The BBB Method: Establish Your Newborn Baby’s Sleep Cycle in 3 Simple Steps

Nurture Kids Pediatrics

The BBB Method: Establish Your Newborn Baby’s Sleep Cycle in 3 Simple Steps

Parents of newborns often face difficulties when attempting to get a full night of sleep. With the Bed-Breast-Bed Method, also known as “The BBB Method”, parents can experience a full night’s rest with little interruption from their newborn. Helping newborns distinguish daylight hours from evening hours, The BBB Method allows them to fall into the natural circadian rhythm their parents are used to.

How The BBB Method Works
When the baby is born, the day and night cycle has not been established yet. Parents must create the cycle by strictly adhering to a routine that exposes their newborn to both daylight and darkness.

Parents can start using the following steps when a newborn is 2 weeks old:

1. BED – Between 8pm and 9 pm parents can give their newborn baby a sponge bath (with or without soap) in warm water, gently sponging water over the newborn baby’s hair. The sponge bath relaxes the baby, and sends a signal to the baby that bedtime is approaching. The sponge bath can be done on the baby’s changing table or crib.

2. BREASTBreastfeeding or bottle feeding must be done immediately following the sponge bath, and take place in a room with artificial light, between 8pm and 9pm. The baby needs to be awake before being laid down for bedtime. After the feeding, move the baby to her crib or bassinet, which should be in a dimly lit or dark room. Newborns can transition from an awake state to a sleeping state on their own.

Babies enjoy the comfort of close contact through being held and swaddled for comfort. After a while, babies adjust to their new environment and push away swaddling blankets. Let your baby practice falling asleep without being held or swaddled. Put her down for bed in her crib or bassinet and allow her to transition from being awake to asleep. [1]

3. BED – Newborns feed every three to four hours, which means that you will have to breastfeed or bottle feed your baby in the dark sometimes. If the room is too dark, try using a nightlight to see what you are doing. Keep in mind that the same rule of letting the baby fall asleep on his or her own still applies for this step. You want to make sure the baby transitions from feeding in the dark environment to a resting or sleeping state.

What to expect from The BBB Method
Your baby will skip midnight feedings around 6 to 8 weeks of age. You will still hear your baby wake up and make some noises around the usual feeding time. At this stage in the BBB Method, a natural sleep cycle has been instilled to allow your baby to sleep on his or her own. Wait a few minutes to determine whether or not your baby falls back asleep or needs a midnight feeding.

Around 8 to 10 weeks of age, you baby will go to bed between 8-9 PM, after the sponge bath and feeding routine, and will sleep until 6-7 in the morning.

If you have concerns about your baby’s sleep cycle, let us work with you and your newborn. You can also sign up for our newborn newsletter to get monthly updates on the topics that matter to you most. We will answer all of your health questions to keep your family happy and healthy.