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Authors: Penny Warner

Rock-a-Bye Baby (6 page)

BOOK: Rock-a-Bye Baby
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Downtime

Give your baby a chance to wind down by stopping vigorous activity fifteen to twenty minutes before you want her to fall asleep. Switch to quiet activities, such as singing to, bathing, or rocking her.

Let It Be

Some babies wake up in the night, wiggle and squirm and make noise, then miraculously return to sleep. So don't react too quickly —give your baby a chance to settle down on his own.

Keep It Calm

When your baby awakens in the middle of the night for a feeding, keep the lights dim, and use a soft voice and slow movements, so your baby will not be roused during nursing.

Baby Knows Best

Sometimes you just need to adjust your routine to fit your baby's needs, simply to make life easier for everyone.

WHY DO BABIES WAKE UP AT NIGHT?

The most common reasons are:

• Hunger, especially during growth spurts

• Teething, usually accompanied by a lot of drooling

• Developmental steps, such as crawling, walking, etc., which may cause changes in their sleep due to excessive energy or tiredness

• Illness, such as a cold or flu, that causes congestion

• Discomfort due to allergy, diaper rash, or eczema

• Loneliness —baby wants to be with Mom or Dad

• Reversal of day and night cycles —baby is used to sleeping in the womb while being rocked during the daytime and waking up while Mom's asleep at night

• Being startled by a dream, a noise, or a sudden twitch

• Extreme temperature—the room is too warm or too cool

HOW DO THE EXPERTS COMPARE?

Here's a short list of the leading sleep experts and their varying approaches
.

Chapter 2
Golden Standards That Still Work

“People who say they sleep like babies usually don't have them.”

—Leo J. Burke

In this chapter you'll find the most popular ways to get baby to sleep, passed on from parent to parent over the years. Although not all babies are the same, the tips in this chapter seem to work for most. They're standards for a reason—they've helped generations of parents and, in turn, will most likely work for you. As I mentioned, some of these ideas may be new to you, while others will seem like common knowledge—but it's always good to be reminded and to try the techniques again. They're especially handy if you're just beginning to play the sleep game with your first child.

Pajama Time

Change your baby into the same pajamas as a cue that it's time for sleep. Then, each time you put on Baby's pajamas, he will know what to expect. (Don't forget to wash them often!)

Bath Therapy

Give your baby a warm, soothing bath to relax her and she'll be more apt to nod off afterward.

Moisturizing Massage

Put lotion on your hands to warm it up, then give your baby a gentle massage to help relax his muscles.

Sing Baby to Sleep

Sing a lullaby or hum a simple tune to lull and comfort your baby to sleep. (
For my favorite lullabies, see “Sweet Sounds,” page 129.)

Sound of Music

Turn on classical music or a quiet song for Baby to listen to while she goes to sleep.

BOOK: Rock-a-Bye Baby
4.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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