Today (March 18th) is World Sleep Day. So, to tie in with that, I thought that I would write about sleep and provide in my blog some tips for the new parents and parents-to-be among you.
First off, you may be wondering why I am talking about sleep when I usually write about my portrait photography. The reason is simply this.
Before becoming a professional photographer, I was a midwife.
For more than 20 years I worked in midwifery in my local hospital, here in Liverpool, and have gained a lot of experience relating to the delivery and handling of newborn babies. (This experience obviously put me in great stead for later becoming a newborn photographer too!)
I often find that the huge amount of knowledge I therefore have about pregnancy, birth and newborn babies really comes in handy when I’m speaking with my photography clients.
They are often first-time or new parents, coming to me for a newborn photoshoot.
But we don’t just talk about the photography. We end up talking about anything and everything related to babies. Common topics though are breastfeeding and sleep (or the lack of it!).
Tips for new parents
So, as its World Sleep Day, I thought that I could help all you new parents and parents-to-be with some tips for getting a decent night’s sleep with a new baby in tow!
Babies sleep needs differ from baby to baby and what age they are. Here is a general guide:
Newborns generally sleep more than they are awake. When they get to 3-6 months they will need fewer night feeds and hopefully sleep longer. At 6-12 months they may not need a night feed at all.. But teething can wake them up too…
1 Establish a bedtime routine: Having a bath, changing into night clothes, putting them to bed, read a bedtime story, dimming the lights in the room. Sing a lullaby, have a calm bedtime cuddle.
2 Put your baby on their back to sleep, in a separate cot, for safety. Not in your bed.
3 Don’t over dress your baby or use too many bed clothes.
4 Don’t have the room too hot. According to unicef, about 16-20 degrees is best.
5 Have a smoke free zone for the baby to sleep in.
Guide for safe sleeping
Disturbed nights can feel like they last for ever! Getting through the day can feel like a hard slog!
- Try sleeping when the baby sleeps. During the day as well.
- Turn off your phone when your feeding your baby or trying to sleep.
- Take care of yourself. Have snacks and drinks handy. Eat nourishing healthy food and rest as much as possible.
- Don’t worry about the housework or other jobs that need to be done around the house! They can wait. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask friends and family, who call, to do a little for you.Make their own cuppa etc. Even bring you round a meal!
- A couple of tips my sister gave me was to accept visitors (and we all get loads of visitors in the early weeks) in your bedroom.No one will outstay their welcome! Lol
- Also answer the door with your coat on. If it’s some one you want to see say you have just come in. And if you don’t really want to see them at that time, say you are just on your way out!
If you like what you’ve read today, please keep checking back to the blog and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to be alerted about the next time I share advice and tips for new parents. It’s something I’m planning to do more of here.
One Born Every Minute
Finally, if you’re a fan of the TV show ‘One Born Every Minute’, don’t miss the start of the next series. It’s coming back to our TV screens on Tuesday 22nd March. I am SO excited about this as I LOVE the programme!
It’s also very close to my heart as this new series is filmed in the Liverpool hospital where I used to work as a midwife. Are you a fan too?
Until next time, may you sleep well!
Love Jos xx