What to Do to Give Your Little One a Good Rest
Babies have abnormal sleeping patterns; they may sleep throughout the day and wake up at intervals during the night to be fed, calmed or comforted. While some babies sleep fitfully there are others who wake up more than other babies and also take longer time to go to sleep. There are some natural techniques which mothers can take up to promote longer sleep durations and also reduce the time taken for the baby to sleep thereby inducing quality sleep for their babies.
Massage Your Baby
Massaging has a relaxing effect on newborn babies and infants. Its extreme benefits have induced many NICUs to make massage a part of the occupational therapy sessions for preemies. Massaging also prevents them from being hypersensitive to any touch. Massaging a baby also helps reduce gas and constipation and even enhances a baby’s immune system. So, use a baby oil and massage your baby to relax him so that he can sleep better without any discomfort interrupting his sleep.
Breastfeed in the Evenings
Babies often want non-stop nursing in the evenings which is normal behavior for an infant. He might be hungry or he might want to feel your touch. So, “cluster feed” him whenever or however long he wants. Evening breast milk has melatonin, a hormone which your body produces to help you to sleep. When you nurse your baby, you pass on the hormone also to your baby and help him to sleep. This is why cluster feeding results in longer stretch of sleep.
Keep the Temperature Cool for Sound Sleep
A lower body temperature helps to sleep better. So, cool temperatures during the time that the baby is sleeping will help him to have uninterrupted sleep. Keep the temperature in your baby’s room comfortable and do not overdress him.
Communicate with Your Baby
Mothers have sung to their babies even if they have horrible voices in order to help their baby sleep better. Talking to your baby in a soothing tone or humming to him, relaxes him. It was a voice that he had heard before delivery and hearing it now helps to calm him and gives him a sense of security helping your baby to sleep peacefully.
Tips to Provide a Good Rest for Your Baby
- Learn to read the signs your baby sends when he is sleepy.
- Give him a consistent bedroom and sleeping environment so that he feels safe and sleeps faster.
- Put your baby to bed when he is drowsy but still awake. This teaches the baby to sleep in his own bed.
- Introduce a bed-time routine to soothe and help your baby to sleep better; give him a bath, change his clothes, turn off all the lights and sing lullabies to him. These will be indications for him to get ready to sleep.
- A daily sleeping schedule is vital for the baby. Sleeping after feeding in the morning or afternoon is best. But no matter how long your baby naps, night-time sleep is a must.
- Rock your baby only till he is drowsy. Then put him in his crib. Don’t rock him to sleep after he is around 4 – 6 months of age.
- Put your baby to sleep on his back which will help to prevent sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
- Feed your hungry newborn baby as soon as he wakes up and starts crying. Don’t wait for him to get upset. If he is fed immediately, it will put your baby sleep more easily.
These gentle methods will help your baby to sleep better and will also be healthy and beneficial for the infant.
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