Swaddling your baby is the simplest thing you can do to help your baby soothe and sleep easier. Many parents think their babies don’t like to be swaddled because they may fuss a bit while being swaddled or push on their swaddle thats tightly wrapped BUT once baby is secure and safely wrapped you will almost see him melt into a calmer quieter state. For 9 months your baby has been living in a tight, warm, dark, loud environment with constant movement. Of course, this would be the natural thing to do once he enters into this big, bright, cold world. Recreating his environment in our homes is taking advantage of the window of opportunity (The W.O.O.) to teach sleep skills with no crying. The problem with swaddling is most parents don’t know how to correctly swaddle OR they don’t know when to stop swaddling.
First, the old school blanket swaddle is being done away with since it causes more danger then it helps. Tired parents don’t’ have the patience to properly and safely swaddle their babies so I now encourage Swaddlers for babies instead. The ones that I recommend are the Woombie Swaddler, the Ergo Cocoon or the Halo Sleep Swaddler. All of these swaddlers not only provide a fast secure and easy swaddle that will keep baby wrapped for a longer time but they also offer convertible capabilities so that you can let your baby have one arm or both arms out when the need arises. These swaddlers provide a “no brainer” swaddle for tired parents.
Second, it’s important to understand when to stop swaddling. Some parents think that if their baby is busting out of the swaddle or growing out of the swaddle that it’s time to forgo it. But that’s
definitely not the case. The best time to start the process of unswaddling your baby is when you see them begin to roll over. Once they start having the skill of rolling, swaddling with arms in then becomes a danger as they won’t be able to use their arms to help lift their head should they roll onto their stomach. There should be approx. 4 inches between your babys feet and the bottom of the swaddler. If your baby does not have this leg room then it’s time to buy a larger swaddler BUT not time to stop swaddling as most parents quickly find out that their baby will struggle even more with sleep once they are unswaddled.
Once your baby is rolling over, you can then graduate them to a sleep sack which is a SAFE blanket, will help prevent legs from getting stuck in the crib slats and also will prevent your child from
lifting his leg high enough to climb out of the crib once he is standing.
For info on the swaddling and sleep sack products visit the links
Halo Sleep Swaddles and Sacks www.halosleep.com
Ergo Cocoon www.ergopouch.com
As a new mommy, proper sleep is one of those all illusive things that is so hard to get but hard to live without! Living on no or little sleep can make us feel sad, moody, irritable and frustrated and the less sleep we get, the higher chance of postpartum mood disorder. As a sleep consultant, I often focus on tips for helping baby sleep better but sometimes tips for the parents to sleep better can often help too!
Here are a few tips to make sure that Mommy and Daddy are getting better and more restorative sleep when they get the chance…even if it is for a short time!
1. Just as we encourage babies to be on a sleep schedule, the same is true for adults. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day even on the weekends. Being consistent will reinforce your circadian clock and sleep-wake cycles and help you sleep better each night.
2. Try not to consume nicotine, alcohol or caffeine at least 3 hours prior to going to bed. Instead replace it with a warm chamomile or caffeine free warm beverage…warm milk can often help. Although you do want to limit your liquid intake to prevent frequent overnight trips to the bathroom.
3. Create a bedtime routine for yourself and be consistent. Be sure that it is a soothing routine like taking a warm bath or shower reading a book or listening to some relaxing music.
4. Sleep hygiene is very important. Conditioning your brain to
understand that the bed is for sleeping is a great way to learn to fall asleep quicker and easier. Limit stimulating activities such as watching TV, playing on a smart phone or ipad and even eating in bed as it can confuse the mind as to what we are supposed to do when we hit the pillow, making it harder for us to sleep.
5. Create a great sleep atmosphere.
-Your room should be dark to increase your natural sleep hormone melatonin
- Use of a white noise machine will help drown out sounds from your partner, the little squeaks and noises your new baby makes as well as any creaks your home may make. This will also help baby sleep better.
- Make sure you have a comfortable mattress, pillow and bedding so that your body can sleep in proper positioning and allow you to wake up feeling refreshed.
- Have your baby sleeping in a bassinet or playpen beside you
rather than in bed with you so that you can sleep deeper knowing he is safe in his own bed yet close enough that when he wakes you can feed him and place him back quickly.
- Have your pets sleep off the bed. Often our loving pets want to
be snuggled up right against us making it difficult for you to move around and get comfortable when you need to thus fully waking you from a sleep cycle to readjust.
6. Include physical activity in your daily routine specifically outside. This is healthy both physically and mentally and will not only help you sleep deeper but also reduce postpartum mood disorders. This is also a great for your baby. However be sure not exercise approximately 2 hours before bedtime as you may then be too energized to sleep.
7. Keep a notepad and pen by your bedside table. So if you wake in
the middle of the night thinking of things you have to remember to do the next morning you can write them down and forget it. This is also great for tracking your baby’s feeds so you don’t have to try and remember them the next day.
8. If you have gone to bed and feel like you cannot fall asleep eyt,
get up and do something. Then come back 20 minutes later and try and again! Sometimes although you feel tired, your body may just not be ready to fall asleep yet.
9. Turn off all phones and even put a sign on your door so that any visitors will not ring your door bell and wake you up once you do fall asleep.
10. You may want to enlist some help from a night doula or night nanny. This will help limit the disruptions overnight so that mommy can still feed her baby but the night doula or nanny will then be able to settle baby down in another room while mommy goes back to sleep. Or you can choose to pump and allow your helper or dad to offer it overnight so you can get a bit more
These are tips that both new moms and dads can use to help get better sleep once new baby comes. Funny enough, many of them
I would suggest for your baby too!
Parenting Coach and Sleep Consultant
Precious Moments Babeez
This is a great place to ask your questions. Anything from prenatal to preschool. From feeding to sleeping...ask away!