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Infants

Crib Essentials: How to Prepare a Bed for Baby

An infant’s sleep space should offer comfort and safety. This checklist will help you provide both. Creating a comfy, cozy sleep spot for your newborn is important, but so is putting your baby to sleep carefully. Certain types of bedding can raise the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), the unexplained death of an infant while sleeping. Some research suggests SIDS may be related to suffocation caused by an unsafe sleep environment. While there is no known prevention or protection against SIDS, placing the baby on his or her back for sleeping is the medical community’s recommendation. Because there are more than 3,500 sleep-related deaths among infants in the U.S. each year, it’s critical…

Does Rocking Your Baby to Sleep Help?

Chances are, when you first brought your baby home from the hospital, you were willing to do just about anything to help him or her fall asleep. For many infants, rocking—or using another kind of rhythmic movement—works as a natural sleep aid, since it reminds them of being inside their mother’s body. While some babies have a strong preference for one particular type of movement, the truth is, there are many ways to soothe an infant. In addition to swaying him or her in your arms or rocking together in a chair, some parents bounce while wearing the infant in a carrier, push the little one in the stroller, or even drive around town with…

“Top Off” with Milk or Formula to Help Your Baby Sleep?

A MythBusters-style investigation into the idea that a large meal before bed helps baby sleep better. As every parent knows, waking at night to feed a baby—whether by breast or bottle—can be incredibly hard. High on the list of tricks to eek out more precious minutes of sleep is the advice to feed the baby extra milk, to “top off” or “fill the tank” before bed. A bigger meal, or even the addition of formula or rice cereal, will make her sleep longer. So the reasoning goes. This turns out to be a widespread myth. Newborn babies eat frequently and sleep in short stretches because their nervous and digestive…

What are Swaddles and Sleep Sacks?

Learn the real deal on how you should dress your baby for sleep.   Swaddles, sleep sacks—whether you’re looking for a gift on a friend’s baby registry or preparing to bring your own little one home, options for baby sleepwear can all start to sound like a foreign language. The one common theme with both options: safe sleep. Since infants aren’t able to move purposefully yet, covering them with loose blankets for warmth while they sleep can actually lead to suffocation and increase the risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Both swaddles and sleep sacks—which are made by a variety of different companies—can provide a safer sleep environment for babies. Sleep Sacks To make…

What Babies Should Wear to Sleep

  Newborns, infants, and toddlers all have different ideal sleepwear. When picking pajamas for a newborn, infant, or toddler, comfort is only half the story. The other main factor is safety—especially when dressing newborns for sleep. Below, find out how to decide what to put on a newborn, infant, and toddler at bedtime. Newborns: Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID) can occur until a baby is a year old, but the first four months are the most dangerous. SUID can occur due to suffocation or unknown reasons. That’s why it’s important to dress babies in clothing that isn’t too loose (because that lowers the risk of suffocation). One-pieces with built-in…

Don’t Let Post-Partum Zombies Eat Your ZZZ's

  A humorous look at the trials and tribulations of new parenthood The past few months my house has been filled with zombies.  My three-year-old learned about zombies right around Halloween, and since then, as part of his bedtime routine, he has been inventing stories about them.  Zombies coughing. Zombies fighting. Zombies marching. Zombies fishing. And, of course, zombies eating brains. I’m not sure why zombies appeal to him so much. Maybe it’s because they shuffle around and grunt. Maybe it’s because they are clumsy and silly-looking. Or maybe it’s because after his little brother arrived in late October, his mom turned into one. My adorable newborn boy needs to eat every two to three hours, and as…

How to Get Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

Put an end to your little one’s middle-of-the-night awakenings (and score more shut-eye yourself). Let’s face it: If your baby isn’t sleeping, you aren’t sleeping. So it’s no wonder that for most new parents, getting their little one to snooze better is a top priority. While this isn’t something that you can rush, take comfort in the fact that by the time they are nine months old, 70 percent of babies sleep through the night (meaning they sleep nonstop from the time they are put to bed until a reasonable morning hour, such as after sunrise). No matter how old your infant is, these four tips will up the chance that your child will soon…

Get Your Baby to Sleep Longer

Simple solutions for when your little bundle of joy wakes up way too early It’s completely normal for your baby to wake up at 6:00am or 6:30am, all ready to start the day. However, if your little one routinely wakes up before dawn and that schedule is leaving you, the baby, and the rest of your family seriously sleep-deprived, there are tricks you can use to help move the baby’s wake-up time to a later hour. Sleep Training Tips for Children Video production in partnership with

Get Better Sleep—Even With Your Newborn

Six ways for new parents to get more sleep After being awoken by yet another 2:00am wail from your newborn, you may feel like you’ll never get another good night’s sleep again. But it won’t last forever: Typically, by three months, most babies can sleep for at least five consecutive hours a night, and by six months, most can snooze anywhere from nine to twelve hours at a time. In the meantime, these strategies will help you get more zzz’s. Sync Your Sleep Schedules. It may take some adjusting—since you’re probably not used to such an early bedtime—but going to sleep when your newborn does means that you can catch a few extra winks while your…

Everything You Need to Know About Sleep Training

Learn how to help your baby sleep—so you can, too. Oh, the irony of life with a newborn: Somehow the baby manages to sleep a ton, while Mom and Dad barely (or don’t!) get enough. Never fear, there are ways you can ease your little one into a healthy sleep routine. Here’s the bonus: Doing so means you’ll get more sleep, too. Raising a healthy sleeper starts with a consistent bedtime routine. You can start enforcing this when your baby is roughly six weeks old. At the same time every night, read a book together, sing songs, and feed your baby before putting him or her into the crib. It may also help to get…