SIDS is devastating. While there is no pleasant way to lose a child, death due to SIDS can be especially difficult. Most of the time, you can’t directly identify what exactly caused it. This adds so much grief and frustration on top of a situation that’s already horrible.
While we’re not always sure what causes SIDS, there are things we can do to prevent it. There are a number of tactics that have been shown to reduce the risk and incidence of SIDS, including:
- Place your baby on her back for sleep. Every time you lay your baby down, lay her down on her back. This can reduce the risk of SIDS by as much as 50%.
- Use a firm mattress for baby’s crib. The crib should have a firm mattress, and should be free of any soft objects such as pillows, blankets, wedges, bumpers, and more.
- Get the proper prenatal care. Women who don’t receive the recommended prenatal care have a higher risk of their baby dying due to SIDS.
- Avoid smoking or exposing your baby to smoke. Smoking during pregnancy increases your risk of SIDS, as does exposing your baby to second-hand smoke.
- Give your baby a pacifier. Researchers aren’t sure why, but giving baby a pacifier at nap time and bed time seems to help reduce the risk of SIDS.
- Keep your baby in the same room that you sleep in. Bed-sharing isn’t generally recommended, however.
- Breast feed if you can. Breastfeeding is shown to lower the risk of SIDS.
- Don’t let baby get overheated. Avoid covering your baby’s face, and dress him warmly but no more than a single layer beyond what you’d wear.
- Get your baby vaccinated. Babies that aren’t vaccinated have been shown to have higher rates of SIDS.
- Give your baby tummy time during the day. This will help from developing a flat spot on their head.
Parents will try just about anything, at times, to help baby sleep. The fact of the matter is that any parent can tell you that they’ve had some trouble, at least occasionally, with a baby that doesn’t seem to want to go down for the night. He can become fussy, as he is too tired to stay awake but doesn’t want to go to sleep and miss anything.
One of the most effective techniques that parents have used in the past to help get baby to sleep is by using music. Music is known for it’s soothing properties, not only for babies but for moms and dads that are stressed out by sleepless nights, as well. Even the idea of the lullaby is based on the fact that people have been able to use music to soothe babies for centuries.
Of course, like adults, every baby is a little bit different when it comes to their musical tastes. Some babies are more picky than others, and some are more likely to be stimulated than soothed by certain types of music.
If you want to use music to help baby sleep, here are some steps to go through:
- Try music with a steady beat at a slow tempo first. Play it when your baby is trying to go to sleep, but is being fussy.
- Pick music that has a simple, consistent and even repetitive melody. Most classical music falls into this category, as does quite a bit of light jazz.
- Don’t play the volume so loud that it keeps baby awake. Make it loud enough to get and hold your baby’s attention, but not enough to make her more excited.
- Try a variety of musical styles. If your baby doesn’t respond to one type of music, try another type of music the following night.
- Consider playing music every night at bedtime, even if he isn’t having trouble sleeping. This will help your baby to associate the music with sleep.
- Make sure you follow some basic safety guidelines. Don’t put headphones on a sleeping baby, and if you’re using a baby monitor make sure the music doesn’t drown out your ability to hear if your baby were to start crying.
Having a baby can be a wonderful and exciting experience. The days immediately following the birth of your baby, however, can also be something of a challenging time, as well. While it is true that some of your pregnancy discomforts may be subsiding or gone during the postpartum period, the fact remains that childbirth can be rather traumatic to your body. There are a variety of aches, pains, and discomforts that can occur after your baby is born. During the postpartum recovery period, it is especially important that you take care of your own body, as you are much better equipped to help out your little one and bond with your little one when your own ailments are under control. Many women have chosen to use herbs to help with postpartum recovery.
One of the ways that herbs can help with postpartum recovery has to do with sore bottoms. Whether you have had an episiotomy, perineal tearing, soreness, or hemorrhoids, it can be difficult for some women to even sit for extended periods of time after their baby is born. There are oils, lotions, compresses, and even sprays that you can use to help with your sore bottom during your postpartum recovery period. These herbal remedies might include things like shea butter, witch hazel, calendula, yarrow, and St. John’s Wort.
