Today we are excited to have Ingrid Prueher, founder of The Baby Sleep Whisperer™, share her wisdom with us on how to make the transition home with your new baby smooth and promote great newborn sleep.
As The Little Style File’s Kristin, her hubby and their two little girls, Elizabeth and Madeline, welcome the arrival of their bundle in blue, they may be a bit anxious about how household routines will change. With a little preparation, strategizing and commitment to consistency, mom and dad can bring home baby and still get a good night’s sleep. Here are a few tips for all moms and dads preparing to bring home newborns.
First, consider that your baby was in a very special, warm and cozy environment for the first nine months of his life, and he got used to certain sounds too. By creating a womb-like setting, you will ease your baby’s transition and help him sleep.
A simple place to start is with room temperature. The ideal sleep temperature for babies is 68 to 72 degrees.
Next, swaddle your baby, or wrap him snuggly in a light blanket. This replicates the fit of the womb, and can help him sleep longer. It also controls natural reflexive movements that can lead to crying. Make a soothing “shhhhh” sound. It mimics the whooshing sound of your blood flow that your baby heard in the womb.
Rhythmic, vigorous motion also mimics life in utero, and has an almost hypnotic effect. Rocking, bouncing and walking your baby are all soothing actions that promote sleep when he is fighting sleep.
In addition, it is important to keep your home serene and peaceful, as babies are very intuitive and they pick up on stress. Older siblings
should get special time with mom and dad so they don’t feel any need to compete with baby or act out.
And, moms, this is critical—you must take care of yourself. You need to sleep well and to get proper nutrition, especially when you are nursing, as this could affect the production of your milk. What you consume is passed through your milk to your baby, and it could be affecting his tummy and impacting his sleep. It takes about 24 to 48 hours from the time you consume food for it to make it to your breast milk. Liquids, such as alcohol and caffeinated beverages, pass through much quicker.
The good news is that babies know when to sleep, but they do need your help in creating a setting that is conducive to sleep. Babies thrive on a routine. In fact, lack of a routine is an actual disturbance that can prevent restful sleep. So be consistent—choose a routine and stick to it.
By re-creating a womblike environment, setting a routine and sticking to it, and taking care of mom, too, bringing home baby can be the delight it is meant to be.
Ingrid Prueher, founder of The Baby Sleep Whisperer™, is a bilingual Certified Family Sleep Institute (FSI) Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Lactation Counselor. She specializes in teaching sleepless moms and dads the fundamentals of sleep so their children can become restful sleepers. Ingrid combines her experience and knowledge of nutrition and sleep to help English and Spanish-speaking parents across the country who struggle to get their children on consistent sleep schedules. She is also part of the FSI Certification Team and the FSI’s Graduate Business Coach and Mentor.
A sought-after child sleep expert, Ingrid runs her own weekly radio show, Baby Sleep 911, Help! Monday nights from 9 to 9:30 p.m. via Blog Talk Radio. She also has been featured in numerous broadcast and print media. Sign up for The Baby Sleep Whisperer’s free report, "7 Secrets to Getting Your Baby to Sleep Like an Angel," at www.babysleepwhisperer.com.