by Carles Cavazos Brito
Sleep. The final frontier. Will you ever reach it? If a newborn is supposed to sleep 20 hours a day, why is it that we feel like we haven't slept in years?
We have a few solutions for you that will almost always transport your baby to the land of nod. These gizmos and gadgets are parent tested and approved. Perhaps you'll list some of your favorites in the comments!
Day is Day and Night is Night
Help your baby separate daytime naps from nighttime sleep with a light room during naps and a dark one at night. Encourage low key evenings. If possible, keep loud and exciting interactions and roughhousing before dinner.
A consistent bedtime routine helps your baby wind down and understand that it's time to rest. Dinner, bath, stories, then kissing and tucking in, then prayers or blessings, then lights out while you sing to your little one can set the stage for a smooth transition to sleep.
The Sleep Sack
This snug garment helps your newborn feel warm and secure. The tight blanket also prevents that startle reflex from awakening your now sleeping bundle.
White Noise Machine
"Most babies actually prefer noise," says Dr. Harvey Karp, author of "Happiest Baby on the Block." "The noise in the womb is louder than a vacuum cleaner, so remind your baby of his former comfy home and muffle distracting household noises by playing white noise."
Consider a Pacifier
If your baby has trouble settling down, a pacifier might do the trick. In fact, research suggests that using a pacifier during sleep helps reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome.
Products Parent Swear By
Aromatherapy: From baby bath products to baby sleep cream, scented with lavender and calundula cream that you place on baby's pulse points, parents try these products in a quest for a good night's sleep.
Distraction: A drowsy baby might drift off while watching a crib mobile, listening to a music box or watching a constellation night light.
Dark and Dreamy: Are street lights or long summer night convincing your tiny tot that it's not close to bedtime? Feel free to resort to a snooze shade. Black out curtains turn day into night and will fool the cleverest of babes.
Familiar toddler nap mat: Does your child thrive on the familiar? Bring along the bed, in mat form, perfect for naptime. They come in a variety of sizes, colors and sport different features. Some have an attached blanket. Some a built-in pillow or attached pillow.
Babies and young children normally wake up in the night. Your goal is to maximize sleep for everyone in the family. If a trick, gizmo or gadget helped you, please share in comments. A sleep deprived parent will thank you, we're more than positive!
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