Baby Article : Will a Baby Sling Help My Baby Sleep?

Bath Time and Bed Time

There is some debate over whether or not it’s a good idea to give a baby a bath right before bedtime or not. We suppose this debate probably stems from the fact that different babies respond to baths in different ways.
Most babies enjoy baths. As long as the water is a comfortable temperature and you play with them a little while you are bathing them, it’s a positive experience. Babies like to be clean, and most parents find that their babies do sleep better when they are clean. But should you give your baby a bath right before bed time or a little earlier?
That really depends on you and your baby. If your baby gets excited when you place her in the bath tub and splashes, kicks and squeals in delight, you might want to give her a bath at least two or three hours before putting her in bed. No one wants to nod off to sleep when they’re stimulated, and you’ll usually find it hard to get a baby to sleep when she has just gotten done playing, unless of course she completely wears herself out.
If, on the other hand, your baby relaxes, sighs, and watches you intently while you give her a gentle, warm bath, you might want to consider giving her a bath shortly before bed time. Anything that helps baby relax is a good idea before bedtime. And if your baby is one who relaxes in the tub, a bath can be a perfect part of the bed time routine.
The real trick to getting your baby to fall asleep at night (or any time for that matter) is to start winding down the stimulation before you want her to go to sleep. Many babies will resist sleep is there is too much going on around them. Just like anyone else, they want to have fun. Of course, once they reach the point of crankiness, it’s no fun for them, you, or anyone else.
Most parents find that bedtime routines are helpful in getting older babies onto a sleep schedule. Whether or not that includes bath time is largely dependant on how your baby reacts to the bath. In any case, use routines to your advantage by starting to make baby’s environment relaxing and removing her from things that will stimulate her about an hour before bedtime. You’ll find that she nods off to sleep a bit easier that way.

Will a Baby Sling Help My Baby Sleep?

Many baby experts, especially those of the attachment parenting school, advocate using a baby sling or similar baby carrying device. Doing so allows you to keep your bay close by at all times while still allowing you to keep your hands free to do other things.
It should come as no surprise that being in a baby sling helps babies to fall asleep. After all, it not only puts them very close to you, which is comforting to them, but it also gives them some motion. If you walk around with your baby in a baby sling, you are accomplishing pretty much the same thing as you would if you put her in a car seat and went for a drive or took her for a walk in a stroller.
Motion makes us sleepy. It’s even true for adults. If we’re not actively driving, cars, buses, and airplanes are among the easiest places to catch 40 winks. It’s a well established fact that taking babies on a car or stroller ride helps them fall asleep. It only makes sense that taking them for a walk in a sling would accomplish the same thing.
With the sling, however, you have the added benefit that baby is close to you. Most parents love having baby so close, and babies certainly like it, too.
Of course, if baby is in a sling, you don’t really need to go very far to give her the motion she needs to help her doze off. It isn’t even necessary to go for a walk. Since your hands are free, you can just walk around your home or apartment and your baby will experience all the soothing motion she needs to fall asleep.
You could even do household chores. If you vacuum or run the dishwasher or clothes dryer, you get the added benefit of adding white noise, which also helps many babies fall asleep. Most experts believe the white noise reminds babies of sounds they heard while they were in the womb.
Some parents have found that slings are useful for introducing their babies to the idea of a sleep schedule. They put baby in the sling when it’s time for a nap, and keep him in there until he is in a deep sleep. Anytime it’s time to sleep, they put baby into the baby sling. Soon, baby associates the sling with relaxing and falling asleep.

Now That the Baby Sleeps, I Can’t

While we all know that newborn infants don’t sleep for long periods of time (usually only 2-4 hours at a stretch), babies do start to have longer sleep periods beginning when they are about four months old. By the time babies are six months old, they are often sleeping through the night. Of course, “sleeping through the night” for a baby is still only about six hours at a time.
Still, you should begin to notice your baby sleeping for longer periods beginning sometime after four months. This is a good thing, of course. Unfortunately, many parents have trouble benefiting from it, because they find themselves continuing to wake up, whether the baby does or not. Part of this is undoubtedly because we’ve simply fallen into a routine of waking up several times each night, but a large part of it is also psychological.
Most parents remember that first time baby slept through the night. The first thought that comes to mind, inevitably, when they wake up and realize the baby isn’t crying to be fed is something along the lines of “oh no, I hope the baby’s OK.”
It’s perfectly normal to think that way the first few nights, until you become accustomed to baby sleeping through the night. The best thing you can do is get up and check on the baby. While odds are overwhelmingly in favor of your baby being just fine, it’s much better to get up and check on baby than to lay in bed and worry about whether or not your baby is OK.
Whatever you do, though, don’t wake your baby up to see if she is OK. If she’s asleep, is breathing, and doesn’t seem to be in any immediate peril, let her sleep. Remember, this is a good thing, something you’ve been waiting several months for. After you’ve checked on the baby, lie back down and try to get a little sleep. We know it isn’t easy, but you’ll get used to it.
If you are still having trouble sleeping while baby sleeps after a couple of weeks, talk to your health care professional. She might suggest cognitive therapy, medication, or other sleep aids. While we should all expect our sleep to be somewhat disrupted for the first few months of our baby’s life none of us wants to stay in those sleep patterns forever.

No comments: