Having a newborn baby in the house is a magical time, but it also comes with limited sleep. While it is expected that your baby wake for feeds during the night, there are a few things you can do to get them to sleep soundly in between.
Your baby has just come from a place that provides the feeling of deep pressure to lull them – your womb. To mimic this sensation, try to wrap them in a blanket before sleep. This compression technique stops them from jerking awake and provides the overall body pressure they are used to. Here is a step-by-step video to show you how it is done.
When babies are warm, they sleep better! Whether it is summer or winter, room temperature control can be a tough challenge. Start by getting a room thermometer to ensure you know how much heat is needed. If you are going to use a heater, ensure that you either have a bowl of water near it or a humidifier so that the air does not dry out their sinuses. Placing your babies blankets in the tumble dryer before bed, or placing a heating bag in their blankets (remember to remove it before your baby goes in) will keep them nice and toasty.
A great way to get your baby into the sleep zone is by incorporating movement into their bedtime routine. If you don’t have a rocking chair, try sitting on an exercise ball with your baby securely held to your chest while rocking back and forth. Most sleep experts insist that while rocking your child is a good idea, you should place them in their bed before they fall asleep completely so they can practice a few moments of calm self-soothing.
Parents have reported surprise at the fact that their newborns have fallen asleep while they were vacuuming. The reason for this, is that the machine creates a sort of white noise that baby was used to hearing in the womb. One way to mimic this is to use a white noise machine, or download a white noise app on your phone to play. Sounds that are repetitive and gentle help, like a fan spinning.
Muted light is the best kind when trying to get your baby to sleep. Try replacing bedside globes with a yellow ones or use a lava lamp to get that soft light. A lot of parents use a light mobile – they cast muted light shapes and pictures on the ceiling. These often come with gentle sounds which is an added bonus. If you are battling to get your child to nap during the day, consider lining your curtains to darken the room even further.
Extra things to consider:
- Make sure that your baby’s clothes are soft and that there are no itchy tags that may be scratching them.
- Incorporate a warm bath and baby massage into your bedtime routine
- A dry nappy is a must! Not only will a wet nappy wake them up, but the nappy rash that could follow will also keep them up.
- Make sure that you burp your baby sufficiently before putting them down. A little bit of wind can keep them tossing and turning.
Toptots Early Learning SA