serve you?
Often on social media, I see responses to posts about infant or toddler sleep struggles that follow along the lines of “we’ve had a routine from day one and bedtime has never been an issue.” While those individuals do have a routine that works for them, more than likely it is a combo of parent and kiddo personality or sleep inclination - not the specifics of the routine - that result in this situation.
And, if you have a routine that you love and serves you - that’s awesome.
But, comments like these always make bedtime routines take on a vaguely mystical quality - as though with the right recipe for lotion/books/jammies/bath/song/what have you, children no longer wake at night or need parental support to fall asleep. When, as recent research tells us, it is more than likely that your child will need you at night.
So, if I don’t advocate for rigid routine, what do I suggest?
I’m a big fan of looking at sleep - and life, in general - in terms of a family rhythm. That means taking into account the ebb and flow of everyone’s day, everyone’s needs, and the things that bring you joy - together.
It may mean little one is napping on the go while you enjoy time with your older children at the park.
It may mean after a day of fun outside, you all come home and nap together - and then stay up late enough to see the fireflies.
It may mean that even though “they” suggest an early bedtime, a late afternoon catnap such that littlest can see the parent who gets home latest at night works better for your family.
And, here’s the thing, it is YOUR family. Therefore, the rhythm has to work for you- to serve your needs, rather than keep you locked into only one possible way of being day and night.
Sometimes implementing a rhythm that works for your family is hard to do. I get that, and in my one-on-one consultations I’m thrilled to help you sort out what kind of rhythm can work best - how to balance everyone’s needs and find rest and peace.
But, I’m also not going to tell you there is only one way to be - one schedule to have, one rhythm to find. Because then, you’re looking at MY rhythm, not yours.
And, in many ways, that’s the best part of this work - helping you follow your intuition and letting it guide you in your choices.
Because at the end of the day, that’s the only thing that matters.
Looking for sleep support for your infant or toddler? Check out Nested Mama's infant and toddler parent workshops and one-on-one consultations.
When I talk about baby or toddler sleep with sleep consultation clients, we always talk about parenting.
While the larger baby sleep industry may want to convince us that the path to rest as a parent is paved with an array of swaddles, self-rocking bassinets, and baby sleep training programs "guaranteed" to make our babies and toddlers not need parental support 12 out of 24 hours of the day, I believe that any approach to baby sleep worth having begins with and fully supports a heart-centered, holistic look at what truly matters to each family.
So, we talk about parenting.
We don't talk quick fixes. We don't talk gadgets. We don't talk training.
We talk parenting. But, what does that mean?
We talk long-view, big-picture family goals. We talk about how to support those goals in the here and now with how we respond to our children day and night.
We work to move away from a child vs. parent approach to sleep, one in which we see children as standing in the way of rest and self-care for the parent.
We work to see the myriad of possibilities for finding rest, getting self-care, and supporting our children through the phases where they need us intensely day and night.
Because, that's the wonderful, exhausting, bring-you-to-your knees beauty of parenting - it is day and night and forever and for always.
When I offer workshops and work one-on-one with clients, I support my clients' vision for who they want to be as parents and the values that shape their parenting choices. I provide the information they need to make choices that feel authentic to who they are as people and who they hope to be as parents. And, I provide them support such that they feel confident parenting from a place of love rather than fear.
So, yes, we talk sleep. But, we always talk parenting.
Looking to talk parenting and sleep? Join Nested Mama's next sleep workshop or schedule a one-on-one consultation. Want more on pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting? Connect with Nested Mama on Facebook and Instagram.
Let's talk some real talk about toddler sleep.
For some kiddos, the ebb and flow of sleep evens out after the first year, and they may ask for little to no nighttime parenting at night.
For others, even those who slept large stretches at night early on in the first year of life, toddler sleep can come with night wakings and a need for nighttime parenting.
As I've shared before (see blog), part of being a Certified Infant Sleep Educator means understanding sleep as developmental and deeply connected to attachment as well as a huge spectrum of normal variation from child to child, even in the same family with the same parenting. So what this means is not only is it on the spectrum of normal for your child to need you at night more (or less) than your best friend's child, it is also on the spectrum of normal for one of your own children to need you at night more than an older or younger sibling did.
For context, a recent study in the Journal of Pediatrics demonstrates that "sleeping through the night" (which they defined as a 6 or 8-hour stretch) is not found in the majority of 6 month olds and that even at 12 months of age a significant percentage of those in their study were sleeping less than a 6-hour stretch without nighttime parenting.
