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Baby Sleep Schedule 101: How to Get a Routine Down with Your Newborn

Baby Sleep Schedule 101: How to Get a Routine Down with Your Newborn

There are few things in life more exciting than bringing home a brand new baby!

Babies bring joy, excitement, and fulfillment to life, but they can also leave you feeling exhausted.

You'll need energy, though, to care for your baby, and a great way to get the energy you need is by establishing a baby sleep schedule.

Now, this isn't going to happen overnight. But, it can happen a lot faster if you are intentional with it.

Here are some helpful tips you can use to create a good sleep schedule for your little child.

Start When Your Little One Is a Few Weeks Old

It's not easy to train a brand-new baby to stick to a schedule, so don't try to rush this. Instead, wait until your child is at least a few weeks old before implementing a sleep schedule routine.

If you start too soon, you may feel discouraged when your plan is not working. Be patient, and start slowly. It will take some time for you to learn your baby, and for your baby to learn a routine.

Your baby will most likely adapt well to an established routine by the time he or she is a few months old.

Keep Day and Night Separate

Babies aren't born with a sense of night and day, so helping them learn the difference is key to a successful sleep schedule. You can start right away!

During the day, keep the blinds or curtains open to let lots of daylight in. When your baby isn't napping, give them lots of stimulating play, conversation, and eye contact. At night and nap time, turn the lights and volume low.

When your baby wakes to feed at night, turn on the dimmest light possible, keep talking to a minimum, and resist the urge to gaze into their eyes (they find it really stimulating!). They'll soon start to realize that day is for activity and night is for sleep.

Create a Routine Before Bed

As your baby begins growing, you should create a routine to use before bed. A lot of parents like bathing their babies before bed. Next, they may read a story to their child. After that, they may cuddle them and sing them a lullaby.

These are all great activities to incorporate into a sleep schedule. As your baby develops, he or she will get used to the order of these events and will know what to expect next.

Having a schedule is essential for a baby's cognitive development. Babies will even sleep better when they have a schedule to follow.

Let Him or Her Fall Asleep Alone

One aspect to include in your bedtime routine is letting your baby fall asleep on his or her own. Don't wait to put your newborn to bed until he or she is sleeping. Instead, let your child learn how to fall asleep alone.

Offer a Safe, Nurturing Environment

It's also essential to provide your newborn with a safe, nurturing environment to sleep in. Your baby should sleep in a room that is dark and cool. It should be free of drafts, too.

You can play white noise in the background to offer a soothing sound for your baby, and you should always put your baby to sleep in the same place for naps and bedtime.

Learn More About Developing a Baby Sleep Schedule

Creating a baby sleep schedule is vital for you and your child. If you start working on it and stay consistent, you'll have a good routine to use each day.

If you would like more information about parenting a new baby, check out our blog for more helpful articles.

 

The Top 3 Reasons Why First Time Moms Should Hire a Parenting Coach

The Top 3 Reasons Why First Time Moms Should Hire a Parenting Coach

From the moment you leave the hospital with your newborn, most first-time parents feel completely overwhelmed. After all, kids don’t come with instruction manuals. 

Unfortunately, things get more complicated the older your children get. Thankfully, you don’t have to figure it all out on your own. Keep reading to learn more about why more and more first-time moms are deciding to hire a parenting coach.

Reassurance That You’re “Doing it Right”

From common health questions, like whether your newborn is gaining enough weight to more complex issues like dealing with a toddler’s temper, it seems like parents have to face life-changing questions every day. 

It’s easy to feel like you don’t know anything sometimes! Hiring a parent coach gives you someone to turn to when you need a boost of confidence or some advice about the “right” way to do things. This support and encouragement will give you peace of mind that you can't get anywhere else. 

Your parenting coach can also help ensure that your baby hits all of the milestones at the time that's expected. If he or she falls behind, your coach can also help you explore options for helping to get them back on track or make the necessary accommodations. 

Reduced Reliance on Family and Friends

While thoughts like “I wish I could just hire my mom” might have run through your head occasionally, many have a hard time taking parenting advice from people close to them. Working with parent coaches is like contracting with “moms for hire” – without the judgment.

Relying on your friends is also not the best option. No matter how much you may love your besties, it’s likely that many of them believe in different styles of parenting.

In the best-case scenario, you’ll receive confusing information from your various friends and have to sort through it yourself. In the worst-case, asking for advice can lead to conflicts that may strain your relationships. When you don’t want to feel alone but you want to keep your friends at arm’s length when it comes to parenting, a parenting coach is the perfect answer!

Improved Accountability

Sometimes, even though we know what to do, it’s easier to give in to a tantrum or add some extra screen time so we can take care of other things around the home. Having a parenting coach can help you to stay accountable and stick with the decisions you’ve made.

