Thursday, January 30, 2014

7 Key Points for Sleep: Getting Off to a Good Start

Sleep is a very important subject for new parents because we know that good sleep is not only essential to your baby's growth and development, but the whole family's well being. The key points listed below are designed to help you put good sleep habits into practice so that as your baby grows and develops, he or she will have the tools for healthy sleep.
  1. Between the ages of six-eight weeks and four months is the best time to start to establish good sleep habits that will eventually teach your baby to sleep through the night.

  2. Many babies make the transition to sleep easier if they have "positive sleep associations" with them at bedtime. For younger babies, white noise or soothing sounds, swaddling, and/or finding their fingers or thumb to suck will help them self-soothe and fall asleep. For older babies, in addition to those things, comfort can be found in a transitional object. Examples include a very small blanket (often called a lovey), a piece of mom's t-shirt, or a small stuffed animal. Incorporating a comfort object into your baby's bedtime routine can help your baby fall asleep on his/her own, and sleep through the night. 

  3. Begin to try to put baby down drowsy but awake. You can do this best by separating feeding and sleeping. Have a small, calming activity in-between the two (i.e. a little massage, a song). Put your baby down in his/her crib while he/she is still awake (it is okay is he/she is drowsy). This way your baby learns that he/she does not need to be nursing (or have a bottle) to fall asleep. 

  4. Earth DayBabies thrive on routines and schedules. Create a bedtime routine for your baby (i.e. a bath,pajamas, feeding, massage, song, or storybook, bed) and try to put your baby to bed at the same time every night. Make sure to do the bedtime routine in the same room in which your baby is going to be sleeping. 

  5. Have the bedroom environment be consistent at bedtime and throughout the night. Black-out curtains often help babies to take longer naps. Don't over stimulate baby. If you need to feed or change your baby during the night, keep the lights low and your interactions to a minimum. 

  6. If baby awakens during the night, listen to the crying. If crying is strong, go in and soothe your baby. If crying is weak and intermittent, see if you can wait a couple of minutes to see if baby puts himself back to sleep. This type of crying may indicate that your baby may not be fully awake and is adjusting to a different stage of sleep. 

  7. Try to remain calm. Your baby will take his/her cue from you. If you feel comfortable with the sleep routine you have established, your baby will too.
Jill's Favorite Products for Sleep

1. Serenity Star by Aden + Anais
  • Continuous play option
  • Has room temperature indicator to let you know if the room is too hot or too cold
  • Feeding diary feature
  • Easily portable

2. Sound Oasis: Sleep Sound Therapy System
  • Good sound quality
  • Continuous play option
  • Many sounds to pick from and mix
  • Has an alarm clock so it can go with your baby when he/she goes to college!

3. Sleep Sheep Smart Sensor by Cloud b
  • Sound sensor to turn back on if baby wakes up and makes a noise
  • Can remove sound box so it is portable for on the go
  • Can be secured to the outside of the crib

4. Sleep Sheep "On the Go" by Cloud b
  • Smaller than the original Sleep Sheep
  • Attaches to car seat or stroller
  • Great for naps that are on the go
  • Can also remove sound box if needed
  • Comes in a Giraffe version as well

5. North American Bear Baby Cozies
  • Great as a transitional object because it is soft, breathable and small
  • Baby's often like to suck or chew on the head of the animal
  • Moms can keep it close to their chest so it has mom's scent
  • Easy to wash

6. Swaddle blanket: Aden + Anais
  • Great traditional swaddle blanket. Lightweight muslin cotton.
  • I like that you can chose if you want baby's elbows to be in a slightly bent position.
  • I like that you can transition baby out of swaddle when ready: one arm out, then two, then off.
  • A little flimsy for newborns but great for bigger babies and can be use as a car seat/stroller cover, nursing cover, etc.  
7. Swaddle blanket: Woombie
  • Better for younger babies because of its stretch.
  • Many moms have told me that they like this swaddle because it is very easy to put baby into and baby cannot break out of it.
  • Baby can have a little bit of arm movement and allows hands to be in the natural fetal position on the chest rather than at the baby's side.
  • Easy to change diaper
8. Swaddle Blanket: Miracle Blanket
  • Super strong swaddle. Some moms like this because some babies will sleep longer without any arm wiggle room.
  • Secures arms so your magician baby doesn't come out of the swaddler
  • Comes in two sizes for growing baby

9. Sleep sacks: Aden + Anais Sleep Sack
  • Great item for when baby is outgrowing the swaddle and not just yet ready for a blanket
  • Arms can be free. When baby rolls over there's no need to worry about blankets falling on his/her face 
  • Great for a lighter sleep sack. Lightweight muslin fabric for warmer weather

10. Sleep sacks: Swaddle Designs zzZip Me Sack
  • Great item for when baby is outgrowing the swaddle and not just yet ready for a blanket
  • Arms can be free. When baby rolls over there's no need to worry about blankets falling on his/her face 
  • Great for a warm cozy sleep sack


Upcoming Sleep Lectures, Classes and Consults

Sleepy - Time: Gentle Sleep Techniques for You and Your Baby
with Marilee Hartling, RN, MFT
January 31st at 1pm in Hollywood

Sleep: Getting you Newborn off to a Good Start (for Newborn-3+ months)
with Jill Campbell, Psy.D
February 28th at 1pm in Westlake Village

Sleepy Planet's Sleep School
with Jennifer Waldburger, MSW
March 23rd from 1-4pm in Santa Monica
May 18th from 1-4pm in Santa Monica

Sleep: Getting Your Newborn Off To A Good Start (For Newborns - 3 months)
with Jill Campbell, Psy.D
April 10th at 2:30pm in Santa Monica

Sleep: Your Growing Baby (For babies 4 months +)
with Jill Campbell, Psy.D
May 8th at 2:30pm

Sleep Consultations with Dr. Jill Campbell
Call any of our store locations to set up an appointment