Great Advice For Getting Your Baby To Sleep
Great Advice For Getting Your Baby To Sleep
Unless she is hungry, cold, or uncomfortable, it is likely that your newborn baby will spend at least 60% of her time asleep.
Your baby may fall asleep immediately after and sometimes during a feeding. She will probably be indifferent to noises such as doors shutting or the radio. In fact, she may find certain noises soothing. Babies' sleeping patterns do vary, though, so if your baby is wakeful after a feeding, don't insist that she stay in her crib.
It is important that your baby learn to distinguish between day and night. When it becomes dark outside, close the curtains and turn the lights very low. Make sure she is warm enough, and when she wakes during the night, feed her quickly and quietly without turning the lights up; don't play with her. In time, she'll learn the difference between a day and a nighttime feeding.
You will probably find it easiest to let your baby sleep in something that makes her portable. During the day, a car seat with a earning handle is ideal if you drive. If you don't have a car, a portable bassinet is suitable both day and night since it is easily movable; some types can be attached to a wheeled chassis to become a carriage. When she outgrows a bassinet she will need a proper crib.
Sleeping With You: Some parents opt to have their newborn sleep with them because night feedings are easier to cope with. It shouldn't be a difficult habit to break after a couple of weeks. If you do sleep with your baby, let her lie between you and your partner so she won't fall out of bed. There is little chance of rolling on top of her, but if you're worried you may prefer not to have her in your bed.
Maintain Temperature: Pay careful attention to the temperature of your baby's room. Babies cannot regulate their body temperatures as well as adults; to maintain the right level of warmth they need a constant temperature and enough blankets or sleeping clothes to keep them warm - but not too warm. A night light or dimmer switch will mean that you can check your baby during the night without waking her.
Sleeping Outdoors: Except when it's chilly your baby will sleep quite happily outdoors, but make sure she's wrapped up and visible at all times and never place her in direct sunlight; choose a shady area or protect her with a canopy. If it is windy, put the hood up on the carriage or bassinet to act as a windbreak. A mesh net will protect her from insects.
Keep The Baby Comfortable: Your newborn will need to be changed often, and while she is sleeping she should wear something that gives you easy access to her diaper. An all-in-one stretch suit or nightdress - one with a drawstring at the end so it doesn't ride up her back - is best. It is important that your baby does not get too hot or too cold. In warm weather a diaper and an undershirt will be sufficient.
In the winter, you can check that your baby is warm enough by touching the back of her neck with your hand. Her skin should feel about the same temperature as yours. If she feels too hot and clammy, dress her in a lighter sleeper or remove a blanket.
Stimulate Sleep: Encourage your baby to sleep at night by tiring her out in the day with plenty of stimulation: talk to her, pick her up, and give her lots of different things to look at. If she wakes up a lot in the night because she is wet, use double diapers or diaper liners, and if she cries when you leave her, don't immediately return and pick her up. Rocking her cot, removing a blanket, or changing her position may be sufficient.
Early on swaddling or wrapping your baby in a shawl or blanket may help her sleep; the sensation of being tightly enclosed gives babies a great feeling of security. It is also a useful way of calming a distressed baby.
To swaddle your baby, you need a shawl or small blanket. Fold the shawl in half to form a triangle and lay your baby on it, aligning her head with the longest edge. Then fold one point of the shawl across your baby and tuck it firmly behind her back. Do the same with the other point. Tuck the bottom of the shawl back underneath your baby's feet to keep them covered.
The close wrapping holds your baby's arms in a comfortable position that feels safe and secure and may also help her sleep longer. If her limbs move while she is asleep, she is less likely to wake if swaddled. Not all babies like swaddling and if yours doesn't, don't worry. It is safe to swaddle your baby in cold weather, but keep a check on her temperature by touching her skin. Unwrap her right away if she feels or looks too hot.