If, for example, you’re struggling with bedtime, you could arrange for your coach to call or text you each night an hour after the planned bedtime to discuss how things went and provide tips for the following night.

Your coach can help to keep you from second-guessing yourself and can provide ongoing advice as the situation changes. If you’ve hired a coach and you’re both on the same page, it can also help you deflect unsolicited advice that comes from well-meaning family and friends.

Get the Parenting Help You Need Today!

Whether you choose an in-person parental coach or opt for an AI-powered option, like Wunder, don’t be afraid to get the help you need. In the meantime, browse through more of our parenting blog posts to learn more about how to handle the most common parenting struggles.

 

Want to Raise a Happy Child? Start Doing These Two Things

Want to Raise a Happy Child? Start Doing These Two Things

As a parent, you want an amazing life for your baby. You want your baby to grow up well-adjusted, high-achieving, compassionate and more. But, for most parents, their biggest hope for their baby is to see them happy. Once you become a parent, nothing is better than seeing your child happy, laughing and content with the world. Conversely, few things are as painful as seeing your child crying and unhappy, especially when you can’t help them feel better. In the end, happiness is what we want most for our children. But just how do you go about raising a happy child? In this article we share two things you can start doing right now.


Teach Your Child Emotional Literacy

Although the term emotional literacy may seem complex, it’s actually a simple concept. Emotional literacy is the ability to understand and express feelings and then manage those feelings. For example, if your child feels frustrated, they would notice the feeling, reassure themselves and manage to remain calm. Emotional literacy is a skill that will help your child immensely throughout their life. And it’s a skill you can begin teaching your child at a very young age. The Office of Head Start (the federal program that supports early learning, health, and family well-being) champions the building of emotional literacy in kids. According to this Head Start article, emotionally literate children enjoy many benefits over those who don’t build this critical skill.

Kids with a strong foundation in emotional literacy:

  • Tolerate frustration better
  • Get into fewer fights
  • Engage in less self-destructive behavior
  • Are happier
  • Are healthier
  • Are less lonely
  • Are less impulsive
  • Are more focused
  • Have greater academic achievement

When your child is still a baby or a very young toddler, the foundation for emotional literacy is to simply accept your child’s emotions rather than minimizing them. When we deny a child’s emotion because we don’t like it, we teach them that some feelings are not acceptable or even shameful. This can cause a child to repress their angry or upset feelings which is a recipe for unhappiness. So, rather than denying a feeling, teach your child (from infancy) that they are allowed to have any and all emotions. Tell them that all feelings are normal and part of being human. This doesn’t mean that all actions are acceptable. They are allowed to feel whatever they feel, but they’re not allowed to hurt themselves or others. Be sure to make that important distinction.


According to an article from Edutopia, a trusted foundation transforming K-12 education, the next step to emotional literacy is to teach young children how to label their feelings - and not just the simple mad, sad, glad. They need to be able to recognize nuances in emotion and label feelings like surprised, worried, proud and afraid. How do you go about teaching very young children about feelings? Edutopia (and other) experts recommend using pictures of faces with emotions and ask your child what emotion they see; coaching them if needed. You can check out Wunder's very own Baby Flash Cards with faces. You could use any of your child’s picture books to start this process; asking them to label the feelings they see in the characters. Then, take it a step further - ask them how they know that’s the feeling. They should be able to point out facial features that indicate an emotion such as raised eyebrows or a downturn in the mouth. If they seem stuck, point out the ways in which the person is indicating a feeling. This practice starts the foundation of emotional literacy. 

Be a Happy Person Yourself

In her book Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents, Christine Carter, pHd, reveals that your level of happiness dramatically affects how happy and successful your kids are. Dramatically! She reveals that extensive research has established a substantial link between mothers who feel depressed and “negative outcomes” in their children, such as acting out and other behavior problems. According to the author, parental depression appears to cause behavioral problems in kids while also making parenting less effective. If you’re feeling depressed (as many, MANY new parents do) it’s time to work on that. Ignoring your own sadness is not only bad for you, it’s also bad for your child. Talk to your doctor as soon as possible about how you’re feeling and start taking the necessary steps to feel happy again.


If you’re not feeling depressed, it’s time to find ways to get even happier. Take a moment to consider what makes you happy (this may feel weird when you’re a brand new parent consumed with infant duty!). What inspires you? What makes you laugh out loud? What is awesome in your life that you can feel more gratitude for? Now, go do more of these things! And not just one time...on a regular basis. Getting happier needs to be at the top of your To-Do-List from now on because the happiness of your whole family depends on it.


Raising a happy child begins now, and it begins with you. Increasing your own happiness and fostering emotional literacy in your little one are two surefire ways to get the happiness ball rolling.