With the wonderful new arrival of your new baby, excitement and love fills your home. Hours are spent watching your newborn baby sleep and eat, whilst you listen to the new little noises throughout the day. When bedtime arrives and it's time to place your new loved one to bed, its normal to keep peeking through the bedroom door, making sure your baby is sleeping well. There are a few simple tips to ensure a safer and comfortable night-time for you and your new baby.
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Just Before Bedtime
There are three essential steps toward creating a great natural sleep pattern for baby and you. The first is part of your feeding routine. With the last feed before bedtime ensure there is an extra ounce of milk in your baby's bottle. If breastfeeding, it may help to express the milk directly into a bottle for this feed to see how many ounces your new baby actually intakes. If your baby falls asleep after the first ounce or two, there is an automatic suction reflex found on the inner roof of the mouth at the centre. If you're unsure of where the suction reflex position is within your baby's mouth, your midwife or health visitor can help you. When the suction spot is rubbed gently with the teat of the bottle, your baby will automatically suck and will continue to feed. Finishing the bottle at bedtime prevents the baby from awaking a few hours later hungry.
After the Bedtime Feed
The next important step helps prevent colic and an uncomfortable baby with trapped wind waking up through the night. Place the baby toward your chest with her head above your shoulder and gently rub her back, up and down. This will help release trapped windy bubbles, which will make your baby burp. It's best to try and get two or three burps from your baby, making sure more wind is released and your baby is relaxed. Find helpful advice relating to colic in Resources below.
Nature has provided our young with a simple bowel movement reflex to help toward natural healthy and regular bowel movements. Get a couple of pieces of clean cotton wool and wet them slightly with warm water, making sure the water temperature is not too hot for the baby to touch. Lay your newborn baby in a comfortable position, and raise her legs to reveal the bottom area. Wipe over the anal area from top to bottom; do not wipe bottom to top, as this can cause thrush. Within a minute or two, you new baby will pass a stool and maybe some wind, too. This helps prevent your little baby from waking up within a short time with a dirty and uncomfortable diaper and helps toward a better nights sleep for both of you. For further advice for babies and thrush approved by the Babycentre Medical Advisory Board, please click on the baby and thrush link in Resources below.
Newborn babies are used to feeling tight and secure within the womb. Therefore, swaddling your baby helps prevent her from waking herself up with a sudden arm or leg movement she is not yet used to and keeps her feeling secure within her new sleeping area. To learn more about the swaddling technique, visit the swaddling technique link in Resources below.
Newborn Sleeping Position
The American Academy of Pediatrics state that its best for a newborn baby to sleep on a firm mattress, placed upon her back. As babies tend to spew slightly with milk, especially when they have a little wind within their system, a safe tip to prevent any possible coughing and choking is to raise the head area of the mattress slightly, by placing a small pillow underneath the top part of the baby's mattress. This elevates your baby ever so slightly but also helps toward any slight vomit from being caught within her mouth and throat by use of gravity.
A small financial investment toward a baby monitor can help give mom and dad the extra security of keeping an eye on their newborn baby without disturbing or awaking her.
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