Tips to Get Your Baby’s Sleep Back on Track
This Guest Blog was written by Lindsay Rothman, MS Ed. and Brooke Nalle, MS Ed.
The Pediatric Sleep Consultants of Sleepy on Hudson
I am sure if we put our heads together, we could create a long list of frustrating sleep scenarios that stress US out more than our babies!
I see a lot of parents trying to get a young baby to nap in their crib only to spend more time getting the baby down for a nap than they actually spend napping.
Maybe you have tried getting your baby down for a nap in a new environment; and they are just not having it? It’s. The. Worst.
In these scenarios, and many others, a baby carrier may be your best friend! Here are a few things to keep in mind about infant sleep and some tips to help get your little one settled for resting:
1. Did you know that young babies don’t develop consistent and reliable melatonin production until they are 4-6 months old? Rather than push a rock up a hill, try using a carrier during your baby’s naps to begin to cement in good, complete sleep cycles. When your baby is a little bit older, then you can start to alternate crib and carrier naps — a mix is best for flexibility.
2. Sometimes, I don’t know if baby is hungry or sleepy. Use a baby carrier when you hit that rocky point and are not sure if it is nap time or snack time. Once in the carrier, baby will offer queues to help answer the question — hungry or sleepy. And either one can be done in your carrier!
3. We finally got a great nap routine going at home, but my baby is refusing her nap at grandma’s house. It can be very overwhelming for a baby to be exposed to a new place and new people. Your baby carrier is truly your one and only friend in this situation. Your baby will find the baby carrier family and they will be close to someone they love. Baby can get a nap and you can return to exploring new or familiar (for you) places!
4. Baby sleep, and babies in general, are all about transitions and change. Just when you think you have mastered a routine, it starts to shift. Very often a baby will give up a nap (very normal age appropriate behavior), but he is still grumpy. We love using a baby carrier when you just don’t know what to do during a former nap time. Offer them a place to unwind and decompress — your carrier is perfect for this. Both you and your baby will get a bit of a break and can now make it to bedtime a little more gracefully.