Newborn Care: Sleep
13:24 (GMT+2), Wed, 20 July 2011
Consider these perspectives and hints to help you understand and cope with the thorny issue of sleep.
Get more sleep for you and your baby
- Most babies do not sleep to their parent's satisfaction.
- Babies' physiological sleep patterns are different to that of older children and adults.
- Poor sleep patterns often run in families.
- Traumatic pregnancies and births contribute to restless sleeping.
- Anxious parents have poor sleepers.
- First children mostly have more restless sleep.
- Babies of parents who both work outside the home all day often wake more frequently at night.
- Many things in a baby and small child's life, such as colic, teething, illness, immunisation and anxiety, predispose a baby to waking at night.
- Some babies confuse day and night.
- Poor sleep patterns can become a habit if incorrectly handled.
- Parents who prefer not to sleep alone themselves maybe have unrealistic expectations of their babies.
- Some babies have active dreams that jolt them from sleep.
- Babies' sleep patterns sometimes become worse after vaccination.
By Sister Lilian
- Treat your own anxiety with relaxation techniques, Natura Rescue homoeopathic tablets, and greater regularity in lifestyle habits.
- Never look at the clock when waking or count the times your baby called.
- Put your baby down in her own room or cot for daytime naps and when going to sleep at night, but take her into bed with you or directly alongside from the first time she wakes after you go to bed, so that you do not have to wake altogether when attending to her needs at night.
- There is no need to change nappies at night from about 6 weeks unless she has a rash or a soiled nappy.
- Do not feed her or pick her up at the very first sound at night.
- Do not wake her for a final feed just before you go to sleep, thinking that this will let her sleep for longer – disrupting the 'core night' disturbs sleep patterns.
- Keep interaction with your baby to a minimum at night as talking, eye contact and light will waken her altogether.
- Do not fear the family bed – it is often only time that is needed until her sleep pattern matures and you need to use any survival tips you can!
- Ensure that daytime caregivers are not allowing your baby to sleep for longer than two hours at a time if she is wakeful at night.
- Have a regular wind-down routine to her day that progresses from more boisterous to calm activities.
- Massage a poor sleeper before bedtime and between her eyebrows and on her temples when she wakes at night.
- Put her down to sleep before she falls into a deep sleep at the breast or on the bottle; pat her to complete the process.
- If she is generally restless, give Natura Rescue drops (ten drops diluted in 5ml boiled, cooled water) or homeopathic chamomilla D6.
Newborn Care: Nappies
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