Getting your baby to sleep could be quite a task. Especially nowadays wherein both mothers and fathers are wage earners, sometimes it can be difficult to get your baby a good nightâ€™s sleep without your own sleep getting disrupted. You want your baby to sleep well as a good foundation for his or her health. As a parent, you also want to have a good sleep in order to be strong enough to take good care of your baby during your waking hours. You donâ€™t want to disrupt the sleep of otherâ€™s when the baby cries at night. You just want to bring the best out in him.
The ideal number of hours of sleep for infants is ten to twelve hours although the sleep needs and habits among infants vary from one to another. Most infants have one or several naps during the day as additional. A tired baby is a cranky baby. Sleep is just as important as with food and drink especially on the early stages of life. A good sleep will help enhance the physical and mental capacities of the baby.
How To Get Your Baby A Goodnightâ€™s Sleep
- Parents are usually advised to let a baby sleep in a separate space rather than in their bed so that the parents do not awaken at every toss or squeak of the baby. This is a case to case basis. Most parents would still prefer to have their babies on their side to ensure that their baby breatheâ€™s and because most parents give importance to closeness and giving their baby a sense of security. Many parents are afraid of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS, wherein their baby do not wake up anymore or stopped breathing that is why they always want to safeguard their baby during sleep. Allowing infant to sleep on a crib or a separate space allows them to learn to quiet themselves and go back to sleep should they awaken briefly. This may help in preventing sleep problems such as night waking in the future.
- Ensure a safe space for the baby â€“ All pillows and toys should stay away from the child while sleeping to avoid choking, distraction or suffocation. Make sure that the crib is well cushioned and have safety features such as side rails to prevent falls. Make sure that there are long pillows available for cushion in the event that the baby turns and tosses himself around to prevent bumps. Blankets should always be checked. Avoid covering the nose, mouth, or face of the baby as it might be suffocated. Make sure that plastic bags are away from baby as it may be used as a toy and cause suffocation. Keep needles, sharp objects away from the beddings to prevent accidents or punctures.
- Always place an infant on his back to sleep because this position markedly reduces the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome or SIDS.
- Assess for symptoms of colic in your baby. This might be causing the disturbed sleeping pattern. Symptoms of colic includes vigorous cries for long periods of time despite efforts ton console the baby, gas discomfort, abdominal bloating, hard, distended stomach, with guarding position (knees pulled to the chest), clenched fists, flailing arms and legs, and an arched back. Knowing the signs and symptoms of colic can help detect a problem in digestion and nutrition.
- Sleep problems develop in early infancy because of colic or because an otherwise healthy infant takes longer than usual to adjust to sleeping through the night.
- Breastfed babies tend to wake at night more frequently because breast milk is more easily digested than formula. This causes infant to be hungry sooner than formula fed babies.
- In late infancy, the problem of waking at night and remaining a wake for an hour or more becomes common. Although an infant may be content but a good sleeping schedule should be formulated for the baby. You can delay bedtime by an hour or shorten an afternoon sleep period. Do not respond immediately to infants at night so they can have time to fall back to sleep on their own and provide soft toys or music to allow infants to play quietly alone during wakeful time.
- Assess for painful stimuli such as teething pain or colds. This can really disrupt sleep and make baby fussy and uncomfortable. Regular check ups with his or her pediatrician can detect early signs of teething and will make both parents assured that it is normal. Problem with colds should be addressed immediately so that infection and further problems may be prevented.