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Sleep & Naps

Getting your little one to sleep like a baby can be a lot easier said than done. Huggies has compiled articles, advice and answers on how to get both you and your newborn snoozing soundly.

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Sleeping Baby

Working Around Baby's Nap Schedule

By: Andrea Howe

The first year of Baby’s life revolves around very few things other than eating, playing, and (hopefully) lots of sleeping. Of course the ‘sleeping through the night stage’ is the end goal for all new parents, but napping during the day can be just as important in creating a calm and happy environment for Mom and Baby. If your baby does indeed nap, it can sometimes leave you feeling house-bound in order to preserve the nap time schedule. Here are a few tips to help preserve a nap routine, and also allow you to get out of the house.

Typically a consistently good napper will have at least one nap that is better than the other — for instance Baby will sleep for a longer and more sound stretch in the morning than the afternoon. If this is the case, schedule your activities around the one “good” nap, staying home so Baby can sleep in his own bed, and then venture out for the afternoon and possibly sacrifice the nap that usually isn’t as good. This will ensure Baby gets at least one good solid stretch of sleep during the day.

Plan outings closer to home so that if Baby starts getting fussy, you can make it home rather quickly…and before Baby falls asleep in the car. Ask just about any veteran mom and she’ll tell you that the car to crib transition doesn’t always go smoothly, so keep an interesting toy or book with Baby to keep them awake on the short ride home.

If the plan is to have Baby sleep in the car during nap time because of a road trip, or timing issues, plan on playing music softly in the car as to not disturb Baby too much, and always keep a book or magazine with you in case you arrive at your destination and Baby is still sleeping. Sometimes an extra 15-20 minutes added on to a Baby’s nap makes all the difference in their mood, so it can be worth it to sit back and relax a bit while you wait for Baby to wake.

If visiting a friend or family member for the day, plan ahead. Instead of rushing through your visit, bring a portable crib with you and set up a nursery away from home for Baby, complete with favorite blanket, pacifier and favorite book. Keep your nap routine consistent and try to settle Baby down for a nap on-the-go so that you don’t have to cut your visit short. While this doesn’t always work, it’s at least worth a try. The added bonus is it gets your baby used to sleeping in other environments, which is especially great if you plan to travel with Baby.

Consistency is key in any sleep routine, but the occasional alteration will not veer you completely off course, especially during the first 3-4 months. During this time newborns usually haven’t quite settled into a consistent routine anyhow, so this is the time to be a bit more flexible with your outings and straying from the routine. Once Baby is 4-6 months old though, a solid nap routine usually starts to settle in, so you’ll want to stay on course more than veer off it. Skipping the routine 2-3 times a week is perfectly okay, especially if it helps mom feel better.

Remember that a sleep routine and schedule only works if it works for the entire family. If Baby’s routine is preserved at all costs, at the expense of mom being able to occasionally visit with friends and get important errands done, then it’s not working. But making a few minor adjustments and not being afraid to alter off course every once in a while will ensure a happy, well-rested baby, and a happy, well-rested mom.

