I met many new parents in my 6 years of teaching. I can remember how they would complain about their baby’s sleep. I would listen and engage, but I couldn’t help but think, “Is it really that hard? Doesn’t a baby just sleep, well like a baby?” Boy, was I naive. Little did I know that their complaints would soon become my complaints. My daughter definitely didn’t sleep like a baby. There were many times when she would fall asleep in my arms only to become a human alarm clock when I transferred her to her crib. She would often need hours of rocking, nursing, swaddling, swaying, and shushing to get to sleep only to wake up a mere twenty minutes later. Not exactly ideal. I did the best I could with the information I had, but man was I struggling! I wish I knew then what I know now and am about to share with you. Before I dig into how one would go about improving a newborn’s sleep, It’s important to know and remember the following:
1. You are attending to your baby throughout the ENTIRE process. In fact, you are right next to your baby the whole time they are learning their way to sleep!
2. There can be some crying, but not lots, and certainly not for hours on end.
Shaping a newborn’s sleep can be done using the Pick Up Put Down method. The PUPD method works best for babies 3 months of age and younger. If your baby is sick, teething, or has any medical concerns, then it is best to hold off on sleep shaping until those issues are resolved. It’s always a good idea to check with your pediatrician before you start sleep shaping or sleep training.
To ensure sleep success, do the following:
- Make sure baby has a full tummy and a fresh diaper
- Darken baby’s room/sleep space
- Make sure baby’s crib/bassinet is empty
- Turn on the white noise machine
Now let’s start Sleep Shaping!
- Place baby in the crib/bassinet
- Sit in a chair next to/across from the baby’s bed.
- Wait. Baby is likely to cry. Once he/she does, pick him/her up and calm him/her down. Once baby is calm and still awake then return baby to their bed.
- If baby cries again, you would pick him/her up and calm him/her down and once again, return baby to the crib/bassinet.You would continue this process until baby is asleep.
Thats it! It is simple in theory but challenging in execution. This method works for almost all babies, however, if your baby is high energy or very sensitive to stimulation, then the constant picking up and putting down can be rather upsetting. This process can take 2-3 weeks until you see a complete change and improvement but don’t be surprised if it takes 6 weeks until everything gels in place. It’s best to start slow. I recommend trying it for ONLY the first nap of the day. Once you achieve success, then add on the second nap. Once you have success with that nap, then tag on the next one. Keep going until baby gets to sleep independently for ALL naps and bedtime. I sincerely hope this process has cleared the fog for you and I sincerely hope you and yours will get the sleep you need. Till next time, sleep well!
**If you have any questions about this method or are ready for your baby to sleep better, then let’s chat! I’d be happy to hear your concerns, answer your questions and see if working together is a good fit for you and your family. Click here to schedule your free discovery call and get better sleep tonight!**
Can I do this with a new born right away
Hi Gina. Thank you for reaching out! You can do this with a newborn right away, however, there is no rush. It might be better for you to just focus on recovering from labor and delivery and bonding with your baby. Having a baby is a huge change, so be sure you are taking care of yourself, and being gentle with yourself. I hope this helps.