While their crying can certainly test your patience at times and make you want to run for the hills screaming, babies can also be the most adorable things when they're asleep. For mothers everywhere, nothing evokes a feeling of peace more than watching her baby fast asleep.
However, keeping them asleep for long, especially in the early months of their life is something even experienced mothers find a challenge to deal with. With babies undergoing a lot of changes like starting on solid food that sometimes give them a tummy ache or teething that causes some pain. These changes upset their system which in turn, gives them a certain amount of discomfort, hence the inability to settle down. Diaper changes through the night and feeding runs keep you up all night and thoroughly exhausted the next day, as well as your baby.
These rather unfortunate turn of events that happen on a regular basis has made some parents turn to the internet in search of baby sleep tips that not only guarantee to help them self-settle the little one but to never ever experience another sleepless night ever. Besides looking for tips, they also turn to sleeping next to their babies in order to save time getting up and having to attend to the nighttime crying. While sleeping with your baby may have the advantage of giving both mother and baby some quality bonding time, it can be a potential death trap.
Besides the obvious inconveniences of having your baby sleep next to you on your bed, renowned pediatric associations have published warnings about babies being smothered under the bedcovers or by the heavy weight of an adult. Recent studies also show that approximately half of babies found accidentally dead are found asleep in bed beside their parents. However, it isn't difficult to see why despite the dangers parents still prefer baby co sleeping because how else will they be attuned to its every cry or gurgle? How else will they know if the baby wake up suddenly during the night, drifted back to sleep or continues crying because of some inexpressible ailment?
Fortunately, there are ways with which you can get your baby to sleep, without having to put them to sleep beside you throughout the night. Even if your baby successfully stays asleep on the bed, there's always the possibility of her rolling over and falling out of bed or if she's old enough to crawl, she can leave the bed upon waking up and wander off on her own.
Thus, experts recommend some tried and tested baby sleep methods that can be applied to toddlers and infants of all ages, the first of which is to create an environment conducive to sleep. Lowering the room temperature, keeping the lights dim and playing soft, soothing music during bedtime are sure ways to relax your baby and help them drift off. Some parents play rhythmic sounds instead of music, like a white-noise CD or putting their baby to sleep while doing the laundry. Either way, establishing a routine makes the transition from wakefulness to sleepiness easier.
While having a routine is good, it is also best to be flexible and ready for any sudden changes that could throw baby off. Have a lot of calming cues ready just in case like a warm, soothing bath, massages, some singing and maybe even some bedtime reading. Deciding where baby gets to sleep is also another factor as some babies fall asleep faster when in their own cribs and some fall asleep with a parent next to them. Again, while co sleeping with baby has some advantages, the cons far outweigh the pros and what should matter most is your baby's safety even while he sleeps.