If you were to ask a new mom to choose from either 1 million rupees or uninterrupted sleep all night, I am pretty sure most of them would choose the latter.
New moms everywhere are desperate for some sleep. While moms do have the super human capacity to function on little sleep, no one would really mind getting some extra shut eye every night. So here are some of the top tips and products shared by moms in our community that help your baby sleep better.
Swaddles work wonders for babies aged less than 3 months. Young babies’ sleep is interrupted mainly due to Moro Reflex. ( You might have noticed your baby’s hands flaying out when you try to lay them down on the bed. That actually gives the baby a feeling that she is falling down and Moro Reflex prompts them to grab on to something so that they don’t fall. This reflex actually disturbs baby’s sleep.) Swaddles help keep Moro reflex under control while sleeping, and hence allows them sleep better.
While there are plenty of swaddles available in the market, there are two options we loved the most. The first one is the organic muslin cotton swaddle from Mom’s Home. They are sufficiently large, very soft and pleasing to the eyes. The best thing is that once your baby is past the swaddling stage, you can use it as burp cloth, sheet to put down the baby when you go out and even as a bath towel.
Now, if your baby breaks away from her swaddle or if you are unable to get the knack of swaddling correctly, you could opt for SwaddleMe adjustable swaddle wraps. These swaddles are usually secured using velcro or loops.
Post 3-4 months or sometimes even earlier, babies break out of swaddle. At this stage, you could opt for a baby sleep sack. It keeps the baby sufficiently warm and you needn’t worry about them kicking off the blanket in the middle of night.
Halo sleep sacks are quite popular and highly rated amongst parents across the world. However, they are tad expensive.
Alternatively, you can also opt for Indian versions available at much affordable price.
It is scientifically proven that lavender oil has sleep inducing properties. It is best to opt for 100% pure organic lavender oil for babies. However, you need to be careful while using essential oils as they are highly concentrated.
For babies, you can either add a drop of lavender oil to your baby’s bath before bed time. Or else, you can mix a drop of lavender oil to a carrier oil like almond oil or coconut oil and massage the baby before bed time. Next option is to mix a drop to baby’s lotion so that you don’t have any sticky feeling of oil massage.
When my daughter was about a month old, she used to scream bloody murder before sleep. She would refuse to feed, break away from swaddle and wouldn’t calm down or sleep. I remembered watching a video where a crying toddler simply drifted to sleep in matter of seconds when his mother switched on the vacuum cleaner. In a desperate attempt, I switched on the vacuum cleaner in our home and my daughter stopped crying and drifted off to sleep in less than a minute.
Now, at 8 months, if she is particularly fussy, we shush in her ears and she calms down.
As per Dr. Harvey Karp, one of the 5 S’s for putting baby to sleep is shushing. He says that the sound of blood gushing in womb is louder than a vacuum cleaner and hence, it has a calming effect on your baby.
You can download white noise apps on your mobile phone. Alternatively, you can buy a white noise machine.
NapNap has brought out a vibrating sleep mat, which helps soothe young babies to sleep with ease. The sleeping mat can be used till your baby starts rolling over and becomes mobile.
The mat comes with 4 modes of vibration and the sound of heart beat can be activated at the press of a button. Together, it helps soothe a baby to sleep and bridge their sleep cycles so that the baby is well-rested.
Being compact ( 61 x 36 cm), it fits not only your baby ‘s crib, but also his stroller and car seat.
NapNap also has a vigorous vibration mode which can be used as a massager for the mother’s aching legs and back.
This magic sleep suit has over 2600 five star rating from parents across the globe. The magic sleep suit comes in 3 sizes for babies up till 9 months old.
For young babies less than 3 months, the suit helps contain Moro reflex and thus helps them remain asleep for longer duration. For older babies, it helps transition from swaddle and create a cosy environment to sleep for hours together at a stretch. A catch however is that it is quite expensive as it is imported from US.
Rocking motion helps tremendously in putting baby to sleep as well as bridging between sleep cycles.
A bouncer not only helps rock baby to sleep, but also gives much needed relief to the mother’s hands and back. Options from Luvlap,Fisher Price, Mee Mee etc are worth considering. ( Note- babies should never be left unattended in swings or bouncers. Shift them to a flat safe sleep surface once they are asleep in a sleeping aid.)
Diaper change in the middle of night is a tricky business. Wet and dirty diapers disturb baby’s sleep. But removing the pants, wiping and changing diaper too disturbs a baby’s sleep. That is why this baby suit with zipper opening is a life saver. You can open and close the baby suit so easily that diaper change at midnight is now a breeze.
It is best to keep your baby’s sleep environment pitch black. It helps them remain asleep without waking up frequently at night. That is why it is worth investing in a blackout curtain for your baby’s bedroom.
While it is important to keep your baby’s sleep environment pitch dark, you will still need light while feeding your baby or for diaper change. Switching on the room light will disturb your baby’s sleep. A night light is quite inexpensive and it helps create the right environment for your little one’s sleep.
It is worth investing in a humidifier if you live in a region where it becomes quite cold and dry at night. In such condition, babies won’t sleep well as their noses get all stuffy. That is why a humidifier is a much needed device for creating the optimal sleep environment for your baby. They are compact and hence you can take them with you even when you go on short trips or to the grandma’s place.