Sleep is an important part of life, and the quality and timing of it are essential to healthy growth and development, learning abilities, and brain maturation. When babies don’t get enough sleep or if their sleep is disturbed, they will become very agitated, fussy, nervous, and difficult to manage or soothe. Unfortunately, 40% of all babies are sleep deprived! A Newborn Care Specialist will be able to recognize the “sleepy signs” and will lay the baby down in their crib as soon as they start getting drowsy, but still awake. This teaches them to self-soothe and makes them more able to put themselves back to sleep when they awake during the night.
A Newborn Care Specialist does not just fix the immediate problems, but also teaches the parents about sleep. You might have tried methods like controlled crying or gradual withdrawal, but have found it hard to follow through without advice and assistance. We will work with you side-by-side, learning your problems, teaching you practical solutions, and demonstrating for you the most effective ways to get your baby sleeping soundly.
It is very important for parents to establish a bedtime routine every night to prevent over-stimulation and/or melt downs before bed. Babies as young as a few weeks respond very well to bedtime routines. It also helps signal the transition from “wake time” to “sleep time” for them. This routine can include, bath, massage, bottle, swaddle, and bed! I highly recommend swaddling your newborn till at least 4 months of age to give them that deep, uninterrupted sleep and the feeling of security. The blanket that I like to bring with me and the one that works the best is the Miracle Blanket.
Since babies are born with that “sucking reflux”, we do use pacifiers, however, we will encourage the parents not to rely on them to get them to sleep every time and to try and use them as a last resort. Babies can quickly become pacifier-dependent, so to help avoid problems later on, they should be weaned off them between 3-6 months.
Some parents unfortunately find it very easy to fall into the habit of taking responsibility for putting their babies to sleep for them, whether it be rocking, swinging, soothing or even feeding them to sleep. Unfortunately, these ways only develop into negative sleep associations and form bad habits that are hard to break later on. Learning to sleep well can seem simple and we believe in teaching sleeping habits that promote your baby to find his or her own way to the land of nod with very little assistance from us.
The most important kind of sleep all babies need is good, quality nighttime sleep, but they need to have regular and adequate naps throughout the day or they will not sleep well at night. By ensuring that your baby is eating every 3 hours and getting those regular and complete naps in throughout the day, they are physically capable of sleeping through the night (12 hours) by the time they are 3 months old.
*Remember, the best gift you can give your baby is a good night’s sleep!!
**Sleep-training your newborn successfully will depend on how well the family follows the guidelines and commits to the schedule that the Newborn Care Specialist has created for your newborn.
I’m now offering a 3-hour sleep-training consult for those parents who would like to try it on their own!!
Parents will learn unique tips, techniques, (and secrets!) that they won’t learn from any book or class!!