More Rest for You
You want more than just a few extra winks at night; you want a gazillion. We can help!
Crash early. Turn in right when the prime-time TV lineup is starting. You might have to get up around 10 or 11 for a p.m. feeding, but an early tuck-in could save you from complete exhaustion.
Set his sleep schedule. Newborns sleep 16 to 18 hours a day, but many don't do it at the "right" times. They'll crash all day long -- and then want to stay up for most of the night. To help adjust your child's clock, wake him for a feeding if he's down for more than four hours at a stretch during the day. Once it's night, dim the lights during diaper changes and feedings so he gets the idea nighttime is for sleeping.
Channel the womb. To soothe a baby who can't settle down, rock and sway; it will re-create the sensation of being in your belly. Let her suck a pacifier or your clean pinkie finger, and swaddle her snugly.
Help Baby sleep solo. Your cutie may think the comfiest place to snooze is in your arms, but know that it's worth it to help Baby fall asleep on his own. If he fusses, put him in a swing or wear him in a baby carrier as you walk around the house, instead.
Originally published in the October 2011 issue of American Baby magazine.