Having a new baby is going to take adjustment of all kinds. There are few things that can prepare you for the new responsibility, for the sudden room you have to make in the budget and for the sleep you’re not going to be having. Sleep training is easily one of the more difficult parts of being a new parent, but you can do it with a little help from wisdom that’s been passed from mother to mother.
Take a seat
There are few things that can help a baby get to sleep as much as getting relaxed. A lot of parents will walk around with their baby or even take them out for a drive in their car seat to help them get to that state. However, it can be as simple as getting a seat like those from www.therockingchaircompany.com. Rocking your baby has been proven to be great for helping them doze off. However, having to do it constantly yourself will get tiring and frustrating for a parent, so get something that can take the weight off your shoulders a little.
Be light strategic
Your child is very sensitive to light. We all are, really, with key hormones in our brain ruling over sleep directly linked to light exposure. In the daytime, you might be tempted to cut the lights if they show signs of napping. However, this can get in the way of their body clock, so don’t do it. At night, you can slowly ease them into nighttime sleepiness with lights like those shown at www.heavy.com with dimmers attached. Turning off the light and just waiting for them to take their cue won’t work as well as taking the time to induce drowsiness.
If your baby is having more trouble sleeping for long stretches at night, then a dream feed can really help. It might seem counter-intuitive to wake them up for a feed, but it’s a clever way of managing their body’s needs. Babies can only really have one long sleep a day and most often it’s hunger that gets in the way. A dream feed can help them sate that need so it doesn’t wake them more fully. Keep the lights dim and gently feed your baby before setting them back down.
Practice some restraint
As a new parent, it’s easy to be hypersensitive to a baby calling, especially at night. Those maternal triggers will fire and you’ll be tempted to go make sure everything’s alright. You shouldn’t ignore your baby if there’s sustained crying. However, using a baby monitor to suddenly rush in at every sound, or even brief cries, can be disruptive not only to the child. It can make you more alert than you need to be, getting in the way of your own night’s sleep due to stress. If you do want to check in on them, just be sure to keep lights dim and don’t look them in the eyes if they’re not sleeping fully.
Above all else, remember to treasure those nights where they sleep right through. They will be rare at first, so take advantage of them and try not to be a “helicopter parent” when they do.
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