|Newborn Tips#1: Don't Hush-A-Bye-Baby|
|You don't have to be quiet while the baby is sleeping. The womb is loud, and newborns are used to the noise. When ours first came home, we watched television and I would vacuum, wash dishes and talk on the phone around her while she slept. She got used to sleeping with noise, and I could get stuff done. I am still able to vacuum in her room while she sleeps (she is 14 months), and she is peaceful and well rested when she wakes up.|
|Newborn Tips#2: Soothe Your Wailing Newborn|
|When my baby cries, I comfort her by patting her back in a heartbeat-like rhythm. That helps her burp more quickly, and it also helps her relax if she's crying from insecurity. If this doesn’t work, I also try one or all of Dr. Harvey Karp's five calming moves: swaddling, shushing, holding her on her side, swinging her or letting her suck. Sometimes it takes all six!|
One of the joys of any parent is when they see their little bundle of, well, joy. There's no feeling quite like seeing your baby playing, giggling, or sleeping. But wait, what if the latter is something that's beginning to give you sleepless nights because your little one doesn't seem to have any plans of sleeping early every evening? This is actually one of the most difficult tasks in baby care – putting him to sleep. Many parents literally lose a lot of shuteye time because they have to wait until their infant drifts off to dreamland. As a consequence, they wake up late the next day and end up reporting late for their work.
As a parent, you've probably experienced having to wait for hours for your baby to close his eyes and get into a slumber. Sleeping is important both for you and your baby, so losing even an hour (let alone two or more) of sleep can have disastrous consequences.
So how do you get your little one to sleep? The following are steps you can follow so your baby gets his share of dreamtime and you can end your waking hours as well:
Give them something to get busy with before bedtime – If the baby doesn't feel like sleeping, he won't sleep. So one thing you can do is give him something to play with so he can expend his energy on something. When that energy starts to dwindle, his body's natural reaction would be to take a break. Once he gets tired, the probability of him falling asleep becomes higher.
|Newborn Tips#3: Help Get Your Baby to Latch|
|If you are having latch-on issues while breastfeeding your baby, you can use breast shields to help the process. This was a wonderful tip that I learned from my lactation consultant. I had to use the shields for an entire month before my baby would latch onto my own nipple without them. Had it not been for the breast shields, I would not have been able to continue nursing my baby.|
|Newborn Tips#4: Get Prepped|
|At 3 weeks, babies’ days and nights become more predictable, and you can focus on yourself in addition to your newborn. One way to do that is by reducing your stress level - and having everything ready for your hungry baby and yourself is one way to do that. Start by prepping for the next feeding as soon as the previous one is over. For example, after an 11 p.m. feeding, get ready for the 2 a.m. one by prepping whatever you need for feeding and putting out fresh drinking water for yourself so you don’t have anything to think about in the middle of the night. During the day, take advantage of the baby’s naps to work out, shower or catch up on e-mail, or take a nap too.|
Give him a warm bath – Sometimes, you notice that even though your baby's tired from playing all day, he still won't close his eyes and sleep. This is probably because he's not feeling comfortable. One of the most common causes of discomfort is when he does not feel clean. Give your baby a warm bath as most babies find warm water very relaxing. Use a baby bath soap that has a mild scent that can help your baby relax.
Do something to relax him – Sometimes, a simple storytelling can get your baby to give up his waking hours. If this doesn't work, you can rock him gently in your arms or in a rocker while singing a song. Make sure you sing in a low, soothing voice. If you think that your singing will cause irritation instead of relaxation, you can just play soothing music in the background. Also, be sure to shut him off from ambient noises in and around your house.
Turn off or dim the lights – What works for adults also sometimes works for infants. Most people drift off to sleep when the lights are either turned off or dimmed. Do the same with your baby. The glare coming from your ceiling lights may be the only factor that's preventing him from sleeping.
Lastly, get creative. There are also creative ways on how to put your little darling to sleep if all the steps mentioned earlier don't work. You can check baby sleep method at Mamamia.com.au for some nifty ways on how to 'knock out' your baby so he can get forty winks (or more).
|Newborn Tips#5: Keeping Your Baby Awake During Feedings|
|When our baby was eating slowly and sleepily, my husband and I would massage her cheek to stimulate her to eat faster. A gentle stroke with a fingertip on her cheek was all it took, and on those long sleepless nights, this simple trick was a godsend! Our friends have found it works great with their infants too. When babies eat efficiently until they're full before going to sleep, they sleep for longer between feedings. And that means you’re both likely to be calmer!|
|Newborn Tips#6: Help Your Baby Bond with Dad|
|Make sure your baby has ample time alone with Daddy. His touch and voice are different than yours, and this will begin a bonding process and give you a break. Plus, it gets the baby used to being with someone other than you. The first few times can be hard. Make sure your baby is fed and well rested, as this will give you at least one or two hours before you're needed again. Then leave Dad and the baby alone. If you stay nearby, make sure the baby can’t see or hear you, and resist the urge to go into the room and "fix" things if she starts crying. Your baby cries with you and you experiment to find out what's wrong. Dads need time to do this too - in their own way. By allowing this time, your child will learn there is more than one way to receive comfort, which will help immensely when you leave your baby with a sitter or another family member for the first time. You could have your partner bathe her, put her to bed or just read or talk to her.|