And, this does not account for how many times even those deemed sleeping through the night woke after that first stretch - meaning a 12-month-old could have slept for 6 hours and then woken every hour after that for nighttime parenting (for a total 4+ night wakings in a given night) and they STILL included that child in the group that slept through the night.
So what about sleep norms after year one? You can expect lots of variability based on child personality and developmental moment. For instance, a child working really hard on walking will likely wake more frequently than a child who has mastered this skill.
When I work with clients one-on-one going through a tricky patch of toddler sleep, one thing we talk about a lot is the notion of progression v. regression. While we tend to label these rough patches with more night waking as a regression, I often ask my clients to share with me where they are seeing progression in their child's development - motor, language, social skills, etc. Most often they share that their child is working on so very much at that exact moment.
How can framing rough patches of toddler sleep in terms of progressions help us? Instead of thinking of sleep and development as a line, I prefer the image of a spiral, where we picture our child moving on that spiral, working on some skills in that perfect developmental moment and perhaps needing more emotional support and physical reassurance from us before moving to a new place on the spiral.
Most significantly, when we recognize our children as working out something tricky and in need of more support instead of a quick fix, we can offer them what they need AND see that as caregivers in an intense season of parenting WE need more support to - asking for help and accepting it when offered.
This doesn't mean we have to simply "wait it out" - if you feel resentful of your sleep situation and are called to make a change, gentle, respectful transitions are totally possible, and perhaps just what your family needs. (If you think gentle and respectful sounds awesome, but you need more support to get there, check out my one-on-one consultations where we develop a Sleep Strategy Package tailored to your specific family values and unique sleep situation.)
Because all toddler sleep situations are varied and family sleep situations are unique, it can be hard to provide generalizations that speak broadly to toddler sleep. Instead, I'm going to share with you a snapshot of toddler sleep in our house RIGHT NOW, and how we work with the flow of the spiral.
***Because sleep situations and family situations are UNIQUE this is not a prescription or a "should" for you - rather, it is a personal account of our little family. What works for YOUR family likely looks very different, and that's okay!***
If you follow along with Nested Mama, you'll likely know that not too long ago my littlest made a grand leap and asked to start sleeping in her "little beddy" rather than the "big bed." (Read that adventure over here.)
While that first night was, ehem, eventful to say the least, she has gone on to start every night in her little bed and even wakes a majority of mornings still in that space, with a nighttime pilgrimage to the big bed occurring a few times a week in the early morning hours. This gentle transition to solo sleep with occasional shared sleep works perfectly for our little family in our right now.
Long view, littlest will move to share a room with big siblings (and she has even asked some nights to start out in their room!), but for now, we wait until she seems fully ready to make that choice on her own.
Having made this transition and finding it works well for us all, does that mean she never needs nighttime parenting? If I'm honest, I find I sleep more deeply without her often horizontal positioning in our bed - those rib kicks can be brutal! But, as I'd expect for her age and personality, she still wakes some nights and calls out for parental assistance.
Why then does she wake?
-wet nighttime diaper
While many of these are areas we actively encourage independence (grabbing a drink of water from the bottle next to her bed, taking herself to the bathroom, taking off her pjs when hot, and so forth), she still feels most confident announcing even these independent actions to us - and that's okay.
This sleep situation works for ALL of us - no one is frustrated or resentful. We feel confident that she will manage these nighttime needs when ready and make her way on the spiral in her own time.
We've found balance in our nighttime parenting where everyone's needs are met, and we know that a transition to more independence is on the horizon.
So what does toddler sleep look like? As with baby sleep, can look different from night to night, month to month, and child to child. But, most importantly, it isn't an all or nothing, you vs. your child thing - at least, it doesn't have to be. With understanding, support, and gentle transitions when needed, it can be exactly what you all need it to be.
Registration now open for Gentle Transitions: a toddler sleep workshop taught LIVE via small group webinar. Find all dates and details here.
Want to follow along for more discussions of pregnancy, postpartum, and parenting? Connect with Nested Mama on Facebook and Instagram.
When I worked with sleep clients, I often hear them lament that because of their babies’ or toddlers’ tricky bedtimes or sleep interruptions they have no “me time.”
