Making Sure Your Newborn Baby Has Good Sleeping Habits
Eventually, babies must learn how to sleep away from their mothers. This transition takes some time, and new parents can help by establishing good sleeping habits for their newborns. Parents also get more rest and this is the added benefit of creating good sleeping habits for the baby.
What most recommendations focus on is developing habits and routines for babies that will encourage them to associate sleeping with nighttime. The sooner parents can get their children to associate bedtime with sleeping, the more likely the children will be able to go to sleep without making a fuss.
But the time that exists between being awake and going to sleep is called the transition period and is often overlooked in these recommendations. During this period, several techniques can be applied.
Fathering down is one technique to consider. Just before putting the baby into the bed, the father should cradle his baby so that the baby’s head lies on the father’s neck. The father should gently talk to his child. Often, babies are soothed by a male voice because it is deeper than the female voice and after hearing the father’s voice for a time, they may fall asleep more easily.
Another technique is called “wearing down.” If a baby has been active all day and is too excited to be put to bed easily then this can be especially effective. Putting the baby in a sling or carrier and “wear” him or her for approximately 30 minutes before bedtime is what you can do. Perform your usual tasks. An easier transition from wakefulness to sleep is what the baby will experience because of being close to you and being slowly rocked by your general movements before bedtime.
If these techniques fail, you may want to try “driving down.” This method is just the last resort and it will involve putting the baby in the car and driving around for a period of time until the baby falls asleep. This method is somewhat inconvenient but usually, it is effective. An attractive option is “driving down” if ever you need some well-deserved rest.
You, of course, don’t want to get into the habit of driving the baby around in the car every night! And you don’t want to always carry the baby in sling before bed to encourage sleep. The idea is to use these techniques and slowly ease away from them. During the major transition that your new baby experiences when he or she has never slept alone before is the only time that you should use them. Since the baby doesn’t know how to handle the transition, teaching him or her how to go from being awake to being asleep is what you need to do. These transition techniques can gradually be eliminated as the baby learns good bedtime habits, and both you and the baby can then have a good night’s sleep!
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