Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Helping Put Baby To Sleep

When you are a new mom or dad, you will discover that you are very unlikely to get a full night's sleep. Much of this dilemma has nothing to do with the baby's sleep pattern. Instead you will want to get a little more done once baby is asleep. You will have other tasks that need your attention. And then there are baby's sleep patterns. There are ways to help with the last problem, though.

There are plenty of ways to get baby to sleep without a lot of fuss. The first task is to decide where you stand on letting baby cry it out. Some parents believe that you must let baby cry herself to sleep a few nights before she will learn to soothe herself. Others believe that this system of parenting is cruel and teaches your little one that you are not reliable or comforting.

Where you stand matters in how you plan to work on getting baby to sleep. You must decide which of these methods is the right one for your family, and that depends on your temperament, your baby's temperament, and your patience level.

One option is to use a pacifier. Many parents do not like pacifiers. They should not be used before baby has established breast-feeding, or the difference in the nipples will be hard for baby to overcome. Other than that, however, there are no hard and fast rules from baby experts. All babies have a suck reflex; it is a consequence of the way they breathed in the womb. Pacifiers can provide enough calm for your baby to lull herself to sleep.

You also can look for baby accessories that will help your little one to sleep. Rhythmic motions are popular. Baby swings will help your baby get "rocked" to sleep without you there. Bouncing seats also are very popular. Of course, you can rock your baby to sleep as well. Some experts warn against getting baby to sleep with these rocking motions. While there is nothing wrong with the motions in themselves, they can make your baby reliant on them. When baby wakes up to not being rocked, he will cry. Still, an occasional rocking chair session is not going to harm baby, and often it will calm a harried mom and dad.

Sounds are great for little ones as they really enjoy soothing sounds. You can purchase compact discs or machines that will make ocean, stream, and other nature sounds. Some crib mobiles play music, and there are music boxes you can attach to cribs. That makes your baby happy and can help her learn to soothe herself. Classical music works best for babies, and there are studies that show it helps your baby develop the brain cells that will assist with math and science skills later in life.

Moms and dads the world over try to discover how to soothe their babies. Keep in mind that sometimes baby will want to be held, and nothing else will satisfy him. Also, some babies need to cry briefly before bed. Work with your child, and you will find out what works for your little one.
by Julia Mercer

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