One of the most challenging aspects of being a new mom or dad is how to get baby to sleep with little effort. Now, newborn babies don’t sleep through the night until they’re four months old, so expect your little one to wake up at least every 2 to 3 hours to feed.
Aside from the fact that they have to wake up in order to feed, infants do have different sleep patterns than adults and sleep very lightly because night waking is part of their survival mechanism.
Today, I’m going to share with you everything I’ve learned about baby sleeping, because I’m a mom of two wonderful children and I was there too. 🙂
How to Get Baby To Sleep: Tips on How You Can Do It
The life of a parent is never easy, especially for those who are first timers. It is going to entail sleepless nights and tiring days. Your life is surely going to take a 360-degree shift.
There are even some instances wherein you might question your readiness towards being a mom or a dad. Among other things, one that you would have to constantly deal with would be the endless crying of your baby.
Whether it is at the middle of playtime or a deep sleep, your baby can cry. You have no choice but to find a way to make it stop! With this, keep on reading and we will provide you with some tips on how you can calm a crying baby!
Before we discuss the things that you can do to soothe a crying baby, let us first have a quick look at some of the reasons on why they cry in the first place:
- Hunger: When we get hungry, we get irritable. The same thing holds true in the case of babies.
- Tummy Problems: It could be as simple as a case of gas.
- Lack of Sleep: When was the last your baby had a sleep? How long was it? Crying could be a sign of a need for more sleep.
- Dirty Diaper: Once your baby cries, one of the first things that you need to do is to check the diaper. It can be a sign that you need to have it changed.
- Lack of Attention: Maybe you are too busy and you forget about your baby. Some babies cry only because they are craving for attention and they want to be held.
- Temperature: Is it too hot or is it too cold? This could be another reason why babies cry.
Know Your State
In some instances, babies cry because of you and not because of themselves. Are you busy, distracted, sad, depressed, or sick? In all of these instances, your attention might be diverted away from your baby.
Hence, when they need something, you are not attentive. This could make them cry and make them seek for attention. More often than not, simple gestures of just touching or holding your baby can do the trick.
This could make them cry and make them seek for attention. More often than not, simple gestures of just touching or holding your baby can do the trick.
Wrap your Baby
This is especially true for newborns. They are used in the environment inside the womb of their mothers. It is not only dark, but they are used to be in a place that is cozy and warm. In this case, one of the things that you can do is to simply have the baby wrapped in your arms. You can swaddle your baby as well as a lightweight and comfy blanket can be comforting. Having your baby strapped on a sling can also be effective.
Make Some Noise
No, this does not mean that you have to scream and make an annoying noise. Rather, you should make a sound that can be soothing to your baby, such as a lullaby. You can also try playing some music, such as the sound of the waves or use toys that make subtle sound. Inside the womb, babies are used to the sound of your heart or the rush of your blood, which is why a little noise can do a lot to soothe them.
Give your Baby a Bath
Another simple trick in calming a carrying baby is to make him or her wet. Water on their skin can be comforting and can provide their bodies with the right temperature that they need.
This is especially true if it is too hot or too cold inside the room where they are. More so, the sound of water can also deliver a calming effect that can put an end to their crying.
When babies start to cry, most parents start to feel irritable. At this point, you and the baby are both agitated, and hence, no problem is being solved. Therefore, once your baby starts to cry, you should keep calm.
Give your baby food. Touch the baby. Play a soothing music. Be as understanding and as patient as possible. Do not also try too hard as this can only make you frustrated.
Infant Safe Sleep Guide: What Every Parent Should Know
As a parent, you should make sure that your baby is going to sleep not only in a manner that is comfortable, but also in a way that is safe. It is important to take note of the fact that unsafe sleep practices can compensate the health of your infant, and worst, can lead into death.
With such being said, it is of utmost importance to be knowledgeable of how it is possible to ensure safe sleep for infants.
It is important to take note of the fact that unsafe sleep practices can compensate the health of your infant, and worst, can lead into death. With such being said, it is of utmost importance to be knowledgeable of how it is possible to ensure safe sleep for infants.
What Is Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)?
Why is it important to make sure that infants will have a safe sleep? The answer is most probably SIDS. To put it simply, SIDS is an unexplained death of an infant, which is commonly experienced by an infant who is less than 12 months, although it is most common for those who are one to four months.
