As a young mother with a newborn baby, getting enough sleep for myself was one of my primary concerns. With a job and busy household routine, sleep was beginning to look like a far off dream. I soon discovered that a regular naptime routine would help soothe my baby to sleep.
Sleeping patterns for the first two weeks at home are hard to define as your baby is adjusting to the new environment. After two weeks, your baby should start to fall into some type of sleep pattern. Make mental notes of when they sleep and what soothes them to sleep. Making naptime easier will help preserve your sleep time and your family’s routine. Here are some things that work for making your baby’s naptime easier:
Make sure your baby is well fed, clean and comfortable. If they are crying before a regular sleep time, try and define the problem. Are they over stimulated? Do they need a little more burp time? Are they experiencing any kind of gastric distress? Taking care of these problems related to your baby’s distress is key to soothing your baby to sleep.
Swaddle your baby or cuddle them in a soft blanket. Swaddling is an ancient art that has been passed down from generation to generation. Many modern moms use this technique and believe it is a sure cure for fussiness and general naptime dilemmas.
Find your baby’s favorite position to be held. Some babies like to be cradled while others prefer falling asleep while lying in their mother’s lap. Learn your baby’s preferences and use your baby’s preferred holding position just before naptime.
Using a preferred holding position, gently sway or rock your baby to sleep while singing a lullaby or playing gentle background music. Gentle sounds can help to calm and soothe.
Once asleep, be sure to place your baby on their back. Swaddling or tucking the blanket securely around their arms will prevent them from waking themselves up with uncontrolled arm and leg movements. Check that your baby is not too hot or cold and that the blankets and bedding will not interfere with their breathing.
Soothing your baby to sleep is a wonderful bonding experience for both parent and baby. As you resolve sleep time dilemmas, you will get to know your baby’s personality. You will also be able to get some sleep for yourself!