I sympathize with this greatly, because I’ve been there, too, believing if only my baby behaved like “normal” babies that I could get the self-care time I craved.
Indeed, many popular books on sleep and child rearing equate baby's sleep time with sacred alone time for the caregiver.
While this sounds logical enough on the surface, in practice it sets up those whose babies have more or different needs around sleep for difficulty.
And, for me, it meant self-sabotaging my happiness.
When I made self-care time contingent on my baby’s sleep, I unwittingly raised the stakes of my baby’s sleep to a new level. No longer about my baby’s need for rest, now my adult need for self-care came along for the ride of any sleep frustrations.
The “shoulds” in my head became louder and my feelings about sleep became bigger.
You see, I’d invited my baby to a power struggle so far beyond her comprehension. Given the roller coaster that is baby and toddler sleep, even the most predictable of sleepers will have tricky spots and interruptions. My expectations were ahead of her abilities and my frustrations loomed large.
This mindset often proves even more challenging in the toddler years, as little ones become more vocal about their many needs at bedtime. Asking for one more drink, one more hug, or parental reassurance can turn the implicit power struggle of baby sleep to a very explicit one.
When I work one-on-one with parents, I often hear that they feel like their self-care time is held hostage by their little one’s ever so vocal and pressing nighttime desires. As a result, bedtime becomes a time of stress and conflict rather than ease and connection.
Imagine having an argument with your partner or a beloved family member and then trying to fall asleep. How long do you think it would take you to drift off?
When we create a power struggle that not only includes bedtime but a narrative around how and when we can care for ourselves, we set ourselves up for the opposite of joy. Bedtime as a battle means everyone’s stress level is high and rest and relaxation is that much harder to achieve for all parties involved.
So, what can we do when we find we’ve fallen into this sleep-time trap? Here are a few quick tips to dissolve the power struggle and find more room for self-care.
Change your mindset
If you take an honest look at your own attitude toward bedtime and acknowledge that the “shoulds” and power-struggle mentality have taken hold, you’ve take the first powerful step in changing the narrative and experience of that time. Hold limits with love, find ease and connection in closeness with your child, and turn sleep time into one that feels good for everyone involved. It may not immediately equal “one tuck and done,” but know that gentle transitions and growth are always on the horizon.
Schedule it in
One powerful way to change your narrative around sleep is to change what is at stake. Instead of making your yoga practice contingent on naptime, schedule a class or two a week in your calendar that don’t depend on your baby’s sleep for you to attend. Communicate clearly with your partner about your needs, dial in your support people, exchange childcare with a friends so you both get the time you need - basically, separate the baby sleep = self-care equation by making your self-care a priority.
Find joy together
Sometimes, especially with tiny ones, it is possible to make progress toward self-care and sleep at the same time. Maybe you enjoy a quiet coffee obtained via drive-though after errands because you know little one will nap a bit in the car. Maybe your little one sleeps best for naps in a carrier, so you leverage that time to take a walk, a hike, or a babywearing dance class. Look for parent and baby classes in your community that give you more of what you love while being with your little one.
Sometimes the thought of changing the narrative, making gentle transitions, or finding collaborative solutions that work for the family may seem completely out of reach. Here, a one-on-one consultation with an infant sleep educator may be just what you need to refocus and have a plan to help your whole family flourish.
Looking to make some gentle changes or want support as you switch up the narrative around your experience of baby and toddler sleep? Schedule a free 15 min discovery call to see if Nested Mama services are the right fit for your family.
As a infant sleep educator and a professional who provides sleep consultation services, you may be surprised that my outlook when it comes to sleep can be summed up by saying “sleep isn’t a problem unless it is a problem.”
I approach sleep as a spectrum of normal variation and maintain an evidence-based perspective that sees the need for nighttime parenting as developmentally and biologically normal for infants.
As I often share when teaching prenatal classes on infant sleep, I did not always understand babies’ needs for nighttime parenting as a spectrum that represents both their personality and the more general needs of relatively helpless mammalian offspring.
Instead, I truly believed the commercials and cultural images of babies sleeping peacefully without need for adult interaction - if only you purchased the right diaper, the right swaddle, the right sleep gizmo, the right sleep book, and so forth.
All that changed, abruptly, with the introduction of my first child. Now with three children and over six years of nighttime parenting in, I know that as far as baby sleepers go, she was relatively easy.
My experience of her sleep needs, however, was not.
