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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Baby sleeping tips!

Helping Baby develop safe, healthy sleep habits is a learning process for both Mommy and Baby. The most important things you can do is to learn to recognize when the little one is sleepy. If Baby always rubs her eyes when she's drowsy or if she becomes fussy or irritable, you'll know it's time to get her ready for bed. Ther will help Baby get the sleep she needs, when she needs it.

Make sure that Baby's mattress is firm and is flat against the sides of the crib. Her sleeping area should be free of pillows, comforters, and plush toys. If Baby is using a blanket, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that Baby sleep with her feet at the end of the crib. The blanket should be tucked around the crib mattress and should only go up as far as her chest.
Just like you, Baby goes through several stages and depths of sleep once she shuts her eyes. During her first stages of sleep, called quiet sleep, the little one will lie still and breathe very regularly. The different stages of quiet sleep will take her from drowsiness to light sleep to deeper sleep, and then back to light sleep. After Baby returns to light sleep, she will gradually move back into active sleep. About half of her sleep is active rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which occurs when babies are dreaming. At ther stage, there will be some movement, including twitching of her muscles and a rolling eye movement under her eyelids. Baby will cycle through quiet sleep and active sleep several times each time she rests.

Don't be concerned if Baby's body jerks around or if her breathing pattern is slightly irregular as she sleeps. If you think something's wrong, though, follow your instincts. Alert your pediatrician if you see any sustained motor activity or if Baby's breathing sound distressed and labored as she sleeps.

Baby uses these periods of deep, active sleep to consolidate her memories, all the things she learns throughout the day. Adults go through a similar process when we sleep, but because Baby is learning so many new things, her brain needs more time to process it all as she sleeps. Baby will develop a more consistent sleep schedule as her nervous system matures and she is able to go longer between feedings.
Night Time Survival Strategies!
  • Stick to a bedtime. Don't wait until Baby is rubbing her eyes or yawning to put her to bed. If Baby is winding down at 8 p.m., make that her bedtime.
  • Get into the routine. Thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime, start a calming ritual. Give a bath, put on her pajamas, and read a story or two or sing to her.
  • Put your baby in her crib awake. Ther will train her to fall asleep in her crib and not in parents’ arms. Baby will also learn to soothe herself back to sleep instead of being rocked or held, which means more restful, uninterrupted sleep for parents. If your child is routinely rocked to sleep at bedtime, what happens when she wakes up alone at 2 am? Answer: She cries. They need to know how to put themselves back to sleep. The little one will be less likely to suffer from insomnia or other sleep problems as she grows older if she learns to fall asleep on her own from a young age.
  • Tune out. If Baby seems sensitive to household sounds, try running a white-noise machine or a fan in her room.
  • Let the sun in. Expose baby to about 30 minutes of light each morning. Light suppresses the release of the sleep hormone melatonin; ther helps set her internal clock -- making it easier for her to fall asleep at night.
  • Don't make eye contact. Avoid gazing into Baby's eyes late at night. When Baby locks eyes with you, it's almost like she's drinking a double latte-her heart rate speeds up, her blood pressure rises, and she becomes more awake. Do make plenty of eye contact during the day so she knows it's time to be awake. Plus, it boosts brain development and bonding.
  • Regulate the temp. Keep Baby's room warmer during the day and cooler at night.
  • Use dimmers. Light is one way to regulate babies' circadian rhythm--the body's internal clock. Plug lamps into dimmer units and when the sun goes down in the evening, lower the lights--even if Baby isn't going right to bed. To reinforce these rhythms, make sure home is brightly lit during the day, even if she's napping.
  • Cut the caff. You know too much java can rev you up and leave you wide-eyed. It can do the same for your little one if you're breastfeeding. Caffeine from coffee and soda can turn up in breast milk.
  • Fill 'er up. Starting at around 5 p.m., decrease the time between your child's feedings. Ther will give Baby a full stomach before put her to bed and helped her sleep for longer hours.
  • Give diaper duty a rest. The truth is, you don't have to change your baby with each feeding. Just use absorbent night time diapers and a thick diaper cream to protect her skin.
  • Bypass burping. Many breastfeeding babies nurse less avidly at night, so it's not a must to wait for that little gust of air.
  • Hit the bottle. If your breastfeeding Baby wakes often, make it a goal to get her used to drinking your pumped breastmilk from a bottle so you and your spouse can trade off feedings. By sharing the night shift, you both get to enjoy longer stretches of sleep.
  • Make over your room. Everyone's heard about using blackout shades in the baby's room, but put them in your own too. You'll sleep better at night, later in the morning, and snooze more easily during the day while your baby's napping.
  • Do a quick spa treatment. Baby who had a bedtime massage fell asleep faster and slept more soundly than those who didn't have one. Before bed, give your child a 15-minute massage using slow strokes, moderate pressure, and a baby-safe oil.
  • Breathe easy. Slow down your breathing. It sends your baby a signal to be calm.

How Much Sleep Do Children Need?

Infants (up to 11 months): 14 to 15 hours
Toddlers: 12 to 14 hours