It can happen without warning, even if your baby is healthy. Up to now, there have been countless studies to pinpoint its exact cause, with most pointing out to the abnormalities in the brain of the infant and hence, leading into breathing problems.
Be Informed and Know The Real Cause
As it has been mentioned, while there are numerous studies, the causes of SIDS are unclear. Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind that immunizations, choking, and vomiting are not its causes.
Taking Care of Your Baby Before Birth
To minimize the risk of suffering from SIDS, it is important to have a healthy pregnancy. Having regular checkup with a medical professional is critical. When you are healthy, the baby is also healthy, and hence, lessening the risk of dying from sleep.
If you smoke, stop smoking from the time that you learn that you are pregnant. Second-hand smoke is also dangerous, so stay away from anyone who smokes. Drug use and alcoholism will also put the baby at high risk.
Regular exercise, the ones that are perfect for pregnant women, should be also part of your daily routine. While these things may not conclusively eliminate the risk of suffering from SIDS, in one way or another, they will make the possibility minimal.
The Safest Place for Babies to Sleep
In order to promote a safe sleep for infant, it is important to make sure that they are sleeping in the right place. In this case, the best would be to sleep in the same room where you are, but not in the same bed where you are sleeping. By being in the same room, you can be more vigilant while the infant is sleeping. If the baby cried because of discomfort, you can immediately hear it and you can be to the rescue in an instant.
Have a crib or a pack n play where the baby can sleep and make sure that this is accessible from your bed. It should be made from durable materials to ensure its stability, even if the baby moves. There should be also no toys, pillows, blankets, and other stuff that could lead into suffocation while sleeping.
Sleeping on the Tummy is Safe
While babies should have their ownpack n plays or cribs, this does not mean that sleeping on your tummy should be avoided. In fact, as experts recommend, there should be a tummy time – a dedicated time of the day where the baby will sleep on your tummy. This will help in improving the neck and shoulder muscles of the infant. In the same way, this is vital in terms of being able to reinforce the connection between the parent and the baby. If in case you are leaving your child to a caregiver, make sure to give specific instructions with regards to having tummy time.
Talk to People who Take Care of your Child
Regardless of how much you want to be hands-on in raising your child, such is impossible, especially if you work or if you manage a business. If in case you are hiring the services of a child care provider, or if you are asking for a helping hand from family or friends, make sure to talk to them before leaving your infant. Make sure to explain to them infant safe sleep practices, if in case they do not know such. Never leave your baby in the supervision of a person you know will be careless and inattentive.
The Importance of Back Sleep
To minimize the hazards of SIDS and to promote infant safe sleep, proper position is important. Side sleeping is not recommended. The best choice is to have them sleep on their backs. This sleeping position has been recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
In relation to this, sleeping on their stomachs should be avoided because of the dangers that are associated with such, including the following:
- The upper airway can be obstructed, and hence, leading into breathing problems
- There is a risk of re-breathing the baby’s own exhaled breath, which can lead into the buildup of carbon dioxide and can also lead into low levels of oxygen
- It can lead into overheating as it can interfere with heat dissipation of the body
- It can cause a sudden decrease in blood pressure
Other Ways to Protect Your Baby
Aside from those that have been previously mentioned, the following are other effective ways by which it will be possible to help promote infant-safe sleep and reduce the risks of SIDS:
- Make sure that the room is at an ideal environment. This will make a more conducive sleeping environment and will lessen possible disruptions. The room should have slightly cool temperature, free from noise, and dark.
- Using sleepers as the clothes for sleeping babies will also be good. This will avoid the use of blankets in order to keep them warm, and hence, minimizing the risk of suffocation during sleep.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics has also emphasized the importance of breastfeeding in order to minimize the possibility of SIDS.
- Using a pacifier will also be helpful. Nonetheless, make sure that the pacifier does not have any cord as this can be a risk of being strangled. In addition, if the baby resists the use of pacifier, do not force it.
- Immunization is also an important part of preventing SIDS. Make sure to talk to your doctor about what immunization will be necessary. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, having immunization will reduce SIDS risk by as much as 50%.
- It is also important to have regular checkup, especially if you are noticing that there are sleep disruptions often experienced by the infant. With regular checkup, you will be abreast of the health condition of your baby to avoid problems in the future.
Infant safe sleep is of utmost importance, especially for first-time parents who are somewhat clueless about how to take care of their baby. SIDS is a prevalent condition, but it can be easily avoided by following the things that have been mentioned above.