Because my expectations were informed more by commercial and cultural rhetoric of “good” babies than developmental norms, I found sleep life with my sweet little one much more stressful than blissful.
Far worse than any nighttime wakings was the pressure I felt to make my daughter conform to the ideals set forth in baby parenting books. Words like “routine,” “habits,” “props,” and “self-soothing” dominated my thoughts day and night. Fears about independence and life long sleep kept me from returning to sleep with ease after a night waking.
And, what of my little one? While occasionally cranky when working on a new skill or under the weather, she was a happy baby who was growing well and meeting milestones on pace for her age.
Sleep, then, wasn’t a problem - for her.
Had I known that she would make gentle transitions to no night feedings and make progress toward finding sleep without nighttime parenting in the coming months and years, I’m sure I could have enjoyed the present and found more rest even amidst her nighttime needs.
Hindsight certainly brings clarity in parenting as in everything else.
Though particular to my child and experience, I share this narrative because what I needed, more than anything, during this challenging season of nighttime parenting was support and encouragement to trust my child and my instincts.
Even if baby sleep isn’t a problem, negotiating nighttime parenting and making gentle transitions certainly can be. Add in outdated parenting advice handed down to us by well-meaning friends and relatives and packaged as universal cultural wisdom - oof - and baby sleep can be just plain hard.
Because our culture places so much emphasis on our babies figuring out how not to need us at night at such an early age, it can be challenging to reach out and ask for help to navigate our busy lives if choosing a more developmental approach to sleep.
That is to say, embracing your baby’s needs for you as developmentally normal doesn’t automatically equal bliss.
In fact, as I was to learn with my second and highly-sensitive baby, it can be brutally hard to see through the fog of sleep deprivation and find solutions that work for everyone.
While with my first, I needed education and an encouraging word to trust my instincts, with my second, I could have used an honest assessment of our sleep situation and a bucketful of collaborative solutions.
In either case, it was me, not my baby, who truly needed a sleep intervention.
Instead of advocating I “fix” my baby, I could have benefited immensely from a listening ear with responses of compassion and empathy, support that expressed confidence in me and my intuition as a mother, and encouragement as I made changes that held true to our family's long term values and goals.
That's an approach to the problems of baby sleep could have made all the difference for me then and why I'm passionate about the work of infant sleep education now.
Are you looking for prenatal education on infant sleep or a holistic, heart-centered approach to navigating your families nighttime needs? Schedule a free 15 min discover call and find out if Nested Mama's services are the right fit for your family.
“I want to sleep in my little beddy.”
Last night was a first, a first for this sweet little toddler who has been my sleep companion for her whole life. As a little baby, we used breastsleeping and side-lying nursing to make it through the tricky patches and big developmental leaps of that first year. *
When shortly after a year, she made clear that sleep in her crib in our room was not preferred for even a short portion of the night, she joined us in our bed where she has been night in and night out ever since.
We took down that unused crib - which I have to say made for excellent laundry storage - and turned that corner of our room into a nook for a toddler bed.
Having only bedshared on and off with my older two kiddos, I imagined we’d make slow steady progress toward more independent sleep as she moved toward age two.
Here we are, days from 2.5 and just now making that tiny but grand leap.
Our culture frames discussions of baby/toddler/kiddo sleep with such fear - fear that our little ones may need us both day AND night.
Given this cultural conversation, I’ve had friends and clients share with me that even when they know about biologically normal sleep they still fear they’ve messed something up or somehow gone wrong in parenting because their little one finds rest best close to a loving caregiver.
As a parent, I’ve felt that fear - the stress and the worry that I’ve somehow misstepped and if only I’d done the right thing, my littles wouldn’t need me so intensely.
As an Infant Sleep Educator with a background in developmentally normal infant and toddler sleep and an understanding of attachment theory, I know that our little ones needing us isn’t something to fear - their need for us is normal and healthy and the stuff of future independence when ready.
Embracing sleep as a spectrum of normal variation means acknowledging that just as some grownups can’t fall asleep well without the sleepy breathing of their partner next to them, some kiddos innately find sleep best when close to a warm family member.
And, it also means acknowledging that some little ones don’t seem to need constant touch quite so much to find rest. It is a spectrum, after all.
Perhaps most importantly, it means recognizing that just because a little one vocally insists on a parent’s presence to fall asleep at age two doesn’t mean that the parents have gone wrong or the child needs to “learn” independence.
