Finding the most comfortable sleeping arrangement for your little one can be tricky. These simple tips will help your baby develop healthy sleep habits that work for the whole family.
Use a Bassinet or Co-Sleeper
Many parents choose to keep young babies near their bed. It’s especially convenient for breast-feeding mothers to stay in one room. A bassinet, playard or co-sleeper will help keep baby close and safe.
- Follow all safety instructions, and pay close attention to weight and size limits.
- Don’t sleep with large pillows or loose items; they might fall into an attached bassinet.
- Use an ambient noise machine; it will help avoid waking baby if you toss and turn in bed.
- Keep basic diaper-changing and feeding essentials nearby.
Some babies refuse to nap in cribs or basinets, especially during the day. Be flexible and get creative. It may take several weeks or even months before babies sleep comfortably for extended lengths in a crib. Try these daytime nap alternatives:
- Wear your baby in a soft sling or wrap during daytime naps.
- Allow your newborn to sleep in a car seat or swing under supervision.
- Take baby for a long walk in the stroller during naptime.
- Play soft, soothing music, and lower the shades at naptime.
Create a Healthy Sleep Environment
When you’re ready to encourage baby to sleep in a crib, work on creating an inviting and safe environment. Be patient — most babies won’t start sleeping through the night right away. Try to nap when baby is napping so you don’t get too run down.
- Don’t allow babies under a year old to sleep with stuffed animals or loose bedding.
- Keep the nursery cool but comfortable.
- Develop a consistent, calming bedtime routine, and stick with it.
- Pediatricians recommend you always put your baby to sleep on his or her back.
Lack of sleep can cause health and emotional problems for mothers. Make sure you have adequate support while helping your baby develop a consistent sleep schedule and routine.
- Read about sleep techniques; it’ll help you find the right one for your family.
- Reach out to other moms for support and encouragement.
- Have a loved one watch the baby, and indulge in an uninterrupted nap.
- If you’re breast-feeding, try pumping and allowing Dad to take a few nighttime feedings.
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