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Thursday, June 10, 2010

A Few Ideas to Help Your Baby Sleep


Well I have been a mommy for almost 3 years now... And I can tell you it is not always as angelic and smiling and magical as all the commercials on tellyland would have you believe.....

For starters, most commercials and magazines show these cherubic babies sleeping peacefully as mommy dear sits by and watches.... huh...if only it happened in real life too !!!!

When my daughter was just a few days old her daily routine was pretty 'routine'.... cry for a feed, feed, sleep, dirty your clothes, cry again, feed, sleep...
A few months old and most of the routine was still the same, except that now the sleep pattern was slowly begining to fade....
We thought it was just a momentary thing, but 3 years on and her sleeping habits have only gone from bad to worse....

It took us a lot of time to figure out ways to make her sleep..... though we really haven't reached that perfect zone yet, here are a few things that have helped us on the way:

1. See if the setting of the room is suitable for a good sleep. Often a room that has a very loud colour scheme is not the ideal place for a baby to sleep in. Wall colours such as baby pink, light blue or light green and peach, or even a very light shade of lavender are good for the mind to calm down.

2. Since your baby has trouble getting into the 'zzzzzzzzz' zone, you might want to shut out the television or music or any other noise that might create disturbance or cause distraction. Switch off any electrical device that may cause loud noise. Keep your voice to low. If there are guests in the house, tell them politely but firmly that it is baby's sleep time and you would need everyone to talk softly as baby needs quiet.

3. Avoid giving fried food to your baby just before sleep. In fact avoid fried foods for babies as much as possible. Excessive fried food can cause heartburn and lead to discomfort and cause sleep disorders.

4. If you or your partner snores, try switching to a different room for a few nights before you can consult a doctor and get your snoring treated. Medical results have stated that having a snoring adult in the same room can cause sleep disturbances in a baby.

5. Sometimes if a baby is too tired, he/she will have trouble sleeping at night. Try to give them a light nap in the day, or if that is not possible, try and make bed time early, so that your child is not excessively exerted.

6. Babies who have no or less physical activity, more or less end up channelising their energy in other activities causing an aversion to sleep. A minimum of an hour of rigorous physical activity a day is a must for all babies. Take them to a park and leave them free, keeping an eye on them but letting them play on the swings, the slides, the sand pit and even a simple game of ball. Nothing is as good for a baby as an hour of unrestricted play in the park.

7. The markets these days are full of massage oils. Sometimes these are really useless, but some of these are really good for a nice massage for the baby. After a long and physically trying day, massage your baby with a light ayurvedic oil, something that is not too loud in its fragrance. Dim the lights, massage those legs and hands and give a nice massage on the head.

8. A nice hot bath just before bed time is a soothing medicine for a baby. Fill up a bucket or tub with lukewarm water and give your baby a nice warm bath. Check the temperature of the water before you pour it on baby. Immediately put to bed to avoid the child catching cold.

9. A nice warm bottle of milk also acts as a soother for a super-charged baby. Fill up your baby's favourite bottle with warm milk, add as less sugar as you can and absolutely no chocolate during bedtime, maybe a pinch of ground turmeric. Check the temperature of the milk before you hand the bottle to the baby. Sometimes babies take too much time to fall asleep and hence the gap between dinner time and sleep time increases, causing hunger pangs. Keep the bottle of milk handy and keep giving sips in between.

10.Sometimes, bringing home a lampshade with baby's favourite cartoon character is a bonus. Tell your baby that their cartoon will come alive during bedtime and visit them in their dreams (this almost always works for the little ones who still have some time left to become wise to the ploys of parents). Get bed covers, pillow covers and comforters with baby's favourite cartoon characters on them.

Finally nothing is as comforting for a baby as a parent's touch. Wrap them in your arms, lie down next to them, talk to them softly about things they like, tell them a nice story, hug them and make them feel loved. And just when those eyelids begin to droop, give them a long kiss and tell them how much you love them. Be there with your baby when they doze off to dreamland, tell them that fairies and santa and all good things are waiting for them in their dreams, hold their hands and make sleep time for baby a loving and hugging time.....

Happy dozing.....And all the best..
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