Similarly, a little one who has happily babbled to sleep alone since x months may suddenly as an older baby or toddler require more support for initial sleep and more frequent nighttime parenting.
Embracing sleep as a spectrum of normal variation means just that - that just as our children are beautifully unique in the daytime, they may be varied in nighttime needs, as well.
So what of her first night in that “little beddy”? Alas, frequent growing pains meant many awakenings punctuated by the oldest announcing the presence of a stomach bug in our house at 4 a.m.
Such is the stuff of parenting.
What then do I expect from this gentle transition to slightly more independent sleep for our family? I’ll ask myself the same questions I ask my clients in one-on-one consultations - that I tune into my intuition and look at the situation both from my perspective and my child’s.
When we approach sleep as a spectrum of normal and each families' situation and needs as unique, there is so much space for empathy and collaborative solutions to meet everyone's needs rather than framing sleep as an either/or struggle for rest.
That means when I work with clients (and troubleshoot my own family sleep), there is no one-size solution. No discussion of "habits," "props," or forcing independence.
Just empathy and compassion for all parties involved and a supportive conversation that places emphasis on what each family values as most important.
So for now, I’ll trust that when ready, that little beddy will become her default spot for slumber.
Until then, I’ll savor her sleepy cuddles and know that this is just a short season I’ll never get back.
And, I won’t regret a second of it.
*For safety information on breastsleeping or bedsharing, please consult the work of Dr. James McKenna at the Mother Baby Sleep Lab of Notre Dame for a full understanding of safety guidelines and risk factors.
Are you looking for more education and support as you navigate your baby's or toddler's sleep? Looking to gently night wean or transition to solitary sleep? Nested Mama offers sleep workshop and consultations to help your family find more rest. Learn more here.
As a parent of three fantastic but oft-waking kiddos, I know how baby sleep can become sticky wicket.
For whatever reason, it seems like everyone from family members to the grocery store checkout person to the old woman walking her dog in the park wants to know if your baby is a "good" baby and if he or she "sleeps through the night." And, if your baby sleeps like, well, a baby, he or she likely needs nighttime parental support for feeds, diapers, and snuggles. You may wonder this is normal (which it is), and you may wonder if you are doing something wrong (you aren't). When it comes to babies and sleep, it isn't a problem unless it's a problem.
That's where Infant Sleep Education comes in - a heart-centered, holistic approach to family sleep that keeps in mind what is developmentally normal for babies while also understanding that balancing life and baby may require some outside support.
If you find yourselves overwhelmed and exhausted, but also feel strongly about parenting your baby or toddler in a responsive manner to promote attachment, this is for you.
Are you an expectant parent? Fantastic! You can get a handle on normal baby sleep as well as strategies for soothing baby and finding balance even before baby arrives by attending an Infant Sleep Education Workshop. This course helps you and your partner get on the same page as far as what baby will need and think through strategies to help you work together as a team, find balance, and rally support as needed.
Are you the parent of a newborn and find yourself wishing you'd learned about sleep ahead of time? A private Sleep Education Workshop with time for Q & A can give you the resources you need to feel confident as you make this leap into parenthood. You may also want to consider day or overnight postpartum doula support to help you maximize rest and healing.
Are you looking for education and support as the parent of a baby who wakes frequently at night? Nested Mama offers private sleep consultations that start with your values and goals to help you fit the sleep piece into the larger puzzle of your busy lives.
Are you the parent of a toddler and ready to make a gentle transition away from night feeds or sharing sleep? Nested Mama offers private sleep consultations that can help you create the plan for a respectful transition. Because your goals and values are the most important in your parenting journey, we'll keep those at the forefront of your Sleep Strategy Package.
Still not sure if Infant Sleep Education is the right fit for your family? Reach out to Nested Mama and schedule your free 15-min chat today.
When my work as a postpartum doula comes up in causal conversation, people often want to know about overnight visits. For those without children, the idea of bringing a doula into your home overnight may seem like a surprising choice. But, if you've ever had a newborn, you know the combination of exhaustion and bliss those hours, days, and weeks bring.
As I reply to these casual questions, I sometimes find it hard to put into words what an overnight visit looks like because the needs of each family can be so distinct, and I tailor the support I offer to those specific needs.