Make sure to follow these tips and to spread the word so that other parents would know what they can do to make sure that their babies will sleep comfortably and safely. When they are safe in their sleep, you can sleep in peace as well.
Co-Sleeping: How it can be Beneficial and How to Do it Right
Co-sleeping, or also popularly known as sleep sharing, is simply the practice of sleeping on the same bed rather than sleeping separately. This means that one huge bed is going to be the sanctuary of the parents and their baby for the night.
Although there are no exact figures, experts highlight that it is a growing trend since more and more parents are being able to realize how such can prove to be beneficial in ways more than one.
Nonetheless, although it can be beneficial, emphasis should be provided on how it should be done right in order to be confident of your baby’s health and safety.
If you have a baby and if you are not sleeping together in one bed with your partner, you might want to change such practice now. The following are some of the benefits of co-sleeping, which will provide you with good reasons to adopt bed sharing practice:
- Breastfeeding will be easier. The USA Breastfeeding Committee, The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine, World Health Organization, and UNICEF are just some of the organizations supporting co-sleeping basically because of making the lives of breastfeeding moms easier. Moms do not need to leave the comfort of the bed when they need to nurse the baby, and hence, there will be fewer sleep disturbance.
- Promotes closeness of the family. Compared to babies who sleep alone, it is reported that those who sleep in the same bed with their parents are more linked towards their family as they grow up. Such practice allows babies to develop a different kind of bond with their mother or father, which helps nurture closer relationships. This closeness, however, should not be mistaken as being dependent.
- Children can become more independent. Most parents would immediately shun the idea of co-sleeping because of the wrong belief that it will make children dependent on them and clingy. Based on research, however, kids who sleep on the same bed with their parents grow up to be more independent. The development of separation anxiety is also minimal to none. Social independence and better self-reliance have been also highlighted as amongst the reasons why co-sleeping should be done.
- Respond to the needs of your baby faster. This is a practical reason why co-sleeping will be beneficial. Once your baby cries, which is indicative of an immediate need for your attention, you will be able to respond faster since you are just sleeping in the same bed. You can easily replace diaper or feed your baby as needed. You can adjust the room temperature when needed or dim the light if preferred by your baby. This is unlike sleeping in a nursery where you have to check every now and then.
- Reduce health risks. Michael Commons, a psychiatrist from Harvard, revealed that babies who are left sleeping on their own are at higher risk of suffering from stress disorders and sudden infant death syndrome. When babies sleep close to their parents, health risks can be avoided because immediate attention can be available. In the same way, it is also believed to be helpful in the regulation of heart rates, body temperature, and sleep state, among others.
While there are many benefits from co-sleeping, such will only be apparent if it is going to be done right. With this, it is important to take into account the safety of your baby at all times. Consider the things that are mentioned below.
- Co-sleeping is not for everyone: One of the first things that you should keep in mind is the fact that not all babies or all parents will be ideal for co-sleeping. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics and U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the child should be at least two years old before bed sharing. If younger than that, there will be an increased risk of suffocation, strangulation, or sudden infant death syndrome. In addition, if parents smoke and has consumed alcohol, co-sleeping should not be done. If the baby has been born premature or underweight, you also have a good reason to not try co-sleeping.
- Choose the right mattress. Your choice of mattress is important not only for comfort, but also for safety. Make sure that it is firm. If the mattress is soft, there is a risk of overheating and suffocation. There should also be no gaps between the mattress and the wall or the bed frame so that you baby will not get accidentally stuck on these gaps.
- Keep the temperature warm. Ideally, you should maintain a warm temperature, but never hot. Generally speaking, if you are comfortable with the temperature, chances are, your baby is comfortable with it as well. Make sure to dress your child lightly to prevent getting hot during sleep. The beddings should also be lightweight. Duvet should be avoided as it is thick.
- Maintain the best sleeping position. When co-sleeping, it is also of utmost importance to ensure maintaining the best position. In this case, sleeping on the back is the most recommended. Several studies in the past support claims that this is the best. This is going to promote not only comfort, but will also significantly reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
With all of the things that have been discussed above, there is no doubt that co-sleeping can be beneficial in ways more than one. Several researches in the past were in concurrence with their findings suggesting that bed sharing is a habit that should be practiced.
It makes it easy for moms to breastfeed, promotes closeness of babies, reduces health risk, allows you to easily respond to the needs of your baby, and promotes independence. With the prevalence of sudden infant death syndrome, co-sleeping is also a good practice to be watchful of your baby all the time.
