Sweet Dreams Baby: Tips for Helping Baby Sleep
Here are a few tips that can help your baby achieve a more restful state of sleep:
Expose your baby to sunlight. Take your baby outside between the hours of 12 and 4 (as long as the temperature outside is not dangerously hot or cold) for as little as 15 minutes. This helps develop the area of the brain that perceives day-night rhythms. Babies that go outside, or are inside near a window that lets light in between these hours will develop these circadian rhythms earlier.
Keep a baby’s environment at night between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent overheating. Exceeding these temperatures may increase the risk of SIDS.
Only use cotton in your baby’s sleep environment. Cotton breathes, so if a blanket accidentally covered your baby’s face, they could still draw in air. The soft polyester “lovey” type blankets are not good to use unless you are watching or holding the baby when they use it. Also, cotton keeps them cooler in the summer.
F.Y.I. – Melatonin, the sleep inducing hormone, is not secreted in newborns until they are about 3 – 4 months old. Expecting new babies to sleep long hours is not realistic and should not be desired. It is unnatural for babies to sleep long stretches. For one thing, babies shouldn’t go long periods of time between feedings. Also, the incidence of SIDS increases when babies are in an unnatural deep sleep.