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Baby sleep tips

Are you struggling to put your baby to sleep?

No more. Follow these easy steps and give him a peaceful time. – By Shaily Lamba

You must have heard stories of sleep – inducing lullabies for newborns. And when it came to trying your hands at it, you discovered them to be not-so effective. Ask any parent and they will tell you that putting your little angel to bed is not so angelic after all. The task becomes more challenging if you are a new parent on the block.

However, the foremost thing that needs to be decided is the place where your baby is going to rest – will it be your bed, a crib, or a bassinet. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s comfortable and safe. If you are letting the baby share your bed, then you will have to practice precaution. “It is safe to co-bed newborns but of course, you have to be alert,” says Dr Neeta Kejriwal, associate consultant, paediatrics, Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon.

Many parents loose their sleep when it comes to soothing their baby to bed. We advise you to go by your instinct. Moreover, the onus of putting the baby to sleep should not always be on the mother. Share your responsibilities and take turns; it’s a way of ensuring that the baby sleeps even if one of the parents isn’t around.

Make Daytime lively: By not letting your baby sleep during the daytime ensures that he becomes cranky by the time it is night and sleeps easily. Rather, make the days lively and let him take a nap. Help him understand the difference between day and night.

Time the Sleep: Set his body clock by scheduling the sleep timing. Start looking at clues such as yawning and staring at the wall. Your infant will give you enough signs if he wants to take a nap now. “The baby will not be interested in doing anything – be it feeding or playing or might just become cranky – if he wants to sleep,” informs Dr Kejriwal.

Bedtime Ritual: A baby can see and hear you, though in fragments. Therefore, set a bedtime ritual for him so that he gets subtle hints that now is the time for him to sleep. You can give him a massage or a bath before kissing him good night. Whatever ritual you follow, make sure it’s short and simple.

Soothe Once you are through with the bedtime routine, soothe him by either walking him, cuddling with him on the bed, putting him on a rocker, or even giving him a pacifier. You can also sing out to him or make him hear some soft music. All such activities will help you soothe the infant, which can sometimes even put him to sleep. However, don’t forget to feed him before he falls asleep.

DO IT NOT:

• Don’t switch off the fans and the air-conditioners during summers.

Even the newborns feel the heat.

• Do not use very soft bedding as there is danger of suffocation.

• Don’t make your baby cry if you want to put him to bed. It is just a myth and don’t fall for it.

• Don’t allow him to fall asleep during a nursing session.

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