At Open Arms we see many moms who have this number one commonality: “My baby is awake for hours at night and I need my sleep!” With babies’ different temperaments, parents’ routines, technology and trying to keep up with social media, along with trying to be the best parent, these all are important factors in those hours where sleep is sometimes allusive.
These are recommendations by the Inland Northwest SIDS/SUID Foundation that may help you and your baby to get into a sleep routine:
Stay calm at night when doing the diaper duty or feeding your baby. Your baby feels your moods. Playing soft music can help the mood for you and baby.
Play with your baby during the day. Sing, practice moving their body parts for stimulation and have fun by playing with toes and feet. This is a fun way to stimulate and keep your baby awake for longer periods. Giving your baby lots of attention is not spoiling. Babies need the security of your presence.
Learning to fall asleep is an important step in good sleep. Lay your baby down when sleepy, but still awake. Try to refrain from rocking or holding, as this causes a pattern you may not want developed.
If your baby is crying or fussing, try to refrain from attending to your baby right away. Make sure they are not hungry, or wet or soiled or feverish. Sometimes teething causes a baby to have interrupted sleep. Wait. Be patient. Count to 10. Check on your baby and try to soothe without the disruption of light or sound.
Be proactive in noticing signs of your baby being overly tired or fussy and learn when is a good time to lay your baby down for the night.
Play music throughout the day and in the evening hours leading up to bed. “Music stimulates the brain in a very powerful way because of our emotional connection to it.” (Neuropsychologist Catherine Loveday) Music not only benefits your baby but you as well.
“It’s important for parents, caregivers, families, and friends to understand that at this age (infant), a good sleeper is a child who wakes up frequently but can get himself back to sleep. It is not a child who sleeps without waking for 10 hours at night. Frequent waking is developmentally appropriate and allows the baby to wake up when he is in a situation in which he is not getting enough oxygen or is having problems breathing. Sleeping undisturbed for prolonged periods at this age is not healthy.” (Inland Northwest SIDS/SUID Foundation)
Good sleep is important for you and baby. Refrain from comparing yourself to what works with other families. Do your best and as far as the rest goes, have fun and enjoy your baby.
For more information on Safe Sleep and SIDS contact the organization at www.inwsids.org. Sign up for a free Safe Sleep class and receive a free wearable blanket.