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BW sleeping baby

25 Ways to Help Your Baby Get More Sleep

Sleep is easily the hardest part of the baby years. Some babies are decent sleepers, while others seem to loathe it. While it is a fact that babies spend the majority of their early life sleeping, it can be hard to get your baby to fall asleep. As a mom of three, I can say that each of my girls had completely different sleep habits. What worked for one did not work for the other, and so on... I polled some friends and family members, asking them what sleep tips they had, and here's what they had to say...
  1. Give them a lovey - Most little ones love to snuggle. Giving them a soft lovey to snuggle with can certainly make them feel better.
  2. Full tummy - Make sure baby has had enough to eat before it's time for bed. A hungry baby won't sleep well.
  3. Nursing down - Some breastfed babies sleep best when they are nursed to sleep.
  4. Pacifier - If your little one takes a pacifier, let them use it in bed. The sucking can be a great soother for them.
  5. Room sharing - Sometimes baby sleeps better knowing you're near. A crib or cradle in your room might help them get more sleep.
  6. Staying in their own room - When Margot was sleeping in our room, she woke up constantly. We finally switched her to her own room and she has been sleeping soundly. I think she just needed some peace & quiet.
  7. Consistent routine - Some babies sleep better if they have a nightly routine. This prepares them for what's to come and gets them in a better rhythm.
  8. Massage - Babies love massage. Give your little one a relaxing rub down just before bed. This calms them down and prepares them for rest.
  9. Bath - In the same way, a bath can relax a little one. Being fresh & clean and in new pjs can help them get more sleep.
  10.  A sound machine - Total silence can sometimes wake a baby up in the night. Consider a sound machine to help them sleep better.
  11.  Rocking - The back & forth motion of rocking your baby can be a great sedative. Plus, it's great for bonding!
  12.  Singing - The soothing sound of mama or dada's voice can help put baby to bed. Sing the same song every night to get them in the habit of  calming down before bed.
  13.  Darkness - If your little one's room is too light, it can be hard for them to get rest. Consider some black-out curtains and just a small night light.
  14.  Mom's smell - Babies are usually more calm if mama is near. Consider leaving an unwashed shirt in baby's room so that your smell lingers on.
  15.  Rub her ears - Physical touch is one of the most calming things. Rubbing baby's ears while they are nearing sleep can help them relax.
  16.  Essential oils - Many mamas swear by using essential oils. Put a drop of lavender on baby's feet at night to help them calm down and relax.
  17.  Shorter daytime naps - To help baby establish the difference between day and night, make sure they aren't napping too long during the day.  Shorter daytime naps usually means longer stretches at night.
  18.  Clean / dry diaper - Make sure to change baby's diaper right before bed. They'll be more content and they'll be less likely to wake up because of  a leak, etc.
  19.  Wearing down - Another way to get baby to sleep is to wear them in a wrap or sling. Do some chores around the house with them attached to  you until they are just about asleep. Then, carefully put them in their bed.
  20.  Temperature - Make sure the temperature of baby's room is just right. Not too cold and not too warm.
  21.  Cozy PJs - Dress your baby appropriately for bed. Nothing too hot or too cold, and nothing uncomfortable, either. We learned this the hard way  by putting our baby to bed in a sleeper that had a giant ruffle across the rear.
  22.  Music - Many babies are comforted by soothing music. Put a few songs on a CD or use an MP3 player to help baby fall asleep.
  23.  Warm bed - A cold bed sheet can be startling. Warm the bed sheet ahead of time by throwing it in the dryer for a few minutes, or by laying a hot  water bottle on it before your babe lays down to rest.
  24.  Play - The more activity your baby has had, the more ready they'll be for sleep. Play, play, play if you want them to get a decent night's sleep.
  25.  Relax - A baby can sense if you are stressed out. Try to relax as much as possible, so your little one can relax, too.


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HUGGIES® mom question: "Why won't Jack nap?"

Your question:

Jack is 16 months old and a poor napper. I started putting him in the car to fall asleep. It worked great. I could take him out and put him right in the crib. Now I am trying to break his "car habit" and have quiet time (and sometimes he falls asleep in my arms) in his nursery...then in the crib he screams and cries. I have been trying to make the transition for seven days. He does not have a pacifier or bottle at naptime. He sleeps beautifully at night — drinks a bottle, goes in his crib awake and puts himself to sleep.

Ann Douglas answers:

You may be better off trying to convince Jack to enjoy some quiet time during the day — perhaps reading stories together or watching a video together after lunch. That may be all he needs to recharge his batteries — and it will give you a bit of a break, too.

As for the falling asleep in the car technique for lulling your toddler to sleep — most of us can be lulled to sleep in the car, adults included! So the fact that Jack can be convinced to take a nap if you take a drive around town doesn't necessarily indicate that he still needs that nap.

It's important to bear in mind that toddlers require less sleep as they grow older. As I note in The Mother of All Toddler Books, an average one-year-old requires 14 hours of sleep each day, while an average three-year-old requires just 12. Of course, there are toddlers who require less sleep than this, so don't worry that there's something wrong with your child if he's not sleeping as much as the "average" toddler. Toddlers — like the rest of us — can show considerable variation when it comes to sleep patterns..

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5 Ways to Start Good Sleep Habits Now

1. Create a bedtime routine. “Getting your child to sleep soundly at night starts during infancy,” says Alison Tothy, M.D., Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital and a mother of two kids. Start by setting the mood for sleep in the evening (silk onesies and sheets not required): Dim the lights, change your baby's diaper without cooing and gooing, and put her to bed. "When my kids woke up for a change or feeding," says Dr. Tothy, “I didn’t play or talk with them—it was all business!"

2. Give her space. Try to pick a place at home for your baby to sleep, so she'll associate it with zzz-time. “We let our first child fall asleep everywhere—the swing, the bassinette, the papisan,” says Jean Goh, M.D., a pediatrician in North Brunswick, New Jersey and a mother of two. “It was ridiculous! She didn’t sleep well at night in her crib for her first year. With our second, we were all crib all the time, and he was a champion sleeper.”

