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Health Tips for November 13

Posted Nov 12 2009 10:01pm

Health Tip: Create Baby's Bedtime Routine

Babies are never too young to benefit from a bedtime routine, the U.S. National Library of Medicine says.

The agency offers these suggestions for developing bedtime habits from the start:

  • Don't give your baby a bottle in bed. Make sure the last bottle of the day is given a sufficient amount of time before bed.
  • Enjoy quiet relaxation time with your baby.
  • Put baby to bed when sleepy, but not when he or she is actually asleep. This way, baby gets used to falling asleep alone.
  • When baby cries, speak in a soothing tone. Or rub baby's back until calm. Butdon'tpick baby up.
  • Avoid turning lights on when you feed baby in the middle of the night.
  • Whatever your routine, make sure you're consistent, and try to ensure that both of you enjoy it.
  • Don't sleep in the same bed with a baby that's 12 months or younger. This may increase the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Health Tip: Putting Baby to Bed

Newborn babies shouldn't be expected to sleep through the night. Their bodies are so tiny that they should be awakened if they haven't eaten for at least five hours, the Nemours Foundation says.

But there are things that new parents can do to help ensure a safe night's rest for their little one. The foundation offers these suggestions:

  • Put baby to sleep on his or her back to reduce the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Don't let baby sleep with plush bedding, blankets or pillows.
  • Remove stuffed animals from baby's crib when it's bedtime.
  • Each night, alternate which side of his or her head your baby sleeps on, to prevent development of a "flat spot" on a favored side of the head.
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