Sleep When Baby Sleeps?

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During your infant’s first year, you may be tempted to use your Baby’s frequent napping to get home chores and other things done, but think again.  YOU need sleep, too.  According to a recent report out of West Virginia’s Department of Psychology, the fragmented sleep you are getting may be inefficient for your overall well being.  Take care of yourself.  Here are sleep tips for new moms from Michael J. Breus, M.D., aka “The Sleep Doctor,” author of Beauty Sleep (Plume; from $3.54 on amazon.com):

  • Nap for a full cycle: a 20-minute power nap might not do much if you’re severely sleep-quality deprived. You would do well to try and get a full cycle of sleep into a nap, which means about 90 minutes. If your baby sleeps for that long in one of his siestas during the day, don’t catch up on your work at that time – take a nap too!
  • Be mindful of your mood: if you feel like those postpartum blues are getting worse, speak with your doctor. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate the stress a new mom’s body goes through after giving birth. Hormonal changes add to the challenges. And all of these can further make for troubled sleep.
  • Teach your partner so you can skip a feeding: I’ve mentioned this before and it bears repeating because I don’t see this happening enough. It’s not hard to teach your partner how to tend to your baby’s needs in the middle of the night so you can skip a feeding and sleep through it. Even moms who are exclusively breastfeeding can pump and have a bottle ready to go.
  • Ask for help: Don’t be shy about asking for help from family and friends. A long afternoon nap while someone else takes care of your baby may be worth more than you ever imagined.

in the nursery…

A couple of popular items can add a nice touch to your nursery:

Luxurious Comfort for Little Ones
Little Giraffe
littlegiraffe.com
$65 (Chenille Lollipop blanket), $38 (Chenille hooded towel) and $32 (Chenille blanky)
Be like a celebrity parent and have luxury and comfort for your baby with the Chenille Lollipop blanket. It is super soft on one side and silky smooth on the other.  The cute hooded towel has floppy ears and is great to cuddle up to right out of the bath.

Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail Munchkin
diaperpail.com
$34.99
Keep the nursery smelling fresh and clean with this diaper pail equipped with Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Dispenser and a self-sealing feature that turns the bag as the lid closes to keep in those stinky smells.  It holds disposable bags that hold up to 25 diapers each.

help baby avoid rsv

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infects almost all children at least once before they are 2 years old, but for babies the infection can be more dangerous.

For some preterm infants born before 32 weeks of pregnancy, RSV infection can be especially serious.  Preterm infants often have underdeveloped lungs and may have difficulty fighting an RSV infection once they become infected.  There are important steps you can take to prevent exposure to RSV especially in the first few months of your child’s life:

  • Make sure everyone washes their hands before touching Baby
  • Keep Baby away from anyone who has a cold, fever or runny nose
  • Keep your baby away from crowded areas like shopping malls
  • Keep Baby away from tobacco smoke
  • There are medications that your pediatrician may prescribe that could reduce the risk of developing serious RSV infection. These medications are used only for the small number of babies who are in the highest risk groups for hospitalization.
  • Consult with your pediatrician regarding specific details on who is at highest risk and which high-risk infants are most likely to benefit from receipt of these medications.

“If I’d only known …”
You CAN ignore your parents …
You WILL survive taking Baby on a plane …
The “Witching Hour” is NOT a myth …

Learn all about everything that second and third-time parents know in time for your first with How to Have Your Second Child First: 100 Things That Are Good to Know … The First Time Around (Chronicle; $18.95) by Kerry Colburn and Rob Sorensen.  Showing comparisons between new parents and ones who have been there, the authors reveal the truth in experience: the more you know, the more relaxed you will be.  So brush up and chill out.  Life with a baby is a snap compared to toddlers and teens!

Susan Day is editor of Cincinnati Family Magazine and a mother of four.

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