Childcare and You

Childcare and You

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

How to make your Newborn Baby to Sleep Peacefully at Night

Putting a baby to sleep peacefully through the night is extremely challenging, especially if your baby sleeps fitfully and keep crying for reasons you are unable to fathom. My daughter hated to sleep as a baby and loved to cry and bring the roof down with her noise decibels. I had tried everything and finally worked out a solution that worked for me.

Babies usually have unpredictable and short sleeping patterns. The best way to comfort your baby is to recreate an environment that is similar to the way your baby felt inside the mother’s womb and watch the results!

Give your baby a lukewarm bath and a good feed – before putting him to sleep. A warm bath and a full stomach will help take your baby to magic dreamland.

Swaddle your baby - (read my post on - how to swaddle a baby) Swaddling makes your baby feel cozy and tight that equates the feeling of being inside the uterus.
Buy the "Miracle Blanket" swaddle at Amazon or eBay

Make a baby hammockA baby crib which is merely a miniature version of a bed, is impersonal and unmoving. A hammock will double up as a swing as well as a swaddle for older babies. Babies like being rocked and the movement lulls them to sleep. After swaddling your baby properly, place him gently inside the hammock and rock slowly until your baby falls asleep.

You can make your own hammock by drilling a strong steel hook into the ceiling that can take the weight of your baby in the hammock. Attach a spring to the hook and run a long sheet through the ring and join the ends to the desired length and up to one foot off the floor. Separate and fix either sides of the hammock apart with a wooden rod. 

Make your baby sleep on his side - Babies love to sleep on their side because they are always in a curled position inside the uterus. Moreover, studies show that babies have the Moro reflex aka startle reflex, which is an involuntary reflex seen at birth and lasts up to 4 to 5 months. When a baby is sleeping on his back, the position could trigger his Moro reflex and disturb his sleep constantly. However, sleeping on his side could have risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death syndrome). You may try by wedging two small cushions on either side of your baby to stop him from rolling over, although it could be a preferred option if your baby is able to sleep well on his back.

Sing a lullaby or some soothing music – Ideally your baby would love to hear your voice, even if you think your crooning is going off-key. Once your baby has fallen asleep, play some soft music. Try not to get your baby used to total silence while sleeping. It could pose a lot of problems, as you may not be able to maintain the same state of affairs, wherever you go. Besides, studies show that the mother’s womb has noises equal to a hair dryer on account of the sound of blood coursing through her arteries!

Give a pacifier to your babyBabies need to suck and the movement always put them to sleep. You must have noticed how your baby closes his eyes whenever you nurse him. Give your baby a pacifier to suck on and you can be sure it will soothe him, unless he is hungry and wants milk and not a pacifier. 

Get your baby used to different ways of sleeping - The way your baby is put to sleep could determine the way your baby would prefer to go back to sleep. Therefore, if your baby is always rocked to sleep, she will expect to be always rocked to sleep. Alternate between nursing, rocking, singing, playing music and asking your spouse to get your baby to sleep. Sometimes, you could also try the 'self soothing method' where your baby is put to bed awake and drifts off to sleep on her own. 

Peaceful daytime mood - If your baby has had a soothing & restful time during the day, chances are high that she would settle down peacefully at night. If your baby has bad a restless night, ensure that his daytime is calming and relaxing in order to continue that mood through the night.

Set consistent and regular sleep patterns - Choose a time interval when you would be most tired, say between 12 noon to 3 pm. Rest with your baby during these times and put her to sleep, to get your baby used a set sleeping routine. In this way, you will get your much needed rest during the day as well get your baby used to a sleeping pattern. Babies with set sleep routines will sleep for a longer time at night.

Feed your baby well during the day -  Feed your baby every three hours during the day and reduce the feed during the night so that your baby learns that eating is during the day and night is for sleeping. Give your baby one good feed when he wakes up the first time during the night so that he will not keep waking up for frequent feeds.

If all else fails, lay your baby on your outstretched legs with a soft cushion under his head and a cushion each on either side of him. Rock your baby gently until he falls asleep. The warm touch of your body may be just what your baby needs to go to sleep. I know it because it was what my daughter wanted. 

Watch this video about a baby's Moro Reflex

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