Monday, May 23, 2005

Getting Your Baby to Sleep

The number one complaint by new mothers is being tired. It does not matter if you have one child or three, having a new baby in the house means change. A mother will experience double the workload; however they are usually unable to regroup because of the lack of sleep. In the beginning, babies sleep a lot. Nonetheless, they also wake up a lot. Some mothers are fortunate to have newborn babies that sleep through the night within a few weeks. Other mothers are not as fortunate. Mothers often wonder how to get their baby to sleep.

There are many techniques to help a baby fall asleep, and perhaps stay asleep for a longer period. The trick is finding the technique that best suits your baby. Discovering babies desired positions could be difficult if they prefer to fall asleep in an uncommon position. For example, a friend of mine can only get her baby to fall asleep by placing her in a vibrating bouncer. Another mother must place a musical teddy bear near her infant. Some infants fall asleep to motion, others to music, some to both. The key is discovering what makes your baby tick.

Mothers should initially try rocking their infant to sleep. This generally works well, however the mother may discover that the infant wakes up soon after they are laid down. Therefore rocking is a better choice if the mother plans to sit for a long extended period. Some will discourage rocking and holding a baby to get them to sleep because the infant may become accustomed to sleeping in this matter. Parents who choose to rock and hold their infant should keep in mind that as the child becomes older it may be difficult to break them of this habit.

During feedings is commonly when most infants and babies fall asleep. Try feeding infants that appear tired or restless. However, do not over feed an infant. If the baby recently ate, try another technique. Some parents make the mistake giving an infant a bottle every time they whine. This is not good because it teaches them early that food is the solution to boredom or feeling upset. Some may disagree with my next statement however an infant can become greedy. They love to eat, even when they are not hungry. Thus, they may cry in order to get another bottle or feeding.

Motion is also a great way to get a baby to sleep. It is not uncommon to hear of a parent who drives their baby around the block to get them asleep. I have also heard of parents who sit their infant in the carrier, and place the carrier on top of the washing machine. It is a fact that a baby loves motion. Vibration is the key to getting an infant to sleep for a long period of time. New parents may be unaware of the baby items that vibrate. Baby superstores have a wide selection of items to help a baby sleep. A vibrating bouncer and vibrating attachments for cribs are a top pick.

Rocking, swinging, and dancing with a baby will also put them to sleep. However once the movement stops, the baby is likely to wake-up. Vibrating machines are better because once the baby is placed in a bouncer or crib, the vibration provides constant movement, which allows them to sleep for hours. Noise also plays a part in getting an infant to sleep. A baby may find it difficult to sleep in a quiet room. Parents could include a musical lamp or stuffed animal. The humming of a fan or humidifier is also perfect for giving a soft background noise to help them sleep longer. A smooth jazz CD in repeat mode is also a proven technique for providing infant hours of sleep time.

A baby will also sleep longer if he or she is relaxed. Again, feedings are the perfect time for putting a baby to sleep because a full stomach will relax them. However, baths are also soothing and calming. Baby bath gels such as lavender are known for creating a tranquil mood in infants. Immediately put the baby to sleep after a bath. The more relax a baby is, the longer they will sleep.

Once a parent determines the best technique for getting their infant to sleep, they should put it to good use. The longer a baby sleep, the more time a mother has to do routine household chores. The mother could also use this time to get some needed rest. As the baby becomes older they will begin to sleep for much longer periods until they are eventually sleeping through the entire night. This usually happens between six and twelve months. Parents will agree that a baby sleeping sound through the night is a welcoming mat.

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