Let’s face it, worry about your baby’s sleep keeps you up more than you’d like to admit. MH provides you with handy tips in this how-to guide.
WORDS REBECCA WONG
Keeping your Head Together
Getting baby to bed can be an uphill battle. The feeling of being overwhelmed is normal for mums, so don’t feel guilty about seeking help from fellow mothers, a volunteer support group, or a mental health therapist.
Make sure to teach your baby the difference between night and day, advises Millpond Children's Sleep Clinic's founder and sleep expert Mandy Gurney. In the day, the house should be light and bright, with exposure to fresh air. At night, keep things dark and quiet, using a nightlight for feedings.
If your baby is a newborn or you’re an extremely heavy sleeper, a baby monitor may provide reassurance that she is sleeping safe and sound. It’s alright to stop using the device once your baby’s sleep becomes more predictable.
Don’t underestimate the importance of a daytime nap – not only are naps essential to your baby’s cognitive and emotional development, they also accord you some much-needed downtime to attend to errands or unwind.
Try to steer clear of overstimulating your baby’s senses right before bedtime. An active play session or prolonged eye contact may cause her to be too riled up to sleep.
Gastroesophageal reflux (GER), also known as acid reflux, is a common infant medical condition and may cause painful night wakings, says Dr Sears. Symptoms include spitting up, wet burps and sour breath. Do check with your paediatrician if you suspect GER is impairing your baby’s sleep.