Because of my training, I combine knowledge and experience concerning birth, postpartum, breastfeeding, childbirth education, and sleep education. I love learning and want to bring the best support for my clients - whether during the day or night. And, I'm committed to directing my clients toward evidence-based resources and trusted practitioners - if your question is out of my scope of practice, I want to direct you to those who can answer and support you along the way.
The infographic below gives a sense of what an overnight postpartum visit looks like, but if you are considering overnight postpartum doula support, a free consultation (in phone or in person) will help you feel confident in your plans for postpartum.
Wiessinger, Diane, et. al. Sweet Sleep: Nighttime and Naptime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Families. New York: Ballantine Books, 2014. Print.
In a nutshell:
If you've ever paged through LLL's hefty The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, you will find many similarities in Sweet Sleep. Most notably, the authors attempt to bring you the intimacy of a support meeting but in book form by speaking directly to "you" the reader and filling the pages with first-person accounts of sleep struggles and successes. While most sleep books on the market focus on training your baby or scheduling feeds, Sweet Sleep offers a different perspective on nighttime parenting.
The book opens with a checklist of The Safe Sleep Seven. If met, these seven requirements "make your bed as SIDS-safe as a crib and greatly reduce other risks in just a few steps" (3). Indeed, Sweet Sleep suggests that if you can meet these criteria, bedsharing may provide a low-risk option to get more rest while meeting your baby's needs for nourishment and attachment.
The middle sections of the book work through developmentally normal expectations for the naps and nighttimes of your nursling at all ages and stages. Throughout it all, the book maintains that needs for nighttime nursing and reassurance are normal into toddlerhood. The book saves the nitty-gritty work of wading through research that often is cited to warn against bedsharing for the end of the book and makes a thorough but accessible argument in support of their view. The book concludes with a guide to handle any negative responses you may receive from family and friends.
For those who meet the Safe Sleep Seven criteria, Sweet Sleep provides a welcome perspective different from most sleep advice books on the market. If you are a breastfeeding parent and committed to responsive, attachment-promoting parenting, this book could provide much needed reassurance.
Other quotes of note:
"Our immature babies don't have much choice in how they behave. But we as mothers, with our fully-developed brains, can choose our behaviors. Our brilliant little still-developing babies, who are helpless without us, count on us to choose well. We're not just filling their stomachs; we're feeding their souls. And our own" (44).
"All children move out of your bed and your room and sleep through the night, without your having to do a thing. Sometimes you can make it faster with well-timed nudging. Sometimes you need a change for your own sake. And sometimes the best approach is no approach . . . yet (or maybe ever). The essence of nudging is that you can always relax about it for now and trust that time - with or without a little nudge - will take care of it. It will" (193).
"Probably the single best tip is to step outside each day, even if it's raining or snowing. Throw your shoulders back, look up, and take a couple of deep breaths. You're one of billions of mothers, now and across time. You're built strong, and you're built competent. You're going to find happiness and skills that you never knew you had in you. Even if it doesn't feel like it yet" (239).
Are you finding yourself exhausted and looking for sleep support? Nested Mama offers a heart-centered holistic approach to family sleep. Learn how you can get the support you need today and the rest you need tonight.
Before the birth of my first child, I thought I read ALL the books. In hindsight, I did read an impressive stack of material. But, most of it focused on pregnancy and childbirth and not the blurry, hazy, beauty of the early postpartum days. I’m sure I at least whizzed by some statements about biologically normal newborn sleep, but in no way did those statements prepare me for the reality of nighttime parenting in the weeks and months that followed baby’s birth. While sniffing that wonderful scent of newborn baby and gazing in rapt attention at my child’s adorable features, I also found myself - like most new mothers - completely and utterly exhausted.
I’m not here to share with you a magical recipe that allows you to bypass normal newborn behavior. Nope - newborns need us, day and night, and that’s okay. Instead, I’ve got five tips - some you can even do before baby is born - to give yourself a soft, fluffy cushion of support, and yes, get more sleep in the newborn days.
Here are five things that you can do to improve your quality of sleep with a newborn baby -
Want to get more Nested Mama tips and tricks for postpartum life? Connect with Nested Mama. Looking for a holistic, evidence-based approach to family sleep? Nested Mama offers Infant Sleep Education workshops and consultations. Find out more here.
Johanna received a Ph.D. in English in 2014. Now a postpartum doula and educator of childbirth, breastfeeding, and infant sleep, she blogs about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting.