Day 66: Sleep, Blessed Sleep

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For the first months of your child’s life, you will likely wonder how babies can sleep so much and not get more of it during the middle of the night. You might also wonder if you will ever get a good night’s sleep again. What have you gotten yourself into?

The good news is that as children age, they tend to sleep better. All children have different sleeping patterns, but this generally holds true. So there is hope! Getting the little bundle of joy the sleep will be one of your major tasks as a parent. Here are just a few suggestions and things to keep in mind.

1. Make sure that the basic needs of your baby are met. It is very difficult for them to go to sleep if they’re hungry or need a diaper change.

2. Make your house as distraction free as possible. Turn down the music, the TV, or the video games. Avoid running anything that makes too much noise for the best chance of keeping your little one asleep. You might want to even inform your neighbors if you’re living in an apartment or duplex so that they can enjoy the peace and quiet as well.

3. Find out what position your baby is most comfortable in. Some children like to lie on one side or the other. Others prefer their backs. Some babies prefer going to sleep on their stomachs, which is something that conventional wisdom says might be dangerous.

Some babies like to be rocked to sleep in your arms and others prefer lying against your shoulder. Some babies will take to a baby swing to go to sleep. Some babies take comfort in being swaddled in a blanket. Some babies like to be bounced gently or have their backs rubbed to go to sleep.

Of course there’s the good old-fashioned lullaby, which many babies enjoy. You may have to experiment for a while to see what is most soothing to your baby.

4. Give them familiar comfortable conditions. Try to rock them to sleep in the dark with a comfortable temperature. Even young babies start to recognize familiar voices and smells and these could be comforting.

5. Avoid exposure to lighted computer and TV screens too close to bed time. These can keep the mind stimulated and awake.

In the end is best just remember the good-humored about it. Try to enjoy the time you have with your baby when they are small even though it might be tiresome at times. Last of all, good luck. Chances are you’ll need it.

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