|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!|
Have you ever tied together your relationship troubles and the amount of sleep that your baby is receiving? Are problems with your partner causing you to toss and turn all night? Unfortunately, troubles in your relationship could be getting in the way of your baby's good night sleep. According to a study that found 18-month old children were more likely to experience sleep disturbances when parents' relationships are rocky.
So how do we determine this connection? Scientists think that changes in the brain systems involved in how children develop and regulate their sleep patterns reflect the impact of family stress. So this theory was tested, researchers followed more than 3250 families starting when their babies were 9 months ago and continuing over a nine-month period. The researchers chose to study adoptive families to narrow out the possibility that any connections between parents' behavior and children's sleep were due to shared genes.
Therefore, parents were asked individually whether they would consider seeing an attorney and, more generally,' has the thought of separating or getting a divorced ever crossed their minds?” The higher a couple recorded on martial instability measures, the greater the likelihood of them reporting their children had sleep problems-falling asleep, staying asleep, or frequent night -at 18 months, reports Time Magazine. Studies were true even after taking into consideration such factors as children's difficult temperaments, parents' anxiety levels, and birth order.
|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.|
“Our findings suggest that the effects of martial instability on children's sleep problems emerge earlier in development than has been demonstrated previously,” says lead researcher Anne M. Mannering. “Parents should be aware that martial stress may affect the well-being of their children even in the first year or two of life.”
Now let's focus on your baby. Amusingly, researchers did not find the reverse to be true: children's sleep problems did not appear to reflect problems in their problem's relationships. Granted dealing with sleep deprivation can certainly cause stress and exhaustion, and it is not unreasonable to expect martial unhappiness to result, researchers recognized no such connection. To figure that out, they flip-flopped the study and looked at infant sleep problems at 9 months and following reports of martial instability at 18 months.
In this particular study, at least, kids appear to be off the hook when it comes to rocking the martial boat, Time magazine points out. “It kind of surprised us a little bit too,” says Mannering. Just a little tip from me to you. If you and your partner are experiencing relationship issues, don't hesitate to reach out for help. While lack of sleep might not be the basis of your problems, the emotional and financial stress of becoming new parents could be, at least, contributing to your trouble.
|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.|