2. Avoid unusual middle of the night routines to put baby back to sleep. I hear stories all the time of all the things that parents do to get their babies to sleep. Some of them put their baby in a car seat on top of the dryer, which, of course, you want to be there so they don't fall off. Or, taking them for a drive in the car and so they're driving at 1 in the morning and 3 in the morning to get them back to sleep. Whatever habit you instill is what you're going to be doing several times that night as well as for the next month, six months or a year.
And the last and one of the most important tips for new parents.
1. Get some sleep yourself! It's crucial for parents to get enough sleep, too. So they need to nap when the baby naps. They need to not worry about what the house looks like and get to bed on time. They need to ensure that they get enough sleep at night and that may be switching off with another parent, if there's someone in the household. Single parent, getting some help once or twice a week.
The better rested a parent is, the better a parent they can be the next day.
Jodi Mindell, PhD, is a professor of psychology at St. Joseph's University and of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In addition to teaching and research, she is the associate director of the Sleep Disorders Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, where she treats children of all ages and their parents. Dr. Mindell has written over 25 papers on pediatric sleep disorders and presented over 100 papers at national conferences.
Dr. Mindell is the author of Sleeping Through the Night: How Infants, Toddlers, and Their Parents Can Get a Good Night's Sleep (HarperCollins, 1997), a selection of the Children's Book-of-the-Month-Club, and co-author of A Clinical Guide to Pediatric Sleep: Diagnosis and Management of Sleep Problems (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2003). She is frequently quoted in national publications including New York Times, Newsweek, USA Today, Parents, Child, Parenting and Redbook. She has also made over 100 television and radio appearances discussing children's sleep disorders, including the Today Show, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning.
Dr. Mindell received her MS and PhD from the State University of New York at Albany and conducted her internship training at Brown University Medical School.
Copyright © Jodi Mindell. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org.