3. Say no to epic naps. For her first two months, your little Rip Van Winkle will sleep a lot (we’re talking up to 16 hours a day) and wake up frequently for feedings. After that, she’ll doze for longer stretches. “I tell Moms with babies older than three months not to let them nap for longer than three hours, or they might be wide awake at night,” says Dr. Goh. "I know how tempting it is to use an extended nap to, say, unload the dishwasher or do other chores. But I'd remind myself I didn’t want to be up from midnight to 5 a.m.”

4. Teach baby to soothe herself. Rocking or feeding your little one to sleep may seem easier, but then she might need your help falling back asleep whenever she stirs. The best thing to do? "Try putting your baby down when she's half-awake," suggests Dr. Goh. Another idea: Do a test-run during the daytime, when you’ll have more patience—and willpower!

5. Hang in there! By three months, most babies have some sort of regular sleep pattern. Rest easy—you’ll get your bedtime back, soon.

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How We Started Sleeping Through The Night

By: Becka Robinson


That’s right folks, this is the story of how our son started sleeping through the night. And then stopped. And then started again and stuck with it. Sleep and the lack of it that comes along with having a new baby is a hot topic. There is no one right way to teach your baby how to sleep. This is the very true, very unscientific way we regained our sanity and started getting more than 4 hours of sleep a night…

Our son has been a pretty good sleeper always. As much as a newborn can be a good sleeper. For the first weeks we were up with him at one hour and two hour intervals around the clock. At around 3 months, magically, he started to sleep for 5 and 6 hour chunks of time all on his own. Cue the hallelujah chorus! We reveled in our consecutive sleep. And then… like a cruel, cruel joke from the sleep gods, our son stopped sleeping through the night at exactly 4-months-old.

Naturally, I turned to the internet and begged google for the answers. And I got them. In the form of a dirty little phrase known as "4 month sleep regression". Did you know that this was a thing? Because no one told me this was a thing. I learned that sometimes babies will just randomly stop sleeping through the night at 4 months. The experts think it has something to do with sleep cycles and growth spurts but no one knows for sure. Message boards were filled with stories about babies who continued sleep regressing until almost a year old.

HOLD THE PHONE

There was no way I was going to continue waking up every 2 hours at night for the rest of my son’s first year of life. We tried to wait it out but after 2 months of waking up every 2 hours we were at the end of our rope. We asked everyone we knew with kids, we read sleep training books, we scoured the internet, we asked our friends on Facebook, and we talked to our pediatrician. Advice and tips were all across the board. One person said "do this". Another said, "No, don’t ever do that." It was like a puzzle but no one had the big picture on the front of the box to show us which way to go. If you have gone through this with your baby or are currently going through this let me tell you, there is hope! Also, I feel your pain.

What we learned from the experience was that there is no one right way. And as parents you’ve got to take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt. You’ve got to decide what you want for your family and then make the best decisions you can. For us, that meant that we went with our instincts and combined a lot of the advice we got and did a bit of trial and error until something worked. If you’re curious… the combination that worked for us was…

  • Increasing the number of ounces of formula he had during the day so we could decrease his night feedings (this was advice from our pediatrician)
  • Adding some scoops of powdered rice formula to his bottles in the evening to help fill him up (this was advice from a bunch of moms and grandmas)
  • Introducing fruits and veggies as solids (this was our own gut instincts)
  • Watering down the bottles we gave him when he woke up in the middle of the night. (this was a tip from our pediatrician that sounded so strange to us but worked like a magic charm in just three nights)
  • Putting him to bed a bit earlier. (this was a tip from the sleep training books)

He is now sleeping (knock on wood) about 12 hours every night and has been for almost 3 months now. We’re so happy to have our nights back to ourselves and he’s happier since he’s so well rested. It’s a happy house nowadays. I hope that by sharing this story some of you might find an answer that works for you and your family. And please know that I am, in no way, saying that this is the only right way or that everyone should follow these tips. You’ve gotta find what works for you. So to all you sleep deprived mamas out there, keep your chins up! Trust your gut and you’ll find your way.

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Naps: Sleep Tips for Baby

From Mayo Clinic



Baby naps can be a restful time for you and your little one — but the process of getting your baby to sleep during the day can be anything but. Understand the basics of baby naps.

