Tips On Babies And Sleep

Tips on babies and sleep. Parents can help their baby sleep by breastfeeding in a co-sleeping situation, swaddling, and using homeopathing remedies for things like colic or teething. How much sleep a baby...

How much sleep a baby needs depends on how old the baby is. I am one of those people that think a lot of sleep is very good for a baby and for all children. The average newborn sleeps between 18-20 hours. Most even start a sleeping pattern in utero during the final weeks of pregnancy. That's why sometimes women feel like the baby isn't moving as much as they used to.


Most breastfed babies don't sleep through the night. I'm not a big advocate forcing a nursing schedule. Some go on the 'let them cry' theory, but I recommend nursing babies a lot through the night. I think that having them in your room with you is one of the best ways that you get more sleep. For some parents, co-sleeping means getting more sleep, but for some parents, having the baby right there is going to result in less sleep, because they're going to wake up with every little movement. Some parents sleep much better just knowing that the baby is right there with them. Also with the mother nursing, she doesn't have to get up and down back and forth to the nursery. You have to just find what works for you.




My favorite method of getting a baby to sleep is swaddling the baby, then you get their head lower than their bottom, do a little jiggling, and then you get close to their ear and let out a loud 'shhhhhhh.' It is actually a reflex. Babies are born with a sucking reflex, straddle reflex, and grasping reflex. This is a calming reflex that keeps babies calm in the uterus, so that they are not trying to flip upside down and do all kinds of crazy things. I especially like to show this to dads, because when the baby has already nursed and mom needs some sleep, dads can feel like, "what am I suppose to do here?" I show it to dad, and when it's successful they just feel so great. I think most of us stop swaddling after the first 3-4 weeks. We should do it for 3-4 months like other cultures. They have less colic and have calmer babies. Baby sleeping bags are kind of like swaddling blankets, but they don't give the benefits of true swaddling. True swaddling gets the baby tight and compact just as they were in the womb. Harvey Carp's book illustrates that and shows you how to swaddle.

My favorite thing for babies who just won't go to sleep are homeopathic remedies, because they are so mild. They either work or they don't, but they don't have bad side effects. The specific remedy for a baby might depend on what time of day it is, if the baby has a tummy ache, is teething, or that sort of thing. Sometimes a combination of a couple different remedies will work great.

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