Turn your baby into a sweet dreamer with this expert advice
Before babies start teasing for 8 hours (usually around 6 months), they must learn to fall asleep (and sleep!) On their own. These life-changing baby sleep tips can help:
- Be your baby's sleep clock
“Babies do not produce the sleep hormone melatonin fully for at least 9-12 weeks, which means they have no‘ schedule ’until then,” said Kim The West, author of The Sleep Lady, Good West, Tight Sleep. . In the newborn phase, West recommends that the baby be given enough light during the day and woken up to feed if the stairs last more than three hours.
- Keep it dark
To help your child understand there are nights of storage, leave the lights dim at night and feed your child in the bedroom, West says. Blackout shelters can also encourage a little more sleep.
- Skip the diaper change
Only babies wake up by changing the wet diaper. If the diaper isn’t really heavy or a cough occurs, West says you don’t need to worry. Instead, use an absorbent diaper at night and apply a layer of sunscreen before going to bed to make sure your baby’s skin is not exposed to excessive moisture.
- Consider the dream feed
If you wake your baby up to feed him before you go to the grass, fill a hot tub and everyone in the family can get more Z. To try, try again for three days and see if your baby runs longer at night.
- Don't swoop in at the first sound
All the kids are squirming, grumbling and messing up at night, says Heather Turgeon, co-author of The Happy Sleeper. Wait and see if your baby settles down on their own until you think they are ready to feed again.
- Make some (white) noise
They say it's hard for babies to go from a noisy womb to silence at night. Whether you choose a fan or an app made for your child, a soothing sound will be a hint of sleep (and may mask the sound you hear when you turn it on).
- Put your baby down drowsy, but awake
If you wait until your baby is snoozing before placing him in his crib, it will be harder for him to learn to soothe himself when he wakes up, says Turgeon. Routines (even if they just consist of a sponge bath, feeding, and lullaby) can calm down babies so they're ready for dreamland.
- Know that daytime Z's count, too
Parents often follow consistent routines before bed, but then skip them during sleep, Turgeon says. Remember that the better your child is at rest, the sooner they will learn to fall asleep and sleep, day and night.
The Benefits of Breastfeeding for Baby & for Mom
This article describes the numerous physical and mental health benefits for both mother and child when it comes to breastfeeding.
Breastfed babies have:
- Stronger immune systems
- Less diarrhea, constipation, gastroenteritis, gastroesophageal reflux, and preterm necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)
- Fewer colds and respiratory illnesses like pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and whooping cough
- Fewer ear infections, especially those that damage hearing
- Fewer case of bacterial meningitis
- Better vision and less retinopathy of prematurity
- Lower rates of infant mortality
- Lower rates of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Less illness overall and less hospitalization
- Parents have up to six times less absenteeism from work
Breast milk provides abundant and easily absorbed nutritional components, antioxidants, enzymes, immune properties, and live antibodies from mother. Mother’s more mature immune system makes antibodies to the germs to which she and her baby have been exposed. These antibodies enter her milk to help protect her baby from illness. Immunoglobulin A coats the lining of the baby’s immature intestines helping germs and allergens from leaking through. Breast milk also contains substances that naturally soothe infants.
Breastfed babies may become healthier children with:
- Fewer instances of allergies, eczema, and asthma
- Fewer childhood cancers, including leukemia and lymphomas
- Lower risk of type I and II diabetes
- Fewer instances of Crohn’s disease and colitis
- Lower rates of respiratory illness
- Fewer speech and orthodontic problems
- Fewer cavities
- Less likelihood of becoming obese later in childhood
- Improved brain maturation
- Greater immunity to infection
Teens and adults will find benefits for life:
- Less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Less likely to develop heart disease in adulthood
- Lower risk of multiple sclerosis
- Lower rates of pre- and postmenopausal breast cancers
Breastfeeding is healthier for mom physically:
- Promotes faster weight loss after birth, burning about 500 extra calories a day to build and maintain a milk supply.
- Stimulates the uterus to contract and return to normal size.
- Less postpartum bleeding
- Fewer urinary tract infections
- Less chance of anemia
- Less risk of postpartum depression and more positive mood
Healthier for mom emotionally:
- Breastfeeding produces the naturally soothing hormones oxytocin and prolactin that promote stress reduction and positive feelings in the nursing mother.
- Increased confidence and self-esteem
- Increased calmness. Breastfed babies cry less overall, and have fewer incidences of childhood illness. Breastfeeding can support the wellness of body, mind, and spirit for the whole family.
- Breastfeeding makes travel easier. Breast milk is always clean and the right temperature.
- Physical/emotional bonding between mother and child is increased. Breastfeeding promotes more skin-to-skin contact, more holding and stroking. Many feel that affectionate bonding during the first years of life helps reduce social and behavioral problems in both children and adults.
- Breastfeeding mothers learn to read their infant’s cues and babies learn to trust caregivers. This helps shape the infant’s early behavior.
Benefits for life, breastfeeding may result in:
- Lower risk of breast cancer
- Lower risk of ovarian cancer
- Lower risk of rheumatoid arthritis and lupus
- Less endometriosis
- Less osteoporosis with age
- Less diabetes
- Less hypertension decreases blood pressure
- Less cardiovascular disease