Nonetheless, it is important to pay attention on how it can be done right. At all times, emphasis should not be only on what is comfortable, but on what is safe. If you pay attention to the safety precautions mentioned above, it will be easier to reap the full benefits of co-sleeping.
Can a baby sleep full time in a Pack and Play with Bassinet?
The simple answer to this question is Yes. A baby can sleep full time in a Pack n Play with bassinet. However, a more precise answer would be “it depends on the bassinet and the baby.” We shall examine both these answers, beginning with the YES.
Pack and play with bassinets are typically built to provide a comfortable and safe sleeping environment for a baby. The comfort and safety aren’t limited to occasional use.
They are there all the time. As such, whenever you put your baby into a pack n play bassinet, they can enjoy its comfy and safety features. Of course a bassinet which is used frequently will wear and tear faster than one which is used occasionally. But that is a question of durability. Even cribs which are used frequently are bound to wear and tear.
A good number of parents actually use pack n play bassinets as full time sleeping options for the first few months of a baby’s life. The time period usually ranges from 3 to 6 months, depending on how fast the baby develops.
Most pack n play bassinets have weight limits of between 15 and 18 pounds. Some have developmental restrictions such as “a baby who hasn’t begun pushing up on their hands and knees.” As long as a child falls within the weight limit and developmental stages, it is absolutely safe to use the bassinet on a full time basis.
Parents who use pack n play bassinets full time often cite convenience as the main reason for choosing them. A pack n play bassinet can enable a parent to sleep in the same room with the baby without sharing the bed.
This is especially helpful for those whose rooms are not spacious enough to comfortably contain a crib. With a pack n play, it’s simply a matter of setting it up next to the bed. Most are even high enough for a parent to keep an eye on the baby even while lying down on their bed.
The convenience especially comes when the baby needs to feed in the middle of the night. Having them close by makes feeding them very easy. The same applies to late night diaper changes.
Given that some pack n plays even have storage hampers, fresh diapers can be on hand whenever needed. And if a parent is to travel, then the portability of a pack n play comes in handy.
However, simply because a baby can sleep full time in a pack n play bassinet doesn’t mean that it should become an automatic choice. For one thing, it depends on the bassinet.
Not all bassinets are built the same. There are some which are built to be strong, and robust enough to withstand the hustles of regular use. Some others are better suited for occasional use. There are also some bassinets which carry inherent risks for the baby.
For instance, in 2009, the Dorel Juvenile Group recalled 213,000 playards because the bassinets posed a suffocation hazard. There have also been cases accidents arising from pack n play bassinets, ranging from babies off the edge while moving in their sleep to weak bassinets collapsing with the baby inside.
The bottom line is, not every pack n play bassinet is safe enough for regular use. As such, before making a choice on whether or not to use a bassinet regularly, a parent first needs to ascertain its safety.
There are some manufacturers who state quite clearly that a baby shouldn’t be left in the bassinet unattended for extended periods of time. This is an indicator that such a bassinet shouldn’t be used full time, unless the parent intends to keep watch whenever the baby is sleeping.
The second (and better) option is to find parents who have used or are currently using pack n play bassinets full time. Here are some testimonials of parents who fall in this category.
Asking them which products they have used full time is a quick way of identifying some great options. As long as a parent can find a safe, comfortable and durable bassinet, then there is no reason why they shouldn’t use it full time.
But then again, simply because a bassinet is perfect for full time use, doesn’t mean that it is well suited for all babies. Every child is unique. And sometimes they begin expressing their individuality early in life through their preferences. One such a preference is in where they want to sleep.
When you read the testimonials of parents who have used bassinets full time, you can find some interesting scenarios. There are babies who absolutely loved sleeping in pack n play bassinets. As soon as they were placed there, they’d calm down, relax and go to sleep.
But there are those who (for their own reason) didn’t like it at all. When put there, they’d become restless, distressed and even begin crying. Basically, the decision on whether or not to use a pack n play bassinet full time can come down to how comfy the baby feels sleeping there.
So, can a baby sleep full time in a Pack ‘N Play with bassinet? Absolutely! Should they? Well, that depends on three things. First, the parent needs to identify a pack n play which is safe, comfy and robust.
Second, the baby has to be within the weight or developmental range stipulated by the manufacturer for safe use of the bassinet. Finally, the baby has to be willing to actually sleep there.
