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The Ultimate Guide to Thriving in the Fourth Trimester: Expert Tips and Strategies

Congratulations on welcoming a new baby into the world! Whether it's your first or your 3rd, transcending into the fourth trimester can be a huge rollercoaster of emotions, adjustment for the whole family. I'm here to help you with my top strategies for a (hopefully) smoother newborn household.

Mum holding newborn baby

Sleep Environment

After 3 weeks old, you can sleep baby in a dark space for some of their naps to help them produce their own melatonin after maternal source wears off. Having loud white noise helps mimic sounds of the womb, so have it as loud as a running shower to replicate this. It will also block out any external noises that may trigger their Moro (startle) reflex. Ensure you follow SIDS Safe Sleeping Guidelines to create a sleep space that gives you peace of mind. If you're after a white noise machine, block-out window film or any other products to support sleep, I recently wrote an article about my favourite products here with direct links to grab yours.

Follow Awake Windows and Sleep Cues

Newborns have small awake windows - anywhere from 45-90mins. Just enough time to feed, change their nappy, cuddle and settle back to sleep. Learn their tired signs such as red eyebrows, clenching fists or staring into the distance, to help guide your sleep timings.

Karps 5 Ss for Fussy Babies

When you have a newborn, towards the end of the afternoon they can become fussy, resulting in excessive crying, struggling to settle to sleep and wind pain. Dr Harvey Karp's 5 S's help activate the calming reflex to help settle a young baby. These are:

  1. Swaddling

  2. Shushing

  3. Side-lying Position

  4. Swinging

  5. Sucking

These positions and movement will replicate the snug environment that they've spent the last 9 months in, prevent jerky movements and wind them down for sleep.

Utilise Your Village

You know all those friends and family members that offered to help when the baby is born? It's time to accept help, or give them a budge to step up. My favourite requests are:

  • cook meals that are freezer friendly

  • one-handed snacks

  • do the washing

  • vacuum the house

  • clean the kitchen

  • take baby on a walk in the carrier so you can nap/have a shower in peace

Some people unknowingly forget to offer, but if you ask, I'm sure they'd be more than happy to help you.

Have you recently had a baby, or are preparing for one and you want a comprehensive newborn guide? I've created one here! (Also a great baby shower gift).

newborn baby guide


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