How many naps a day does a baby need?

It takes a while for newborns to develop a sleep schedule. During the first month, babies usually sleep and wake round-the-clock, with relatively equal periods of sleep between feedings.

As babies get older, baby nap times typically lengthen and become more predictable. For example:

  • Ages 4 months to 1 year. After the newborn period, your baby will likely nap at least twice a day — once in the morning and once in the early afternoon. Some babies also need a late afternoon nap. Many babies nap a total of three or more hours during the day.
  • Age 1 year and older. At this age or in the coming months your baby will likely drop his or her morning nap and only nap in the afternoon, often for a period of two to three hours. During this transition, consider moving up your baby's bedtime by a half hour to help him or her feel more rested throughout the morning. Most children continue taking an afternoon nap until ages 3 to 5.

Remember, however, that every baby is different and baby nap schedules can vary considerably.

What's the best way to put my baby down for a nap?

To ease your baby into nap time:

  • Set the mood. A dark, quiet and comfortably cool environment can help encourage your baby to sleep.
  • Put your baby to bed drowsy, but awake. Drooping eyelids, eye rubbing and fussiness might be signs that your baby is tired. The longer you wait, the more overtired and fussy your baby might become — and the harder it might be for him or her to fall asleep.
  • Avoid holding, rocking or feeding your baby to sleep. Eventually, this might be the only way your baby is able to fall asleep. If your baby tends to fall asleep in your arms after a feeding, do something gentle right afterward — such as changing his or her diaper or reading a short story.
  • Be safe. Place your baby to sleep on his or her back, and clear the crib or bassinet of blankets and other soft items.
  • Be consistent. Your baby will get the most out of daytime naps if he or she takes them at the same time each day and for about the same length of time. Occasional exceptions are inevitable, of course, and won't harm your baby.

What if my baby sounds fussy after I put him or her down?

It's common for babies to cry when put down for sleep, but most will quiet themselves if left alone for a few minutes. If the crying lasts longer than a few minutes, comfort your baby and then give him or her time to settle again.

If your baby wakes shortly after you put him or her down for a nap and isn't wet, hungry or ill, try to be patient and encourage self-settling.

Also, keep in mind that babies are often active during sleep — twitching their arms and legs, smiling, sucking, and generally appearing restless. It's easy to mistake a baby's stirrings as a sign that he or she is waking up or needs to eat. Instead of picking up your baby right away, wait a few minutes to see if your baby falls back to sleep.

Should I limit the length of my baby's naps?

It depends on how well your baby is sleeping at night.

Some babies confuse their days and nights — sleeping more during the day than at night. One way to set your baby straight is to limit daytime naps — especially those in the late afternoon — to no more than three or four hours each. If your baby is napping for too long at the end of the day, it can make it harder for him or her to fall asleep at bedtime.

What should I do if my baby suddenly resists napping?

Some babies and older children go through periods during which they refuse to nap — even though they still need the rest. If this happens, try adjusting your baby's bedtime. Making bedtime a little earlier or later can sometimes help a baby nap better during the day.

Helping your baby get the right amount of daytime sleep isn't always easy. Don't feel bad if some days are more challenging than others. Remember to look and listen for the signs that your baby is tired and try to keep his or her nap routine consistent.

If you have questions or concerns about your baby's napping schedule, talk to his or her doctor.



©1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of Use.

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Why can't she sleep on my schedule?

You may hear that it seems like newborns never sleep. Actually though, they sleep quite a lot. New parents, even those who sleep when their baby sleeps, may still feel extra tired because becoming a parent is a major adjustment and it's tiring, both physically and mentally.

Plus, just because a newborn sleeps often, her patterns are wacky, so she may not be sleeping when you're used to sleeping.

Newborn sleep habits

By the time your newborn is about a month old he'll be sleeping a tiny bit less but will have developed a schedule of sorts — not always on your schedule though. At this point you should still allow your baby to sleep whenever he likes. Training a baby under the age of four months to sleep on a perfect schedule is not going to work and both of you will become frustrated. You can stay sane by doing the following:

  1. Sleep or relax when your baby does.
  2. Get help and support so that you have a chance to sleep uninterrupted.
  3. Don't wake your baby up to feed him unless your pediatrician has a specific reason why you should. If your baby is hungry he'll wake up. Halting his sleep will only make him cranky.

Once your baby starts nearing that four-month age, you can start trying to teach him the difference between night and day. At this point you can also try to get your baby to fall asleep on his own, although some babies do better at this than others.

