Baby Milestones: Night in Her Own Room

How long should a baby sleep in mommy and daddy’s room after coming home from the hospital? There really is no set answer, because it’s a personal preference based on  your baby’s development and what works for each family. For our family, my daughter slept in our room for three weeks until we decided it was time to put her beautiful new crib to use in her own baby room.

We knew we were ready for this big baby milestone; we were ready to stop tiptoeing around our new baby, and to stop being afraid of waking our daughter when we turn in. While we knew it was the right decision for us, I began to miss her and worry about her incessantly, even though  the baby room was just a few feet away).

To help ease the worry that came with this transition, we put together an away-from-baby survival kit. The kit included:

·         Video monitor with audio Many moms find an audio monitor adequate, but there is something reassuring about seeing your baby in the crib while she is peacefully asleep.

·         Sleep sack This helped to keep her warm and ensure her safety in the crib. Our little one never enjoyed being swaddled, as she preferred her arms to be free.

·         Comfortable glider Since I couldn’t just grab my baby next to me and bring her into bed for nighttime feedings, we invested in a glider where I could comfortably sit in her room while feeding her. It was enjoyable for me, and I was able to rock her back to sleep.

I remember the first time we achieved this baby milestone. We put her to bed in her crib, which made her look even tinier, and immediately turned on the monitor. There sat my husband and I, for what seemed like an eternity, staring at our little one laying in her crib. I knew we had done everything right to ensure her safety, but as a new mom, I couldn’t help but worry.

I found myself looking forward to hearing her “I’m hungry!” cries, knowing I could spend that time with her. I also found myself sneaking into the baby room, holding my ear up to her face in the dark, listening to her breathing.

Our first night was a success, and with each night in her room, I became less and less worried. My husband and I were able to get back some semblance of normalcy and reconnect on our positive feelings about being new parents.

Smart Sleep Spaces for Your New Baby

In addition to a healthy diet, your baby’s sleep is crucial for healthy development. As a new mom, it’s likely that you’ve already decorated your little one’s nursery to stimulate her mind and give her a safe place to play. But the right surroundings can also add to her comfort and may even encourage better, sounder sleep. Try these baby sleep solutions with your baby’s bedroom.

Baby sleep solution #1: Check the temp. A room that’s too warm isn’t a comfy sleep space for anyone, including your new baby. Be sure the air conditioning isn’t too cold, though (open a window instead if the weather is moderate). If you have a thermostat, set the temperature to 65 to 70 Fahrenheit.

Baby sleep solution #2: Dress to impress. Overdoing the clothes at night can leave your baby sweaty and cranky. When picking out pajamas, remember that babies usually need just one more layer than adults. An undershirt along with a cotton sleep sack is enough for most climates.

Baby sleep solution #3: Focus on the floor. A soft rug or wall-to-wall carpeting will help to warm the room up and create a nice play space on the floor. Rugs or carpet can also help to muffle noise, helping to create a quiet sleep space.

Baby sleep solution #4: Block light. Consider hanging blinds or darkening shades to keep out the early morning light. Installing dimmers on the lights in your new baby’s room is another way to create a soothing atmosphere. Dim the lights when you’re getting your baby ready to sleep, lowering them more and more as bedtime approaches.

Baby sleep solution #5: Turn up the volume. Not all babies like to sleep in a silent space. You might think about adding in some white noise, either with a special machine, a nature CD, or the radio. Some babies sleep better with the washing machine on and the vacuum running, so don’t be afraid to go about your regular household routine when she’s napping or down for the night.

You don’t need expensive sheets or fancy details in your new baby’s room to create a cozy sleep haven. Simply focus on the basics, follow your baby’s cues, and she’ll be sure to have sweet dreams.

Photo by Peter Oslanec on Unsplash

What’s Up with Your New Baby’s Snoring?

Now that you have a new baby, it’s likely your husband isn’t the only one snoring away at night. As many moms learn, some newborns are also noisy night breathers, emitting sounds very much like snores. Rest assured, this racket is common and isn’t usually cause for concern. Here, some reasons behind the snores and remedies for helping your new baby have a quieter night’s sleep.

Baby Snore Reason #1: She’s still little. Your newborn’s airways are narrow and filled with lots of drool, so her breathing may sound bubbly, wheezy, and downright loud. This baby snoring will gradually lessen and should eventually disappear as she ages, since her airways will get bigger and she’ll learn how to better swallow her saliva.

Baby Snore Reason #2: The common cold. Mild sickness, like an upper respiratory infection, can disrupt your baby’s sleep and affect her breathing, making it sound like she’s snoring at night.

