Monday, 6 August 2012

Helping Baby Learn to Sleep

It’s easy to guess that when there is a baby in a family – the members of that family, especially the father and mother of the child, look harassed and tired. Until a baby is trained to eat and sleep at regular times, parents suffer sleepless nights.

Training a baby to be regular in his habits is quite a problem and here parenting skills come into play. For those who have already brought up children it is no big deal, but, for people who are parents for the first time, it is a seemingly impossible job to get the little nipper to shut his eyes! Parenting books tend to ignore this important matter.

All of us are creatures of habit and babies are no exception! If the parent maintains regularity in feeding, bathing and sending the baby to bed, the baby will very quickly learn to expect his food, bath and bed at particular times. Parenting strategies are important in both potty-training and in sleep-training. While toilet-training is a necessary adjunct of feeding times, training a baby to sleep at regular times is necessary if the parents are to get any rest.

A little bit of parenting advice:    
·         If one has to train a baby to sleep then one should provide him with a proper place to sleep. Keeping a baby beside one in the bed may not be very practical as the baby may roll off the bed or worse, get smothered. A cot beside the parent’s bed appears to be the answer.
·         The first item on one’s list of things to get should be a crib or cradle for the baby. This should have a gentle swinging motion so that one can rock the baby to sleep. The cradle should not have any sharp edges.
·          A few mobiles can be strung up above the cradle, out of baby’s reach, and these will keep him amused when awake. Musical chimes are useful to soothe a cranky child. To induce sleep in a baby he has to be made comfortable.

For parenting advice one could consult one’s friends, but only those who have been there, done it. Just remember –without the advice of a doctor no medication that induces sleep should be given to a baby. I know a couple who, for years, regularly dosed their baby girl with a cough syrup to make her sleep.That is definitely a no no!

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