Healthy Sleep

You are probably wondering when you will ever get a good night’s sleep. Now is a critical time for establishing healthy and safe sleep practices. A good night’s sleep with help you feel refreshed and energized.

Sleep For You

By now you have probably heard the advice “sleep when the baby sleeps” about one thousand times. If that works for you, do it! If you can’t nap because of other children or work schedule, even just resting a few minutes with your eyes closed can do wonders. Here are some other tips for getting your rest:

  • Wind down before sleep by reading, taking a bath, or simple breathing exercises. Click here for more ideas on how to deal with stress in your life.
  • Enlist the help of someone else in your household to help you with night time feedings. If you are a single mom, you may want to ask a trusted friend or family member to help you out on occasion.
  • If you are waking at night because of stress or racing thoughts, talk to your doctor. Don’t suffer alone. Click here to learn more about emotional health.

 

Sleep For Baby

Safe Sleep Guidelines1

Parents should:

  • Put baby to sleep on their back. Babies who sleep on their backs are safer.
  • Provide a separate but nearby sleeping environment (meaning babies should share a room with their parents, but not a bed). The risk of SIDS is reduced when the infant sleeps in the same room as the mother.
  • Never put a baby to sleep on a couch or a chair. A crib, bassinet, or cradle that conforms to the safety standards is recommended.
  • Make sure that the only item in the crib is a mattress, covered by a tight-fitting sheet. No bumper pads, blankets or toys.
  • Never lay a baby down on or next to a pillow. Pillows are extremely dangerous for infants as they can cause suffocation.
  • Do not ever use infant sleep positioners. The FDA says there have been 12 known deaths associated with these products.
  • Dress the baby in a one-piece sleeper to keep them warm in winter.
  • Keep the room at a temperature that is comfortable for the whole family. But the house should not be too warm.
  • Never smoke in a house where an infant or child lives.

 

The best way for baby to sleep is as easy as A, B, C. 

Alone (NOT in bed with another family member and NO blankets, bumpers or stuffed animals)

Back (always put your baby on his/her back, NEVER tummy or side)

Crib (NEVER in an adult’s bed, couch, or soft place)

Watch this video and read this info about safe sleep from First Candle.

 

Swaddling

Swaddling (or wrapping your baby) is a great way to keep your baby snug and secure. Watch a how-to swaddle video.

 

Other Tips For Calming/Soothing Your Baby

  • Make sure your baby is getting enough activity and stimulation during the day so that she is tuckered out at night
  • Have a bedtime routine, bath, read a story, sing a song
  • Consider giving your baby a pacifier
  • Don’t bed share. Baby should have his or her own crib, bassinet, or pack n play
  • Consider Dr. Harvey Karp’s “5 S’s”
    • Swaddling
    • Holding baby on his side/stomach if he is fussing. But always put baby on his BACK to sleep
    • Shushing (or any kind of white noise: vacuum, music)
    • Swinging (babies like movement)
    • Sucking (breastfeeding, pacifier, even sucking on your little finger)

 

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1) City of Milwaukee Health Department
Photo Credit: www.freedigitalphotos.net