Grab a pen and write them down 🙂 Excuse my fluffy puppies at the end! #reallife
Wrapping is a useful tool for settling and keeping babies safe when sleeping in the first 5-6 months of life. Wrapping also reduces crying time and promotes sleep by lessening the frequency of spontaneous arousals or the moro reflex or startle reflex. This normally disappears by the time a bub is 4-5 months of age, but I have seen it occur longer especially in the case of premature babies or multiples.
So when is the right time to wean from wrapping? SIDS recommends when your baby is rolling from their back to their tummy and their back again during supervised play. This is when being wrapped can prevent a baby from rolling from their tummy during sleep, back onto their back again.
So if this is happening in your household now is the time!
Transitioning from swaddle to sleeping bag for some babies can require up to a week of lots of support, patience and reassurance to help your baby get through this new phase and learn how to fall asleep without his or her arms being restrained. I always recommend introduction of a comforter of some type before transitioning and even a few days of practice rolling in the new sleeping bag, not at sleep time, so the baby can begin to experiment with their new found freedom.
Begin the transition by swaddling with one arm in and one arm out for three days and then both arms out for three days. Swaddling with one arm out allows the baby to use one arm to lift his face and head from the mattress if he does roll. Often I suggest with transition during the bedtime sleep to begin with, as often once the baby has night sleeps sorted then to begin with the day sleeps. Prevention of over tiredness being the key.
It is absolutely fine to adopt a “what ever needs” approach to settle for a few days such as patting, stroking or rocking your baby’s body back and forward with your hand (in the cot) for a few days to help him adjust to the lack of swaddling.
Aim to be to reduce the touch and wean off this assistance, once your baby begins to settle easier, so that these do not become new assisted sleep associations. It is best to use methods of settling in the cot rather than picking up and swinging and rocking to sleep as it is usually easier to gradually withdraw and wean off from in-cot settling methods.
Now there are of course many types of swaddle transition sleep products. They can include swaddles with pop ups, that you undo at the arms, like the Ergo, then there are the zip off arms like the LTD 50/50,
OR then can have the all in one sleep sacks like the Zippadee Zip Sleep Sack.
OR you could try the Sleepy Wings!
So no matter what product you choose to implement be mindful of the tog/ temperature of the product and plenty of time with your bubba rolling to practice his or her new found skill!
You only have to pause at the entry door into a baby shop and glance around to become overwhelmed with what your baby’s nursery should or could look like! Colours, decorations, mobiles, matching laundry hampers my babies needed all of this!! 😉 The thing that did stump me was a night light.
First of all did my baby need one? Would it disturb them, confuse them, overstimulate them?
Secondly how did I feed/change/settle/find my way out of the room in the dark, without doing any of the above?
Thirdly would I create a bad sleep habit by introducing a little light or confuse the day/night thing?
So I recently had a FTD (first time dad) ask me what is a night light?
A night light is a little light you leave on at night to illuminate your or your baby’s room. They should have a soft glow that is not bright and not white.
So why have a night light?
1. So you don’t have to turn on a big light for night feeds and nappy changes.
2. Parents can easily see their child during a peek-a-check in, without turning on a hall way, walk-in-robe, or bathroom light.
3. It allows babies older than 4 months of age to easily find their comforters, without fully wakening up from the REM phase of sleep, or during normal nocturnal arousals through the night. That means they are less likely to call out for parental assistance unless something else is bothering them.
4. They do comfort the older child who is going through separation anxiety and night scaries.
5. Night lights can actually be cheaper than normal household light. Big tick for saving extra $$$ in a new parent household.
6. It actually is beneficial for us as parent’s in the ease of returning to sleep, once we have been up. Our brain is not briefly stimulated by white light, which tells our brain its time to wake up.
There are many different types of night lights all equally gorgeous and room matching.
- Projection Night Lights- very pretty, bright and quite stimulating. ok for the elder child, but maybe not for the younger baby. They can be blurry if you don’t get the distance from the placement to the ceiling correct.
- Plug In Lamps-Popular and original and often come with a light sensor that turns on and off depending on the light availability. I am wary of the motion sensor ones, especially if you have a pet in the house!
- Toys with night lights in them. Be aware of the age recommendation and SIDS requirements.
- Light and temperature lights. Like a Gro-Egg, a personal favorite- kill two parental sleep stresses at once.
- Salt Rock Lamps. Another person favorite, due to the healing benefits of Himalayan Salt. You will need to change the globe wattage though to 4-7 watts. These often come with 15 watt globes which will light up your child’s room like a normal lamp.
- Glow-In the dark stickers/wall decals- older kids love these. Some glow all night, which might be a issue, some fade in the first few hours. Can be a great way of keeping a child in bed!
Which Colour Night Light is best?
White light or blue light (like our TV’s and phones), tells our brain to stop making melatonin or delays melatonin secretion. This is due to a set of receptors in our eyes that responds to the naturally blue-rich light of daytime which keeps us alert. We and our children want to fall asleep naturally, be better rested on wake up and give our circadian rhythms the best chance to function properly.
Thus the winning colour is red/orange- just like a sunset! When choosing your night light research shows that these are the best colours for being less disruptive to our brain in switching from alert to snooze. :-). Red and orange lights are soothing for babies (think about their womb environment) and in fact after black, white and grey the first primary colour a baby sees is red!!
Night lights are not toys- they may look cute, but check the product disclosure details. Often they have small parts, cords, and compartments for where batteries go.
Pay attention to recalls, especially toys that are night lights as well. Be aware of what might happen if your child accidentally gets the night light/toy wet.
Happy shopping and happy snoozing 🙂
Of all my clients I go visit, not many have planned from the out set on bed sharing. Many do plan on co-sleeping as that is what is recommended as a WHO and SIDS initiative in the first 6 months of life.
Research shows many benefits for babies who bed-share safely with their parents, including improved breastfeeding duration rates, improved settling with reduced crying, more infant arousals which are protective for baby, and improved maternal sleep. 80% of Australian families co-sleep or bed share in the first 6 months of life.
Accidental co-sleeping though is dangerous. It’s not planned bed sharing, its bring my baby into bed for some much needed sleep (understandably)in a bed environment not set up for bed sharing, or fall asleep on the sofa cuddles. This is unplanned bed sharing.
My clients all ready feel guilty, and sleep deprived and anxious, and desperate, and alone, very much alone. Fear of being judged, fear of rolling onto their baby, fear they are going to create long term bad sleep habits.
I help them take action and eliminate these fears, and re align the goals they want for the future.
So what is the answer? If you find that the only way your bub settles is with you (naturally), then educate yourself on safe co-sleeping and bed sharing guidelines. Read Dr James McKenna’s information on safe be sharing and co-sleeping here. http://cosleeping.nd.edu/