During the first few months of your baby’s life, you’ll likely be waking up two and three times a night to attend to her needs. She will want to eat, be changed and be comforted throughout the night. Understand that waking up is a normal part of infancy, and you may feel more patient during those middle of the night wake-up calls, notes kidshealth.org, a division of the Nemours Foundation. Getting your infant to sleep better and more safely is your goal as a parent. Try different methods to find out what works best for you and your baby.
Implementing a bedtime routine can help your infant know how to wind down at the end of the day in preparation for sleep. Engaging him, playing with him or feeding him right before bedtime can send a mixed message. Instead, starting an hour before bedtime, begin a soothing routine of giving a warm bath, singing familiar songs and rocking in a chair. Even the smallest babies will be able to recognize the change in pace and start to become drowsy and ready for bedtime.
Dr. William Sears, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine endorses swaddling as a good way to get your baby to sleep more easily. Swaddling helps your baby feel safe, secure and warm, much like she did in the womb. This calms her so she sleeps more soundly, without making jerky movements that might wake her. It also prevents suffocation from loose blankets in the crib.
Back to Sleep
The “Back to Sleep” campaign, endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration recommends always putting babies on their backs to sleep. Even if your baby prefers to sleep on his tummy, putting him on his back can slash the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development notes that since the campaign has begun, SIDS rates have decreased by 50 percent. Always be safe, and lay your baby down on his back.
A white noise machine placed in your baby’s nursery can help replicate the sounds she heard in the womb, making her feel calm, safe and secure, notes Parents magazine. White noise machines are also useful for canceling out the background noises that might wake your baby or cause her to stay awake. if you don’t have a white noise machine, just turn on a radio that has been set to static only for the same results.
One of the most useful tips for infant sleep is for the parents themselves to have realistic expectations when it comes to the baby’s sleep routine. If you expect your infant to fall asleep immediately and sleep through the night by one week of age, you’ll end up frustrated and upset when your infant wakes up for the second and third time in a night. Be patient and take your time, knowing that your infant is healthy and normal.
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Jae Ireland specializes in keyword research and Internet marketing. Getting her start with a small Internet marketing firm in 2005, she has since designed and written for well over 20 commercial and informational websites. Her areas of interest and expertise include fashion, parenting, home improvement and health and fitness.