As is the case during pregnancy, you can use herbs for postpartum recovery in a variety of teas. Herbal teas may be able to help with any number of postpartum problems. Some herbal teas can help relieve stress, while others are designed to help with the production of breast milk. There are even teas that can help with the weaning process, and help to stop the production of breast milk when the time comes.
Another way to use herbs to help with postpartum recovery has to do with sore breasts, and breast engorgement. During the period of postpartum recovery, a woman’s body is just adjusting to the needs of her baby in terms of breast milk. If a woman is not breastfeeding, engorgement can be especially common. Herbs for sore breasts during postpartum recovery might take the form of a lotion or a cream. Generally, they will use things like cocoa butter or mango butter. There are also herbal breast compresses that can help with postpartum recovery. In some cases, these herbal breast compresses may even use time tested remedies, such as cabbage leaves or even black tea.
The fact of the matter is that most parents of newborns relish those times when baby goes down for a nap. Those nights of interrupted sleep can be truly draining, and the fact of the matter is that wise parents will take advantage of whatever pockets of time they can find in order to catch a few extra minutes of shut-eye. Having a firm grasp on napping expectations is key if you’re going to keep your sanity and get what sleep you can.
Here’s what you can expect during those first couple of years in terms of your baby’s sleep patterns and napping expectations:
- For the first couple of months, babies’ sleep patterns will be very unpredictable. Babies may sleep anywhere from 10 to 18 hours a day. They may sleep for several hours at a time, but not always during the nighttime. They’re probably going to be awake for about one to three hours at a time.
- From the ages of three months to about 11 months. You can expect your baby to have between two and four naps each day, and each will last between about 30 minutes and two hours. This schedule will shift noticeably when you baby stops nighttime feedings (usually around six months). By the age of 9 months, about ¾ of babies will sleep through the night, and establish more routine naps.
- From the ages of one to three years, you can plan on your baby sleeping, overall, about 12 to 14 hours each day. At this stage of the game, your child is likely to still be napping, and naps are still beneficial at this point. Your baby will probably nap in the afternoon, and that nap will probably last for between one to three hours. If you put your baby down for a nap too late in the day, it can also interfere with his ability to fall asleep at bedtime.
Keep in mind, of course, that every baby is different. Your baby may take fewer or more naps than another child of the same age, and even children within the same family often establish different napping patterns.
If you’re anything like most of us, you’ve found that a car ride is often just the ticket to help a fussy baby get to sleep. The combination of the snug hold of the car seat with the noise and vibration of a ride in the car seems to help even the fussiest babies fall asleep. Additionally, the need to focus on the road can help a frustrated parent divert some of their attention from a crying infant.
Very few would find any fault with using car rides to help baby get to sleep. When you get back from the car ride, though, the question becomes whether to leave baby sleeping peacefully in the car seat, or to try to move her to the crib without waking her up. For many parents, it would seem that the obvious choice is to leave the baby where she is as long as she is comfortable and safe.
Not the Best Place
Unfortunately, a car seat is not the safest place for baby to be sleeping, especially once it’s outside of the car. Recent studies have shown that one out of five babies sleeping in car seats have a significant have lower levels of oxygen than those sleeping in a crib. It is believed that the reason for this has to do with the way a baby is positioned while in a car seat.
Young infants have little to no control of their heads. When they are in a car seat, their head can move forward in a way which constricts the airway. While this is not especially dangerous for short durations, or while the car is moving, it’s not a good idea to leave babies stationary in a car seat for too long. Even though it risks waking the baby up, it’s much better to take them out of the car seat once you arrive home and place them into the crib.
Let Baby Fall Asleep Good Before You Move Her
One thing that can help is making sure that baby is in deep sleep before you end the car trip. Babies, like adults, go through periods of light and deep sleep. If you wait until baby is really in a state of deep sleep, you will have a better chance of moving her without waking her up. You will know that your baby is in a deep sleep state when she stops making facial expressions and noises in her sleep, and her body goes completely limp.