Friday, March 5, 2010

Why isn't my baby sleeping?

From: Rebecca

Subject: sleeping

Question: My 8-week-old power naps for about 30 min during the day and then is up. If I keep her in her crib sometimes she goes back to sleep after crying for a bit and sometimes not. She can sleep for 8 hours at night so I know long stretches are possible. Do I keep her in her crib for naps or just let her do a bunch of 30 min power naps all throughout the day?

Answer: Dear Rebecca,

I never advise parents to let a baby cry themselves to sleep. They are crying to get a need met weather that need is for comfort, reassurance or just because they miss skin contact with you, the need needs to be met.

I think you will find that life is easier if you let her lead you in what she needs. If she does fine with the "power" naps, then by all means stick with what works.

For any 8 week old to sleep for 8 hours straight you need to realize that was a gift and it is not usual for babies to sleep through the night. Their stomach are as big as their fist. If you are breastfeeding the breastmilk will absorb quickly into their bodies. Therefore those small stomach usually wake a baby several times during the night for nourishment.

Also, establishing consistent bedtime routines (notice routines and schedules are not the same, routines are about processes and schedules are based upon time and babies cannot tell time yet).

Part of a good bedtime routine is to turn down the noise stimulation, (turn off tv's, radio's, computers, phones etc...), then turn down the lights and set the mood. You can find soothing stories to read to your baby, a warm bath, a baby massage and then into their favorite night clothes. Mostly think about what lulls you to sleep then do it consistently in the same order each evening.

Best Wishes!
Dr. Mary Kay Keller
Hassle Free Bedtime? Click here!

P.S. I use "Gentle Baby" essential oil (never put essential oils directly on the baby's skin) by drying the blanket, sheets, and other clothing items in the dryer with 5 drops of Gental Baby on them. It works like a charm, heck, it works on me too! #844043

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