Babies, Toddlers, Kids & Childrens
Ferberizing your Fussy Baby to Sleep
Richard Ferber is director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children's Hospital in Boston who believes in a “progressive” approach to helping your child fall – and stay – asleep.
Ferber has developed a forward-thinking plan of action to instill consistent and regular sleep patterns in your child. Briefly, he suggests that after a warm, loving pre-bedtime routine such as singing, rocking, or reading a book, you put your child to bed while she's still awake. According to Ferber, putting your child to bed while still awake is crucial to successfully teaching her to go to sleep on her own.
Once you put her in bed, leave the room. If she cries, don’t check on her until after a specified amount of time has passed. Once you do return to her room, soothe her with your voice but don't pick her up, rock her, or feed her. Gradually increase the length of time that passes between checks. After about one week, your infant will learn that crying earns nothing more than a brief check from you, and isn't worth the effort. She'll learn to fall asleep on her own, without your help.
Ferber says that there are a number of things that may interfere with your child's sleep. Before you "Ferberize," you should make sure that feeding habits, pain, stress, or medications are not causing or contributing to your baby's sleep problems.
Ferber recommends using his method if your baby is 6 months or older. Like most sleep experts, he says that by the time most normal, full-term infants are 3 months old, they no longer need a nighttime feeding. And at 6 months, none do.
Ferber’s method can be modified if you feel it’s too rigid. Stretch out Ferber's seven-day program over 14 days so that you increase the wait between checks every other night rather than every night.
28 – Swaddling your
Baby is Sweet
The practice of baby-swaddling dates back centuries and is still common in many cultures. Swaddling involves wrapping a baby securely from shoulders to feet with a small blanket. American Indians and people from the Middle East use bands and more sophisticated swaddling techniques, but more traditional swaddling techniques are still practiced in such countries as Turkey, Afghanistan and Albania.
Not only can swaddling be a great way to calm and sooth a fussy infant, it’s also been shown to lower the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). At the age of three months, when the risk for SIDS is greatest, traditional American swaddling techniques allow a baby to escape. It allows the baby to stay in a more stable position while sleeping, thereby lowering the SIDS risk. In addition, swaddling has been shown to help Babies, Toddlers, Kids & Childrens sleep longer and more restfully by preventing the sudden movements that can cause them to wake up, thereby improving mom and dad’s sleep quality and quantity also. Babies, Toddlers, Kids & Childrens who are swaddled are said to feel secure, similar to how they felt while in utero. It can also assist in temperature regulation, keeping baby nice and toasty warm while sleeping.
A couple of additional perks to swaddling come during waking hours, too. A swaddled baby is easy to carry and hold ??an adorable, compact little package. It can also help baby focus on breast or bottle feeding by keeping little hands out of the way.
Swaddling usually works best from newborn to approximately four months, but if baby is used to being swaddled, and then it might be utilized even longer. Babies, Toddlers, Kids & Childrens just being introduced to swaddling may require an adjustment period. Modified swaddling, such as leaving arms free while swaddling the rest of baby’s body, might be needed when first introducing the practice to your baby. The blanket should always feel snug but not tight. Take special care to ensure baby’s circulation is not compromised in any way or that baby is not uncomfortable. Ask a nurse, physician, midwife or other knowledgeable healthcare practitioner to demonstrate the correct technique for swaddling your baby.
25 – Avoid
Stimulating Your Baby during Night-time Feedings
As your newborn baby grows, it is slowly acclimating to sleeping at night and being awake during the day. Also, as baby's stomach is growing and holding more breast milk or formula, it will be able to go for longer periods between feedings at night. At approximately three months of age your baby will likely sleep about 15 hours out of each 24-hour period, and two thirds of that sleep will take place during the night. Most Babies, Toddlers, Kids & Childrens will have settled into a daily sleep routine of two or three sleep periods during the day, followed by "sleeping through the night" for 6 to 7 hours after a late-night feeding.
You can help adjust your baby's body clock toward sleeping at night by avoiding stimulation during nighttime feedings and diaper changes. The act of breastfeeding itself provides frequent eye and voice contact, so try to keep the lights low and resist the urge to play or talk with your baby. This will reinforce the message that nighttime is for sleeping. Keeping the door closed to keep out well-meaning but vocal older children, spouses and pet will also keep reduce stimulating your infant. Avoid the use of musical mobiles or toys as a way to lull your infant back to sleep after night-time feedings. This will also help to reinforce that nighttime is for sleeping.
And, as with adults, overly tired infants often have more trouble sleeping than those who've had an appropriate amount of sleep during the day. So, keeping your baby up thinking that he or she will sleep better at night may not work. You may find that when your infant sleeps at regular intervals during the day, it will be easier to put them back down to sleep after night-time feedings.