Newborns do not have long stretches of sleep. This means parents are usually not getting long stretches of sleep. Creating an environment that optimizes your newborn’s sleep is essential. This can mean the difference between getting a few hours of sleep or not getting any sleep at all. Here are the top recommendations from experts on how to maximize your sleep.
Can Newborn Sleep With Pacifier?
Yes, a newborn can sleep with a pacifier. It is important to note that the pacifier should have no attachments, like strings or clips. These are choking and strangulation hazards. A pacifier can help keep your baby asleep at night. If the pacifier falls out, rinse it and replace it if your baby wants it replaced. Sucking is very soothing for a newborn and can help them get back to sleep and stay asleep!
You will likely have to buy a variety of pacifier sizes to accommodate your child as they get older. Some pacifier brands offer larger sizes so that the shape of the pacifier doesn’t have to change as your child gets older. If you feel that pacifier use is interfering with your ability to breastfeed, you can wait until breastfeeding is established before using a pacifier. Most women are able to breastfeed and use a pacifier without any problems. Many families start using the pacifier before even leaving the hospital.
Baby Sound Machine
A sound machine is so important when it comes to baby sleep. A good sound machine is one that is not so loud that it is disturbing but not so soft that your baby will awaken from other noises in the house. Remember that it is safest to sleep in the same room as your newborn (but not the same bed) until 6 to 12 months of age to minimize the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).
The sound machine should be placed near the baby’s bassinet or crib, but not inside the same sleep space as the baby. It should also not be so loud that you will not awaken to hear your baby’s cries. You can easily purchase a baby sound machine online so that you are ready for the first night at home with your newborn. A portable sound machine is great because you can easily take it with you when you’re on the go!
The Right Newborn Baby Clothes
A newborn is not allowed to sleep with a blanket. Therefore, you will want to make sure that the newborn baby clothes that you buy for them at night are warm enough to keep them comfortable. It is important to keep the room at a comfortable temperature so that your baby is not too cold, but also is not at risk for overheating. If your baby is sweating when you pick them up from their crib or bassinet, it means it is too hot in the room or their clothes are causing them to overheat.
In addition to selecting the right fabric, newborn sleep clothing with mittens is also helpful because it prevents your baby from scratching themselves at night. If you are able to splurge, magnetic newborn sleep clothing makes diaper changes and clothing changes very quick and easy at night. Zip-up onesies are also a great choice for easy middle-of-the-night changes.
Until your baby is rolling, newborn clothing with mittens and footies can help to keep your baby cozy. Once your child starts to roll, they will need the grip from their hands and feet to turn themselves back onto their back.
Learn To Swaddle!
Until your baby starts to roll, you may want to consider using a swaddle. Remember that the swaddle should be snugly fitted and not be near the baby’s mouth or nose. After your baby shows signs of starting to roll, discontinue swaddle use immediately. Swaddling a baby that can roll is extremely dangerous.
A swaddle can help to prevent the Moro reflex, which is the startle reflex. This reflex will cause your baby to wake themselves up in the middle of the night. Choose a swaddle that is light and easy to wrap. Swaddles that are too thick can cause babies to overheat.
Getting through the newborn phase is very challenging. Especially for new parents who may not be used to frequent night time waking, you want to be as prepared as possible.
A Soothing Night Light
Bright lights will wake up your baby fully. In order to keep them in sleepy mode, use a light that has different settings. You want the light to be bright enough so you can see well during middle-of-the-night diaper changes but not so bright that your baby thinks it’s time to play. On the dimmest setting, some night lights will provide up to 200 hours of dim light.
If your baby is stuffy and can’t nap lying down, an upright bouncer can be really helpful. Remember that a bouncer is not considered a safe sleep space for a baby that is going to be left alone. Therefore, only use a bouncer for your baby to sleep while you or another caretaker is able to observe the baby. Let your baby nap in this bouncer while you can be nearby returning emails or doing some other tasks.
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