Babies are babies. They need to be cared for. On the other hand, there does come a time when enough is enough, but that’s an individual choice.
Sleep problems are only sleep problems when you, the parent, think you have a problem sleeper.
there’s no doubt about it. Sleep problems are definitely in the eyes of the beholder. But there tends to be a point inevery sleep-deprived parent’s life when a moment of truth is reached. Suddenly there’s a certain amount of urgency to the situation:
you’ve got to figure out a way to solve your baby’s sleep problems. “For a long time during those sleepless months, I told myself that it was just a phase that it would pass—and that things would get better in time,” recalls Wendy, 30, mother of 13-month oldThomas. “Then I realized that I needed to take action—that the problem wasn’t going to go away on its own and that I needed to do something to make the situation better.”
Guide to Solving Your Baby’s Sleep Problems
It’s no wonder that parents in every culture have produced their own repertoire of lullabies. Parents have always played an active role in soothing their little ones to sleep. This section offersparent-proven strategies for managing the major types of baby sleep problems everything from getting baby to go to sleep to getting baby to stay asleep to getting baby to stay in bed until adecent hour of the morning.
“My three-week-old hates sleeping on her back, but I know this is the safest sleeping position for babies. What can I do to help my baby to adjust to the back-sleeping position?”
by experimenting with some of the baby-soothing, particularly swaddling. The September 2002issue of The Journal of Pediatrics concluded that infants may be happier about sleeping on their backs if they are swaddled. If those techniques don’t prove effective, ask yourself whether back-sleeping is really the key issue. Perhaps your baby has a beef with hersleeping environment.
Sometimes newborns are less than thrilled with the idea of sleeping in the wide-open expanse of a crib after spending many months in the much cozier quarters of thewomb. The solution?
See if she’d be happier in a cradle or bassinet. If she’s still extremely unhappy sleeping on her back, talk to your health care provider. It’s possible that something else is botheringher, like gastroesophageal reflux .
“My baby is colicky. His sleep patterns aren’t like the sleeppatterns of other babies. What can I do to reduce the amountof crying and help my baby sleep better?” Colicky babies aren’tabout to settle down for a snooze, no matter how hard you try tosoothe them. They’re pretty much inconsolable, and you may befeeling that way yourself some days, too.
(Colic is crying that lasts for more than three hours a day, that occurs more than three daysa week, and that lasts for longer than three weeks in an infant who is otherwise well fed and healthy.) Colic occurs in between 5 percent and 25 percent of babies. It reaches its peaks at around six weeks of age and most babies will outgrow colic by age four months.Techniques to reduce the amount of crying in colicky babies include the following:
• Carrying babies around even when they aren’t crying (so thatthey don’t need to cry in order to signal a need to be held).
• Offering the breast and/or a pacifier for comfort.
• Eliminating milk products, eggs, wheat, and nuts from your diet if you’re breast-feeding. are the only maternal dietary changes that have been scientifically proven to make a difference. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try eliminating other foods from your diet to see ifthey make a difference for your baby.
You just don’t want to end up on starvation rations or the blandest diet imaginable for no good reason.• If you’re formula-feeding, talk to your baby’s health care provider before switching your baby from one infant formula to another. Colicky babies tend to have extra-sensitive tummiesand playing formula roulette may cause your baby unnecessary misery. It’s also not a good idea to switch from cow’s milk-based formula to a soy-based formula without discussing this firstwith your baby’s health care provider.
Babies can develop allergies according to American Academy of Pediatrics’ Committee onNutrition does not recommend changing to soy formula in order to treat colic. Unless your baby is spitting up a lot or having extremely loose or bloody stools, your baby’s health care provider is likely to recommend that you stick with your baby’soriginal infant formula.
• Responding to crying quickly (so that the baby doesn’t becometoo upset).
• Using gentle rocking or white noise to soothe the baby, andavoiding overstimulation (colicky babies tend to be very sensitiveto stimulation).
• Using a colic hold that puts pressure on the baby’s abdomen (hold your baby so that he is lying across your forearm with his tummy down, with your hand supporting his chest).
• Emphasizing the difference between day and night .
• Over-the-counter anti-colic products have not been scientifically proven to reduce symptoms of colic. A prescription medication that was used in the past to treat colic is no longer available forbabies under age six months because of reports of apnea(episodes when breathing stopped) and deaths.
Coping tips for you:
• Don’t beat yourself up or convince yourself that you’re doingsomething wrong because your baby colicky Colic happens.
• Take breaks from your baby. If friends and family membersoffer to step in and give you a break, let them. And if you are athome alone with your baby and you feel yourself becomingfrustrated and angry, put your baby in her crib and then take abreak from the crying for a couple of minutes so that you canregain your cool.
Use that time to call for support. Ask someone to come over and provide you with some hands-on help so that you can recharge your parenting batteries and/or get somerest. Taking care of a colicky baby is frustrating and exhausting.
• Remind yourself that colic is a limited-time offer, (thankfully).You and your baby will survive this, although it may be hard tobelieve that some days.
We help moms have full-term pregnancies and healthy babies. And if something goes wrong, we offer information and comfort to families. We research the problems that threaten our babies and work on preventing them.
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