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Go On, Talk To Your Baby! | HUGGIES®

Talking builds your bond. “When new moms ask, ‘Why should I talk to my child when she can’t understand?’ I explain that even young babies can understand eye contact, tone of voice, and their importance to mom,” says Robin Blitz-Wetterland, M.D., a developmental pediatrician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital in Arizona. Dominick Mondi, a father of one in Marlton, New Jersey, has been chatting with his son literally since he was born. “I was so nervous in the delivery room that I started talking to Nicholas because I didn’t know what else to do! I told him what an awesome mom he has.” Now 12 months old, Nicholas and his dad chat regularly. “It’s made us really close,” says Mondi. “When I say something to him, he answers with his own sounds. It’s a great feeling.”

Parent talk makes kids good talkers. “Speaking to infants increases their vocabulary down the road, as well as their overall language abilities,” says Dr. Blitz-Wetterland. Research has found that the more parents talk to a child during his first three years of life, the more expansive the child’s vocabulary is by age 3. In other words, make small talk!

It doesn’t matter what you chat about. Some moms like to narrate what they’re doing, whether it’s a diaper change or a stroll through Target. (Of course, if you feel like musing over the latest celeb scandal, go right ahead.) Keep using a sing-songy voice: That slower, more exaggerated way of speaking is more likely to attract your baby’s attention and, according to one study, help him more quickly identify words. One more thing: Nix the “goo-goo-gah-gahs” and stick with real words. As Dr. Blitz-Wetterland says, “Exposing a child to actual vocabulary is what best builds his.”

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Sleeping Baby

Get The Baby To Fall Asleep

Bring on the white noise. “Conrad was quite fussy in the first few months, so my husband and I decided to try white noise. We downloaded all kinds of sounds—including jet engines, vacuum cleaners, and plain old static. We hooked up some mini speakers to our iPod, hit play, and he was out within five minutes. It worked so well that we always travel with those speakers. Now he sleeps as well at Grandma’s house as he does at ours.”

—Kristin Widing, mom of two, Aurora, Oregon

Give baby a rub-down. “The technique that works for me is to rub my daughter’s forehead gently with my thumb while holding her skin to skin.”

—Sunset Belinsky, mom of two, Kansas City, Missouri

Be a swinger. “We were very sleep deprived with my youngest, who’d wake up multiple times during the night. Finally, I moved the battery-operated swing to our bedroom, put him in it, and he’d doze off. That thing saved my sanity.”

—Len Saunders, father of two, Montville, New Jersey

Rap music? Yep. “Believe it or not, rap music of any kind was my go-to savior…played softly! The steady beat is soothing and our baby would fall asleep in a matter of minutes.”

—Shari Mezrah, mom of two, Tampa, Florida, and author of The Sleep Mom.

Try some good vibrations. “The one tip that always works is to put a baby blanket in the dryer to make it nice and toasty, then swaddle the baby in it. Place another blanket on the dryer, turn it on, and gently lay the baby on the blanket with one hand on her tummy. You’ll be amazed—the warmth and vibrations lull most babies to sleep. Then transfer her to the crib.”

—Blythe Lipman, mom of two, Scottsdale, Arizona, and author of Baby Instructions

Go for something scent-sational. “I sprayed a little lavender mist on my baby’s bedclothes to soothe her, then swaddled her.”

—Nicole Action, mom of three, Mount Airy, Maryland

Turn on the TV. For my son, The Wiggles always made him conk out in two minutes. The downside: I’d have ‘Toot Toot Chugga Chugga Big Red Car’ in my head for the rest of the night!”

—Ron Motta, dad of two, Commack, New York

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Bedtime tips for sleepy moms

The top tips for more restful zzzzzs.

Co-sleep: If you co-sleep you can breastfeed in bed. You can comfort your baby without getting up, and you'll get more sleep overall.

Create a bedtime routine: Even mamas need a routine. Take a warm bath, have some tea, read a book, or play nice music. Get relaxed and you'll have a better sleep.

Make a list: Don't lay in bed all night thinking about tomorrow. Instead make a list before bed. Now that you know you won't forget your tasks, you can sleep.

Exercise: Make sure to get in some exercise every day. You'll feel better overall and sleep much better.

Naps: If you can't get enough sleep at night, try a nap in addition to your nighttime sleep.

See a doctor: If you really are having sleep issues, see a health care provider. As a mama you need your rest, and if basic tips and solutions aren't cutting it, you may have a medical issue to deal with.

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