Sleep & Your New Baby

Congratulations on your new baby!  This is a wonderful new journey for  you and your family. We at Karen & Co. wish you all of the best! 

Sleeping and Sleep Positioning

The American Acadamey of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends infants sleep on their backs at all times.  Research has found that babies who sleep on their tummy are at risk for Sudden
Infant Death Syndroms (SIDS).  To prevent your baby’s head from becoming flat on the backside or hair falling out on the back, encourage fully supervised tummy time while baby is awake. This will also encourage neck muscle strength to develop.  As a Nurse and mom, I recommend the Tummy With Mummy, a cool innovative product from UK which assists in strengthening neck muscles and interaction between Mom and Baby (

How Much time should your baby sleep?

Some newborn babies sleep most of the day.  The range is somewhere between 11-20 hours a day.  The average newborn sleeps 17 hours per day. Sleep patterns vary with individual babies, as they do with adults.

As baby grows, expect the sleep pattern to change. The baby will take as much rest as he or
she needs. There is little you can do to make your baby sleep less or more.

Falling Asleep

Babies that are healthy and happy will get plenty of sleep. To help your newborn fall asleep, try to re-create life in the womb. Provide a routine of comfort such as wrapping baby snug (swaddling). Rock him gently, your warm hand stroking his back while softly shusshing in his ear (See below for Dr. Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s to calm baby). Be sure to remove all objects from the baby’s crib before laying him down to sleep.

Night Time Sleeping

Help your baby separate day and night sleeping by changing the comfort routine. At night, help him stay asleep for longer periods by limiting light, sound and movement. Swaddle your baby and put him down to sleep in the room where he will be all night. Never overheat your baby; overheating may be linked to SIDS. Dress baby comfortably under the swaddle.  Baby should be lightly clothed for sleep at a room temperature of 67-72º
and never feel hot or cool to touch.

Karen & Co. Sleep Routine made simple :

  • Bathe baby in  warm water. Lavender
    and chamomile scents are soothing and have been known to help promote calmness.
  • Swaddle your baby to revent recurrent wake-ups and prevent startling.
  • Feed and burp your baby.
  • Lay your baby on their back in an empty crib.
  • Use white noise, such as a fan to assist baby in maintaining a deeper
    level of sleep, thus preventing frequent wakeups associated with noises in the house. Fans also help to circulate the air in baby’s room, which wil help to keep fresh air flowing (do not point the fan towards the baby).


Dr. Karp believes that babies, especially in their first few months of life, can experience “fourth trimester” issues. Babies can have a difficult time getting used to the huge amount of stimuli present in life outside of Mom’s body. Their reaction to all of this is to cry and cry. The Happiest Baby On The Block method formulated by Dr. Harvey Karp, addresses these issues by helping you learn how to effectively recreate the environment of the womb, outside of Mom’s body. Once you have learned the steps, you will be able to alleviate some, if not all, of your baby’s colic symptoms.

The 5 S’s

There are 5 components to this method which, when used together, work amazingly well to calm your crying baby and in many cases help your baby go to sleep with no fuss.

Using cross-cultural techniques combined with his own research, Dr. Karp has developed the “five S’s system”. Some babies will need all five, others just a few to help induce what he calls the “calming reflex.”

  • Swaddling
    – Tight swaddling provides the continuous touching and support the fetus
    experienced while still in Mom’s womb.
  • Side/stomach position
    – You place your baby, while holding her, either on her left side
    to assist in digestion, or on her stomach to provide reassuring support.
    Once your baby is happily asleep, you can safely put her in her crib, on
    her back.
  • Shushing Sounds
    – These sounds imitate the continual whooshing sound made by the blood
    flowing through arteries near the womb. This white noise can be in the
    form of a vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, a fan and so on. The good news is
    that you can easily save the motors on your household appliances and get a
    white noise CD which can be played over and over again with no
  • Swinging
    – Newborns are used to the swinging motions that were present when they
    were still in Mom’s womb. Every step mom took, every movement caused a
    swinging motion for your baby. After your baby is born, this calming
    motion, which was so comforting and familiar, is abruptly taken away. Your
    baby misses the motion and has a difficult time getting used to it not being
    there. “It’s disorienting and unnatural,” says Karp. Rocking,
    car rides, and other swinging movements all can help.
  • Sucking – “Sucking has its effects deep within the
    nervous system,” notes Karp, “and triggers the calming reflex and
    releases natural chemicals within the brain.” This “S” can be accomplished
    with bottle, breast, pacifier or even a finger. (

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. KB Designs, LLC, Karen & Company and make no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Posted By  Karen Koslov Barski, BSN, RN, LNC
Certified Newborn Infant Care Specialist & Instructor,
Parenting Consultant
Click here for an extended bio.


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