Climbing Mt. Everest may be easier…
Yes. Really. Babies can be incredibly contrary when it comes to sleep. Ensuring that your little one, be it a newborn or a toddler, gets a good night’s sleep is important not just for the baby but for the entire family. Fortunately, there are many baby products in the market that can help you and baby get that all important dose of nocturnal rest.
Of course you need a crib. Your baby needs a safe place to rest – whether asleep or not – during the time you get yours. Or for that matter, when you are busy with other chores. But! Don’t be surprised if you hardly use it in the beginning – baby may just end up sleeping with you in your own bedroom in those crazy first few months. In fact, most paediatrician today recommend it.
So what options other than a crib do the new dad and mom have? Several, actually. You can use a portable bassinet or a Moses basket. You can choose a side-car co-sleeper or a playard. Or you can simply choose to share your own bed. Remember, if you are doing the last option, make sure you have a shielded, baby-only area in the bed to avoid any accidents from occurring.
Swaddles, as a sleep aid, is gold. Aside from the obvious benefits of a baby that cries less and sleeps more, swaddling prevents sudden limb movements that are common in infants, in turn preventing the baby from startling awake. A meta study of research on swaddling ( Swaddling: A Systematic Review, October 2007, AAP Publication) has indicated that it reduces the chances of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) as well as improves neuro-muscular development.
As with everything else baby, precautions should be taken while using the swaddle –
- DO NOT swaddle with a blanket. A rectangular piece of fabric simply does not make a good swaddle.
- DO NOT put a swaddled baby to sleep on the side or stomach
- DO NOT over-tighten the swaddle, especially around the waist and hips. Too tight a swaddle may cause hip displacia
For a more detailed study, read this.
Mattresses, Blankets, Cushions and Cuddly things
A firm, comfy mattress, sheet covers and a nice, warm blanket. Actually, this is pretty much all your baby needs. You can substitute the blanket for a swaddle or a baby sleeping bag, depending on the baby’s age. While colorful cushions and cuddly soft toys can liven up your baby’s nursery and provide amusement and occupation when the baby is awake, they can potentially be hazardous when your baby is asleep. Beware of the overstuffed crib.
In the absence of natural light, keep a selection of lights that can mimic daylight and evening light. Lighting should be shaded, diffuse and yet bright enough for the baby to exercise his eyes as well as your own. A night light will be helpful for night time nappy changes and feeding.
A baby monitor is a must. Buy a good quality set as this will be your eyes and ears when you are away from your baby. Read more about baby monitors here.
We cannot stress this enough: While it is of utmost importance that you keep yourself educated and informed, it is equally important to remember that all you read need not be accurate and sometimes, not even true. So consult your baby’s physician before making purchases – especially those that will be ingested or applied your baby’s body.
As a parent, keeping your baby safe, healthy and happy is your responsibility and yours alone. Stay informed and stay on top!
Featured photo: donnierayjones via Visualhunt / CC BY
Nursery Photo: jhiner via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC