The Fourth Trimester – Will I Ever Sleep Again?

You will! The fourth trimester is the period of time straight after the birth of your child when you are all adjusting to your new life as a family (or a bigger family). It’s a real thing. Your baby has just spent it’s entire life (9 months) inside and this new world outside is cold, noisy and strange.

Okay, you  know what the fourth trimester is, but will you ever sleep again? The answer is – YES!

Here are the 5 S’s of the fourth trimester:

  • Swaddle your baby – this will make your baby feel warm, snug and have continuous touch (just like it did when it was in utero). It also helps prevent activating their startle reflex.
  • Side/Stomach position for play – this position shuts off their moro reflex (their “falling feeling” and helps build strength in their entire bodies to get them ready for the world. Many babies find this very calming. Skin to skin contact with your baby on your chest is tummy time and a great opportunity to build your connection. You can also try placing your baby on your forearm (head towards your elbow, your forearm under their stomach and their nappy in your hand (legs dangling) – this can help calm a crying baby.
  • Shushing – when you repeatedly say “shush” loudly to your child, it reminds your baby of the blood they heard rushing around when they were in utero. Make sure the volume of your “shush” matches the volume of your baby’s cry so they can definitely hear you. You can also use white noise if you’d like.
  • Swinging – this includes baby wearing, rocking your baby and carrying the baby in a sling. The motion reminds the baby of when they were in utero and feels very natural to them. Being motionless feels very new and unnatural to a newborn.
  • Sucking – this can quickly take a quietening baby to relaxation. It’s okay to use a dummy, especially as Red Nose indicates this can help reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Sydrome (SIDS).

But that’s not all. Let’s add a 6th ‘S’ just to be on the safe side


Help your baby sleep during the day and during the night. Make sure they have a safe and comfortable place to sleep. The first few weeks are about trying to establish feeding, starting to build your connection with your baby (and theirs with you) and learning about your baby. Some babies will sleep a lot while others may seem to need very little.

But don’t forget, sleep begets sleep, and follow the advice of your medical practitioner.

Feeling like you need some guidance? Don’t lost more sleep than you need to. Contact us to find out how we can help you.