The sleep of tiny newborn babies is not very organised, their circadian rhythm is yet to develop as they slowly adapt to the world. The 4th trimester is chaotic, things change fast and you can expect nearly everything: from a baby that needs to woken up for feedings, to a baby that wakes you up every half an hour (raised hand here!). It really is a story of its own and it usually takes me about 2 hours to summarise it during the consultations for newborns. Can we do anything to help at this very early stage? Definitely, but we also need to have reasonable expectations and respect for the very young age and its extraordinary needs.
The key moment comes around 4 months (adjusted age, that is calculated from due date), when the sleep patterns mature. Have you heard about the 4 months regression? Cross the word “regression” out, it’s a permanent change, therefore a progression! It’s a great opportunity to start working on healthy sleep foundations (if you haven’t already) – and if you do, you can expect sleep to gradually start consolidating.
If your sleep story gets bumpy at around 4 months and these bumps are not addressed in the right way, they may stick around, perhaps for months or years. If your baby is older than 4 months adjusted age and you need help with establishing healthy sleep habits, now is the time. If your baby is actually not even a baby anymore, and you’ve realised you need this support – it’s never too late. Funny thing is, kids are often ready before we are for these changes, but only we can give them the opportunity for change.