If you are longing for the days of REM (and we don’t mean Michael Stipe) you aren’t alone. When it comes to sleep most new mothers will agree that they are doing the best that they can– yet they still feel that they are not getting enough. While nothing can change the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day, there are ways of maximizing what little sleep you are getting. Here are some of our best suggestions for falling asleep faster, sleeping deeper and staying asleep once you achieve REM!
To some, the thought of putting a child on a routine may seem daunting. In fact, may parents do not expect their children to have any semblance of a routine until the child reaches pre-school. Believe us, if you wait until your child is approaching elementary school to begin routines, you will rue the day! It is best to put your child into a loose routine from around the first month.
In the beginning, routines do not have to be formal or labeled. Beginning routines help your baby to learn when to be eat, when to stay awake and when to go back to sleep. Many parents are unaware that healthy sleeping habits are just that: habits. Just like talking back or rolling her eyes, your child can fall into a good habit or a poor one. It all comes in what you expect of her, what you tolerate and what you teach. For more information on how to establish healthy routines from the beginning (or how to pick up on them if you’re getting a later start…) check out Gary Ezzo’s On Becoming Baby Wise: The Classic Sleep Reference Guide Utilized by Over 1,000,000 Parents World Wide ($25) available at gfi.org and most bookstores world-wide.
Back to Sleep
The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development along with the American Academy of Pediatrics endorse the National Sleep Campaign recommending that babies be laid on their backs when put to sleep.1 Furthermore, keeping your baby’s crib free of quilted bumpers, blankets and stuffed animals also decreases her risk of succumbing to SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).2 You may also consider using a sleep sack in lieu of those blankets to keep her warm and swaddled. How does all of this affect your sleep? Well, it is two-fold really.
First, if you feel less fear that your child may suffocate then you are more likely to achieve deeper sleep which literally means that your brain is not starved of critical grey matter.3 This leaves you feeling more well rested even if you sleep fewer hours. Second, if your child is swaddled she is less likely to startle and waking up as often, so you are also achieving fewer interruptions. Our sleep sack of choice? The Kiddopotamus Swaddle Me Blanket, of course! kiddopotamus.com ($11)
Good Scents Makes Sense
Who doesn’t love that new baby smell? We sure do. But there’s more to that than meets… the nose! Baby products that are infused with lavender are actually therapeutic in helping to soothe them. In fact, lavender is a natural way to relieve indigestion, colic and colds and relax and soothing her nerves at the same time. Look for lavender in lotions, sprays, powders and candles. Or better yet? Check out our Mommy and Baby Spa Lavender Gift Basket, a Doodle Bucket exclusive. http://www.doodlebuckets.com/mommy-and-baby-spa-lavender-gift-basket-2488