July 27, 2017
Having a new baby can be both exciting and nerve-racking. This is especially true for new parents facing an all-too-important milestone in their lives. Parenthood can be very challenging. Even those who already have children are sometimes left second-guessing. Make sure you gather as much information as you can, especially with regard to sleepcare. Having enough quality sleep will help ensure the optimal development of your baby. Providing proper sleepcare will also ensure safety for your baby, avoiding accidents that can turn fatal. The following safe sleeping do’s and don’ts will guide you along the way.
Do spot sleepiness. Be watchful for cues for sleepiness. If you notice your little one is yawning, it may be time for a nap. Other clues include crying, fussiness and rubbing of eyes. Older babies may get clingy, clumsy and hyperactive when sleepy.
Don’t wake up the baby. If your baby falls asleep on the car seat, do not disturb her sleep. Just carry her with the car seat, and set the seat safely on the floor indoors. Make sure you do not place the car seat on a table, couch or any elevated surface. Allow your baby to finish her nap. This is fine only for short naps though, and not for sleeping throughout the night. The safest place for a night’s sleep is on a firm mattress.
Do be aware that babies sleep a lot. You may not realize it at first, but babies tend to sleep up to 16 hours a day, mostly waking only for changing and feedings. As they get older, they would need more sleep at night and less during the day. By the time they reach six months, they would be more likely to sleep through the night, while taking approximately two to three naps during the day. Don’t worry if your baby does not follow these patterns though. Babies each have unique patterns.
Don’t overdo it with naps on-the-go. It may be fine to squeeze in napping in between errand time and carpooling once in a while. But constantly napping on-the-go may keep your child from getting the rest he needs. If your baby appears to be tired often, then it may be time to cut back on your busy schedule. You may also ask for the assistance of a trusted friend or an experienced babysitter so you can ensure your baby gets regular, restful naps.
Do feed, have a break, then let your baby nap. It is natural for your baby to fall asleep after feeding. Bottle-feeding or nursing your newborn to sleep is also a great way to bond with her or him. Over time though, your baby may start developing the habit of depending on feeding to fall asleep. Make sure your baby learns to fall asleep on her own. Try to separate nursing from your baby’s nap time at least by a few minutes. You may change your baby’s diaper or read a story in between.
Don’t allow your baby to make too many short naps. If your baby is older than six months, it is time to avoid too many short naps. Encourage your little one to take longer naps by trying to keep her up. Stretch the time between naps, making the gaps longer bit by bit. This will reward your baby with longer naps. Aim for one to two hours each. This arrangement will also result to a sounder sleep at night, which is rewarding not only for your baby but for you as well.
Do establish a safe haven for your baby’s sleeping time. If your baby falls asleep on the floor, a waterbed or the couch, make sure that you move her. Those places can be unsafe for your baby. Make sure you have a safe and comfortable sleeping area for your little one. You can opt for the Purifoam Crib Mattress, which is especially designed for your baby’s safety. It has a firm feel that supports the baby’s back during sleep. It uses a special formulation that protects against microbes and allergens, making it hypoallergenic and safe. It also uses premium quality, knitted fabric, which ensures comfort for the little one.
Don’t always rush to comfort your baby. Sighs, whimpers, hiccups and sneezing are common baby sleep noises. Even crying and fussing can simply mean the baby is in the process of settling down. Wait for a little while before checking in. That is unless, of course, you may think your baby is unsafe, hungry or uncomfortable.
Do set a nap routine. Try to establish nap time whenever possible. You can help your baby sleep better by helping him or her get the same nap times everyday. Schedule nap time earlier in the day so she can have better sleep at night. Use her designated sleep area only at night and during nap time so she knows she should sleep when she’s in there.
Don’t wait for your baby to be fully asleep before laying her down. After a few weeks, you would not have to make sure that your baby is awake before you can lay her down. Sleepy would be good enough. You will be teaching your baby how to fall asleep on her own, without having to be fed, held or rocked. This will help your little one fall asleep on her own should she wake up in the middle of the night.
Do make sure your baby sleeps on her back. Many parents are scared of the possibility of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the leading cause of death among infants. Although SIDS is largely unexplainable, you can still take precautions that can dramatically decrease the chances of it happening. For one, you should make sure your baby does not sleep on her tummy. The incidence of SIDS has been reduced significantly since the American Academy of Pediatrics started the Back to Sleep Campaign in 1994. Also, make sure that your baby sleeps on a firm mattress with a tightly fitted sheet, and that she is kept in place throughout her sleep. You can use a mattress especially designed for babies such as the Safe and Clean Sleep Positioner. It features a uniquely designed foam pad that keeps the baby in place, with side edges and an elevated surface for further protection. The mattress helps regularize the baby’s breathing patterns, while aiding those who suffer from gas, flu and acid reflux. You should also make sure your baby is using a sleep sack or a wearable blanket instead of the usual blankets. This is to avoid suffocating in a blanket.
Don’t allow your baby to sleep on a soft bedding, soft cushions or fluffed pillows. Avoid bed sharing with children or adults. Make sure your baby does not get overheated with heavy clothing. Make sure your baby’s head is not covered with anything while sleeping, and that her sleeping area is free of bumper pads, stuffed animals, and huge pillows and blankets.
You don’t only want to ensure your baby is safe, you want the best for him or her. Being informed is the most effective way you can take control.