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Home > Help for the Sleep Deprived Mom
Help for the Sleep Deprived Mom

Getting baby to sleep especially through the night is no easy task...ask the millions of sleep deprived moms, or just take a look at the new mom's face and you'll see that she has a lot of catching up to do. She'll probably think you're crazed if you ask how baby is sleeping through the night. Few moms are lucky enough to get in five or more hours of sleep, most are sleep deprived.
So how do you get baby to sleep? That's a tricky one. And because every child is different you may find that teaching yours to sleep may or may not be quite so easy. The following chart from the University of Michigan gives a ballpark estimate of how much sleep a child from one month to four years need for day and nighttime.

1 month    Nighttime Sleep:  8.5 (many naps)    Daytime Sleep:  7.5 (many naps)    Total hours of sleep: 16
3 months    Nighttime Sleep:  6-10    Daytime Sleep:  5-9    Total hours of sleep:  15
6 months    Nighttime Sleep:  10-12    Daytime Sleep:  3-4.5    Total hours of sleep:  14.5
9 months    Nighttime Sleep:  11    Daytime Sleep:  3 (2 naps)    Total hours of sleep:  14
12 months    Nighttime Sleep:  11    Daytime Sleep:  2.5 (2 naps)    Total hours of sleep:  13.5
18 months    Nighttime Sleep:  11    Daytime Sleep:  2.5 (1-2 naps)    Total hours of sleep:  13.5
2 years    Nighttime Sleep:  11    Daytime Sleep:  2 (1 nap)    Total hours of sleep:  13
3 years    Nighttime Sleep:  10.5    Daytime Sleep:  1.5 (1 nap)    Total hours of sleep:  12
4 years    Nighttime Sleep:  11.5    Daytime Sleep:  0    Total hours of sleep:  11.5

Always keep in mind; there is no magical formula that fits every situation. Only you can know what works best for your situation. Although some experts suggest letting baby "cry-it-out," not everyone agrees that this parenting method works, especially in the first six months. According to DrSears.com a new parent should be discerning about trying any sleep-inducing program.

Be the judge. Run these schemes through your inner sensitivity before trying them on your baby. Ask yourself these questions: Does it fit your baby's temperament? Does it feel right to you?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:
-  Decide the best place for baby to sleep - use different sleeping arrangements at various growth stages. And as baby develops you should become open to changing styles.
-  Keep to a regular daily routine - waking, meal, nap, and playtimes should be constant as this will help the baby to feel secure and comfortable.
-  Keep baby entertained - make sure your kids have interesting and varied activities during the day, including physical activity and fresh air.
-  Calming down - give baby a warm bath followed by a soothing massage to relax tense muscles and busy minds.


Parenting.com suggests the following sleep soothers:

Swaddle. Being wrapped tightly helps newborns feel secure.

Massage. Babies and toddlers who are massaged for 15 minutes before bedtime fall asleep sooner and are more likely to sleep through the night than those who are rocked to sleep, according to studies from the University of Miami's Touch Research Institute.
Let her suck her thumb (or give her a pacifier after she's a month old). It's her way of soothing herself — which is key to helping her learn to fall asleep on her own.

Provide loveys. Transitional objects like a teddy bear or blankie are unique baby gifts that help make bedtime less lonely for babies. It’s recommend that babies sleep with loveys in the crib until they're 1, so remove them after she's asleep. But if your baby rolls over regularly (usually at around 5 months old), she's capable of moving away from a suffocation hazard, so there's less risk of SIDS. A small, crib-size blanket is also fine for a baby 6 months and older, who can push it off or crawl from under it.

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