Newborn Sleep Advice from Certified Sleep Consultant Jessica Petrus Aird

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At almost every newborn session I do, how the baby is sleeping is a topic of conversation.  Those first few months are such a hard adjustment with the baby only sleeping a few hours at a time.  Having been through it 3 times, I have so much empathy for parents going through sleep deprivation.  I was driving home from a session last week thinking about how I wish I could do something to help these sleep deprived parents.  I am always happy to do a coffee run on my way to newborn sessions and be a sympathetic ear for venting, but I thought it may be helpful to get some newborn sleep advice from an expert.   I reached out to Jessica Petrus Aird, who is a sleep consultant and postpartum doula to see if she had any advice for new parents.  Below are her top three tips for Newborn Sleep Advice.  I hope they are helpful!

Newborn Sleep Advice from Certified Sleep Consultant Jessica Petrus Aird, owner of Burgeoning Bud Postpartum Doula and Pediatric Sleep Consulting 


Quick Newborn Sleep Tips:

1. Try to get your baby on an Eat-Play-Sleep routine as best you can

  • You can start this from day one. Know that the wake windows for babies 8 weeks and under are really only about an hour at a time.
  • So that usually looks like: Feed (30-40 minutes), Play (10 minutes of Tummy Time on the floor or on your stomach, followed by 5 minutes of diaper change, etc.), then Sleep.

2.  Try to get your baby lying in the Supine position (laying flat) and on a safe-sleeping surface like a firm crib mattress or bassinet 

  • Some babies are naturals at this while others need LOTS of practice. But remember that lying flat on their back wasn’t how they slept before they were earthside!  It’s a learned skill. Try to give your baby every opportunity at nap or bedtime to try falling asleep in the crib or bassinet mattress instead of in your arms, on you, in the swing, or in the stroller. This helps them to learn the association of sleep time with their safe sleep space.

postpartum doula helps new mom with baby during branding photo session with Sara Sniderman Photography for Burgeoning Bud Postpartum doula and Pediatric Sleep Consultant

3.  Newborn phase is HARD! Cut yourselves some slack

  • The newborn stage of the first 12 weeks is ALL about survival. Some babies will naturally start out as strong sleepers, and others will really struggle with every nap. Remember that it’s all likely in the wide-range of normal for this age.  As time goes on, your baby’s circadian rhythms will start to develop as well as their ability to sleep more independently. Often by 12 weeks, many babies are ready to start sleeping long stretches at night; maybe even all through the night! Until then, do what you can to prioritize your own sleep by asking your community for help with food, household chores, or hiring a postpartum doula. It truly takes that village!

sister looks into crib at newborn during in home newborn photo session with Sara Sniderman Photography in Sherborn Massachusetts

If your family is looking for more individual guidance and support during this wild and unpredictable time, Jessica is always happy to chat! You can book a FREE 15 minute Discovery Call with on her website. Jessica offer support services as both a Certified Doula and Certified Sleep Consultant for children ages 0-5.

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