Once all these conditions are met, then both parent and baby can enjoy the ease, flexibility and convenience which come with using a pack n play bassinet as a full time sleeping option.
Sleep Mistakes Parents Make and How They Can be Avoided
As parents, one of the most challenging tasks is to get your child to sleep and make sure that they sleep long. If only parents are aware of the exact science of sleeping, it is possible to avoid sleepless nights.
This will deliver benefits for both babies and parents. With this, keep on reading and learn more about the sleep mistakes that you should not commit, and more importantly, how such can be avoided.
Before we proceed with the main discussion, it is important to first have a glimpse of some of the reasons why having a good sleep is essential for children:
- Growth: The healthy growth of babies will be affected by the sleep that they get. According to several studies in the past, if babies do not get sufficient sleep, they are at higher risk of getting fat.
- Mood: Studies in the past have also proven how babies who get the right amount of sleep can be less distractible, less irritable, and more adaptable. If they have good sleep, it is easy to notice that they are more energetic and not fussy when they are awake.
- Learning: Babies who sleep soundly at night are asserted to have better cognitive scores. It is also believed to be highly effective in the maturation of brains.
Going to Sleep Too Late
When you spend the whole day at work, all that you want when you go home is to have quality time with your baby. More often than not, you will end up playing with your baby.
This can result into exhaustion and being over-tired. Therefore, it becomes a struggle for them to go to sleep. As much as possible, you have to set a regular sleep routine. You do not have to wait for your child to yawn or rub eyes as an indication of being sleepy.
In order to prevent this problem, make sure to keep a regular sleep routine. Set a specific time when your child has to sleep. When such time comes, stop any physical activity and make sure to put your child to bed.
Ever noticed how your child is able to snooze at the back of the car or when you are swinging them on your arms? While this may indeed be one of the quickest ways to put them into sleep, this is one thing that should not be practiced.
More often than not, this does not lead into restorative sleep. When sleep of a child is induced with motion, it is comparable to an adult sleeping while flying a plane.
Motion should never be used to put babies to sleep, but only to calm them when they are having tantrums. This should only be done when they are feeling fussy and irritable but should not be considered as part of your child’s bed routine.
It will be hard for children to sleep if they are overstimulated. One thing that can lead into overstimulation would be mobiles in their cribs. While this is going to provide them with an entertaining time in the crib, this can actually pose a serious sleep problem.
The bright colors and the sounds can invoke too much fun, and hence, this can lead into distractions rather than helping to improve their sleep.
To avoid overstimulation, it is important to keep the environment dark. If the kids are older, it would be best to have a nightlight, which will make it possible to keep the room dim and hence, conducive for sleep. Having a computer or television is also never advisable as it can add up to the distractions to a healthy and sound sleep.
Not Having a Bedtime Routine
Regardless of how busy your schedule is, or even if your child already gets older, it is important to have a bedtime routine, which will consist of soothing activities before bedtime.
These activities, however, should not be exhausting. It can be a wind-down routine, which will prove to be great not only for babies, but also for parents. It can also be an excellent way to bond with each other.
Create your own bedtime routine. More often than not, this can include having a bath, reading a story book, or listening to lullabies. It should be done in the same sequence every night.
These series of steps are often referred to as sleep cues. The bedtime ritual should be done repeatedly, but this should change depending on the age of your child.
Getting Out of the Crib
It is important for parents to be aware of the fact that there is a right time for their kids to get out of crib and switch to a bigger bed. If it is done too soon, this can have an impact on their sleeping habits. Generally speaking, you only have to get them out of their crib once they can already climb on their own.
In this case, you need to use the gradual approach of transitioning from crib to full-sized bed. You can simply take out the rails of the crib to have it converted into a bed, but you have to make sure that it will be safe.
As adults, you surely have experienced sleeping almost anywhere as it is hard to fight sleepiness. For babies, on the other hand, it is important to make sure that they do not just sleep anywhere.
Sleeping in a high chair, stroller, car, living room, or wherever you are may not be good for babies as this can result into changes that their body might not be accustomed with.
The best solution for this is to be consistent with regards to where your children will sleep. When bedtime comes, make sure that they are in a familiar territory, a place where they usually sleep.
This is going to help them sleep quicker as they are in a sleep zone that they are used to. Aside from having a specific place, parents should also set a specific time, as it has been earlier highlighted. As usual, consistency is critical, so make sure that these rules are followed religiously.