Baby Snore Remedy #1: Just before bedtime, take your baby into the bathroom and run hot water in the shower to create an at-home spa. Standing in the steam may help to clear your new baby’s breathing passages. You could also add moist air to her room by setting up a warm-mist humidifier.

Baby Snore Remedy #2: Dirt and other household particles can irritate tiny nasal passages, which in turn may exacerbate your baby’s snoring. Make a habit of vacuuming well a couple of times a week and washing items that tend to attract dust.

Keep track of your baby’s snores, even recording them so you can learn whether her sounds are changing in any way. If her snoring is loud and occurs on a regular basis, or if you find that your infant’s breathing seems labored, speak with her pediatrician, as it could be a sign of something more serious. Rest assured, though, a few little nighttime gurgles and grunts during the first months of your new baby’s life are usually nothing to worry about.

Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

Toddler Sleep Solutions: Comfort Companion

Toddler comfort companions come in all shapes and sizes: Some are raggedy blankets, others much-loved teddies, and some may be as unusual as one of mommy’s T-shirts. These baby and toddler sleep companions don’t just have a place in the crib; they’re often used as a security object during all hours of the day. Read on for everything new moms should know, as well as some ideas on what bedtime toys to present your tot with to help him sleep.

The lowdown
Carrying around a security, or transitional, object is a completely normal part of your baby’s development, and many kids will pick out their companion between 8 and 12 months of age. Often a soft object like a blanket or pillow does the trick, your little one will use his companion to comfort and reassure himself when you’re not around. Many children can become attached to their transitional objects, which is also normal: Don’t view this as a sign your new baby is clingy or shy.

Safety first
While it’s fine to let your older baby take her teddy to bed, it’s important to insist that children under 7 months leave soft toys and blankets out of the crib. They can pose a suffocation hazard, increasing your child’s risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Also, as your new baby may chew on his security object, it’s crucial to check it for choking hazards, such as buttons or other small pieces that could detach.

Quite the collection
You may be surprised if your tot chooses a non-cuddly companion to latch onto, but that’s normal, too. Some kids may form an attachment with their favorite board book, and insist on sleeping with it every night while others may find a toy train or car soothing. As long as you don’t think your new baby could hurt himself in his sleep, it’s fine to allow these more unusual transitional objects into bed.

Smart new moms know that keeping a replacement transitional object on hand is a must. Once your new baby chooses his security object, try to find an identical one and keep it tucked away. If your new baby ever loses it (or you decide that Teddy needs to be thrown in the washing machine), you’ll be able to whip out the new security toy before the tears start.

Pregnancy Tips for Better Sleep When Expecting

Pregnancy brings a lot of unexpected surprises, but perhaps one of the least welcome is a disruption to your sleep schedule. Being pregnant is exhausting, so why are you lying awake counting sheep at a time when you need sleep the most?

Rest assured that you’re not alone. It turns out that many moms-to-be have trouble falling -- and staying -- asleep while pregnant due to the hormonal changes and physical discomfort of carrying a baby. While it’s frustrating, experts say the situation is fixable, and since your new baby’s health depends on your health, the more sleep you get during your pregnancy, the better. Read on for a pregnancy tip for each trimester that will help you get the rest you need.

Sleep tip for the first trimester
During the first few months of your pregnancy, you may notice that you need to urinate more often in the middle of the night. This is normal, but to prevent the number of trips to the bathroom, avoid drinking too many fluids in the evenings. Just make sure you drink plenty of water during the day to make up for this.

Stress can also keep new moms-to-be awake, so if you’re worried about your new pregnancy, try keeping a journal next to your bed and jotting down your worries before you go to sleep. The act of writing them down may help alleviate your stress enough for you to fall asleep.

Sleep tip for the second trimester
Many moms-to-be find that their sleep improves during the second trimester as the need to urinate decreases. However, your changing body shape may present some sleep problems. As your baby grows, you’ll find that sleeping on your side with your knees bent may be the most comfortable position. While strategically placed pillows can help keep you in this side position, don’t worry if you roll over onto your back in the middle of the night -- it’s one of those parts of pregnancy that you can’t control.

Sleep tip for the third trimester
During the last trimester of your pregnancy, the need to urinate frequently often returns, along with heartburn, leg cramps, and discomfort due to your expanding belly. To help prepare your body for sleep, do something relaxing before you head to bed, such as taking a warm bath for 15 minutes.

Getting into a regular bedtime routine can also help your body shut down for a good night’s sleep. While it might be tempting to work into the night getting ready for your new baby, remember to put your needs first. The nursery decorations can wait until the morning!

If you find a bedtime routine that works for you, be sure to stick to it. While it is possible to get a good night’s sleep while pregnant, you’ll find that it isn’t as easy once you have a new baby in the house, so stock up on your shut-eye now!