How Long Should You Keep Baby In Bassinet
How long your baby can use the bassinet will depend on many factors but generally you will need to upgrade to a larger sleeping space somewhere between 3 and 6 months. There are many factors that come into play in order to know when its time to move out of the bassinet and into the crib.
Newborn Sleep: A Discussion With Elizabeth Pantley
What is the number one issue among parents of babies? Sleep!
We wanted to talk to someone who has spent many years helping parents with infant sleep issues, so we interviewed Elizabeth Pantley, who has written the No-Cry Sleep Solution series of books. Her new book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns, was released in October 2016.
Should You Let Baby Cry It Out For Naps
If youre trying the CIO method at nighttime, you should let your baby cry it out for naps too.
But if your babys naptime is typically on the shorter side and only lasts 30 minutes or so, you may want to limit how long you let her cry before you try another sleep training method or even give up on the nap for that day.
After about a week of nighttime sleep training, naptimes should get easier. At that point your baby will have gotten used to the idea that being put in her crib means that its time to sleep. And she will have discovered the self-soothing methods that help her to summon the sandman.
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Newborn Sleeping Feeding And Play: Letting Your Baby Lead The Routine
With newborn sleeping and feeding, the key is being flexible and following your babys lead. Your baby will let you know whether they want to sleep, feed or interact with you its OK to go with whatever feels right at the time.
Its also OK to try to do things in a similar order if that feels right for you and your baby. For example, you could trya simple routine of feed, play, sleep. Heres what this might look like:
If you try this kind of routine, its still important to watch your babys cues and respond.
For example, your baby might show tired signs soon after a feed. This means that its time for your baby to sleep, even if you and baby havent had much time to play.
Or your baby might show signs of being hungry after a play. In this situation, just give your baby another feed before settling baby for sleep. Your baby will sleep better with a full tummy.
Or your baby might have an extra-long sleep every now and then. Thats OK too. Unless your doctor or child and family health nurse has told you otherwise, theres no need to wake your baby for feeds.
And at night, a good option might be settling your baby straight back to sleep after feeds, rather than trying to play.
Are There Other Ways To Help Reduce Your Babys Risk Of Sleep Dangers Including Sids
Yes. Heres what you can do:
- Make sure your baby gets all her vaccinations. These shots help protect her from serious childhood diseases and may help prevent SIDS. All children should be vaccinated for their own health and so they dont spread infections to others.
- Dont smoke and keep your baby away from other smokers and secondhand smoke . Babies who live with smokers are at increased risk of SIDS. Keep your home and your car smoke-free.
- Dont smoke, drink alcohol or use harmful drugs during pregnancy. Babies of mothers who do these things are at increased risk of SIDS.
- Go to all your prenatal care checkups during pregnancy. Babies of mothers who dont get regular prenatal care are at increased risk of SIDS.
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Where Should Your Baby Sleep
The safest place for your baby to sleep is by herself in a bassinet or crib. If you have multiples , put each baby in his own bassinet or crib. Here are some dos and donts about making your babys sleep space safe:
- Dont use sleep positioners. These sometimes are called nests or anti-roll pillows. They often are mats or wedges with pillows on either side to help keep your baby in place. The Food and Drug Administration warns that sleep positioners can cause babies to die because of suffocation.
- Dont let your baby sleep in a carrier, sling, car seat or stroller. Babies who sleep in these items can suffocate. If your baby falls asleep in one, take her out and put her in her crib as soon as you can.
- Dont put your baby to sleep on soft surfaces, like a waterbed, sofa, soft mattress or cushion.
- Dont keep crib bumpers, loose bedding, toys or other soft objects in your babys crib. They put your baby in danger of being trapped, strangled or suffocated.
- Dont use cribs with drop-side rails. Dont put portable bed rails on a regular bed. Babies can get stuck in rails and choke. Dont try to fix a crib that has broken or missing parts.
Dont Wake Your Baby To Feed After 2 Months
If your baby is gaining weight properly, you dont have to wake them at night for feedings. Your baby needs to find them own sleep schedule. Once they are eating more in the daytime, they dont need to wake and eat at night.
Here are some instances where you should wake your baby:
- They are sleeping more in the day than the night and missing their daytime feeds.
- Dont let them go more than 4 hours without eating during the day. You may need to wake the baby up to feed at night, but it is probably better to try to change your babys daytime habits rather than continuing to wake them every 4 hours at night.
Your babys pediatrician will give you advice for your baby. For premature or special-needs babies, you may need to adjust feedings.
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Let A Friend Or Family Member Watch Your Baby While You Take A Nap Even If This Means Your Breastfed Baby Will Take Some Meals From A Bottle
Lactation experts often discourage breastfeeding mothers from bottle feeding babies for the first 3-4 weeks. The worry is that supplemental feeds will lead to a decreased milk supply and endanger successful breastfeeding in the long-term.
But you need to balance this against the negative effects of severe sleep restriction. Lack of sleep puts parents at increased risk of illness and opens in a new windowpostpartum depression, which is bad for parents and babies. If you are at the end of your rope, get help.
How To Keep Your Light Sleeper From Waking Up All The Way
1. Dont rush in the moment you think your baby has awakened.
As noted above, babies experience frequent arousals, but that doesnt mean they are doomed to wake up all the way every few minutes. Babies often jerk, sigh, or vocalize during partial arousals. If you avoid stimulating them during these moments, they may go back to sleep on their own.
2. Tank up the baby before you go to sleep.
Whether you breastfeed or bottle-fed, try to give the baby an especially large meal before your own bedtime. This will encourage your baby to sleep longer. To learn more about this approach, see this Parenting Science guide to opens in a new windowDream feeding.
