Every first time parent may be thinking “How will I ever get my baby on a sleep schedule?” How long is the baby supposed to sleep and where? Everyone knows that all babies are not the same; therefore, they will all have different sleep habits. This article aims to help provide some food for thought to spark conversation as to what methods you may want to adopt or try with your little one.
It helps to remember that our babies have been inside the womb for an entire 9 months where they have grown accustomed to a sense of security, motion such as rocking and swaying as mom goes about her day and the constant buzz of outside noises. As first time parents, we need to do our best to help recreate that environment for our little ones.
Swaddling helps to create the sense of security and protection they received inside the womb. Although the baby may struggle with swaddling at first, do not give up on trying as it can become an essential sleep cue for baby as they grow, preventing them from waking with each twitching movement that they may make. It is best practice to use a swaddle wrap or a swaddling blanket (42 inches x 42 inches); however, swaddle wraps are quick and easy to swaddle baby in
(perfect for new moms and dads!).
The use of white noise machines for your newborn is an absolute essential and works miracles on a fussy baby and should be considered just as important as swaddling. Studies have shown it best to use white noise when the baby goes down for naptime and bedtime. Remember, the womb is not a quiet place; therefore, placing them to sleep in a completely quiet room and tiptoeing around them can be foreign to them and not promote good rest. Use of a white noise machine helps baby to have that constant background noise they are used to and allows the rest of the household to go about their day normally without the extra effort of having to be quiet.
Lastly, where does baby sleep? This is the ultimate question that needs to be decided amongst individual parents. The risk of SIDS goes down tremendously when baby sleeps in the same room as mom and dad. The use of bassinets and co-sleepers are great tools that provide a safe environment for baby. Many parents come across roadblocks and find that baby loves to sleep in a rocker or swing. If this is the case for you, be sure to read the safety information that comes with the product and ensure that baby’s head doesn’t cock to the side, blocking them from breathing.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to what you feel works best for you and your newest addition to the family! It is important to remember that everyone does things differently and that no way is wrong as long as baby is safe. If you are unsure of what or how to do something consult your pediatrician.
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