3. If you feed your baby formula, try to find one that includes DHA.
DHA is a fatty acid found in fish oil and other dietary sources. Its important for brain development, and may play a role in shaping sleep patterns as well.
In one study, children who consumed low levels of DHA had reduced amount of slow-wave sleep . In another study, pregnant women with higher blood levels of DHA gave birth to babies who spent more time in quiet sleep .
DHA is found in breast milk, so its plausible that boosting a nursing mothers DHA intake could improve a newborns sleep patterns. If you use formula, it seems like a good idea to find a baby formula that contains DHA.
4. Check out my article on opens in a new windowbaby sleep aids.
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Some Babies Sleep Better In Car Seats And Swings But Are They Safe
Recent product recalls, and a new study, reaffirm the old advice: Infants should sleep flat on their backs in a crib.
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This story was originally published on May 24, 2019 in NYT Parenting.
A new studyMay 20 in the journal Pediatrics highlights the risks of allowing babies to sleep for extended periods in rocking devices or car seats. If the thought of giving up your infant swing or vibrating chair is daunting, I get it. My first child is now 11. Although day-to-day memories of his first few months are fading, one that remains fresh is his screaming. As an infant, he was often difficult to soothe. My wife or I would put him in his car seat: Cue the screams. Rocking chair? Screams. Crib? Tummy time? Stroller? Guess. The one thing that worked was his infant swing. We would strap him in, turn on the motor that swung the cushioned seat back and forth, and count on about 30 minutes of blissful silence while he snoozed.
Safe sleep advocates, and pediatricians like me, have long been concerned about the array of rocking or bouncing devices on the market that promise to calm crying infants. But if you had told me, as the new father of a fussy 3-month-old, that I needed to give up the swing, Im not sure what I would have done.
Bucknam And Ezzos Method
Robert Bucknam, MD, and Gary Ezzo who gave their book On Becoming Babywise the subtitle Giving your infant the gift of nighttime sleep feel that teaching your little one to self-soothe is truly a gift that will help baby in the long run. Ezzo and Bucknam say that babies between 7 and 9 weeks of age are capable of sleeping up to 8 hours a night. By 12 weeks, this increases up to 11 hours.
The CIO method here involves allowing 15 to 20 minutes of crying before sleep. Its also important to note that this method prescribes a specific rhythm of daytime sleep as well .
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Wake To Feed But Don’t Schedule
The advice to wake a baby for the above reasons doesnt mean we are suggesting putting your baby on a schedule You should still be feeding your baby on demand and when they show hunger cues! La Leche League writes, Scheduling feedings for a baby who is exclusively nursing frequently throughout the day and night, especially during the first six weeks has been correlated with slow weight gain.
Just know that this may end up being a lot sooner than every 3 hours with more than 8 – 12 feeds in a day. When your baby shows theyre hungry, feed them!
Instead, the advice is that you shouldnt let your newborn baby go longer than 3 hours between feedings which means if your baby keeps sleeping past that mark, you need to wake them up to eat. As your baby grows, so does this amount of time.
Criticism Of Crying It Out
CIO critics sometimes point to a 2012 study finding that babies’ levels of the stress hormone cortisol remained high even after they stopped crying and went to sleep on their own.
But that study was small and had no control group to define what the study’s author meant by “high” meaning the babies in the study could have had elevated cortisol levels simply because their parents were putting them to sleep in an unfamiliar environment.
What’s more, the study looked only at the extinction, “pure” form of cry it out, where parents don’t go in at increasingly longer intervals to soothe their babies, but instead let them cry for a long stretch all at once .
The American Academy of Pediatrics published its own long-term, larger study in 2012 in its journal Pediatrics advocating sleep training as healthy and important when it comes to babies’ development.
The research showed that babies sleep trained either using the gradual, Ferber method, or the straight CIO method were not at a higher risk of emotional, behavioral or psychological problems by age 6.
Sleep Myth : Babies On Solid Foods Sleep Longer
Many parents have heard that starting solids early or adding cereal to their babys bottle will help their child sleep through the night. This is a myth. There is no research to support it, and in fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages feeding babies solid foods before four months of age. This is due to their immature digestive systems and their lack of oral-motor skills. Some studies even indicate that early introduction of solids can trigger food allergies.
It is normal and expected that babies younger than 4 months will wake during the night. Beginning at about 4 months, you can start helping your baby learn to sleep though the night.
Until then, your young infant will be plenty full on a liquid diet, without using solids. Make the babys last feeding part of his bedtime routine. And try to put your baby down while he is still awake, but drowsy. If you have concerns about your childs weight gain or sleep patterns, talk to your health care provider.
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Should Babies Sleep In Their Own Room
In guidelines updated in 2016, the AAP recommended that infants share a room, but not a bed, as part of safe sleep practices to try to prevent SIDS and sleep-related deaths. In the “A-level” recommendationthe Academy’s strongest evidence ratingthe AAP said that room-sharing should continue at least until the baby is 6 months old, ideally until 12 months.
The 2017 study suggests that it may actually be better for babies to have their own rooms starting at the age of 4 months old.
In that study, babies with separate rooms actually slept longer than babies who shared a room with their parents. At 4 months, the babies slept an average of 46 more minutes at 9 months, 40 more minutes and at 30 months, infants who slept in their own rooms earlier tended to sleep more too.
And although a few minutes here and there might not sound like that big of a deal, not getting enough sleep has been associated with many negative outcomes, such as poor physical, cognitive, and emotional development as well as relationships with parents. It’s also been shown that sleep habits set as an infant tend to remain later in childhood, so it’s important to start safe sleep practices early on.
However, it’s important to note that this study was just observational. It may be that the parents with babies who were naturally better sleepers transitioned those kids into their own bedroom sooner .
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