Tips for Helping Baby Sleep Through the Night

Sleep deprivation may be on the top of the list of complaints for most parents, but there are ways to help your baby sleep better so that YOU can sleep better. Just remember that it won’t last forever, it gives you more time with your precious baby, and there are strategies to make sleep better in your house. Here are some tips to help you and your baby sleep through the night:

Create a consistent bedtime routine

From day one you can establish a bedtime routine that will be associated with sleep. Perhaps a bath after dinner, reading a book, singing a favorite sweet song, and then laying them down. Using the same song and the same book can help create triggers that they will pick up on and associate with sleepy time. This can also help them sleep when you travel or are other places. The comfort and familiarity of the routine will help them feel secure and sleep. When establishing this routine, make sure you choose an early bedtime – a late bedtime can make it hard for them to fall asleep.

Use black-out curtains

Black-out curtains can ensure that your baby’s naps are restful and that they sleep past the sunrise in the morning. They will learn that darkness is associated with sleep, and the dark environment will help them ease into sleep easier and stay asleep if they happen to wake up. Babies are light sleepers, so having a dark room can help them get back to sleep during periods of restlessness.

Be familiar with their phases

Realize that at first babies must eat every few hours because their stomachs are so small. They may be able to sleep up to 8 hours per night, but talk to your pediatrician before your cut-out the night time feedings. And while you’re in this phase…

Take shifts

Just because baby doesn’t sleep through the night doesn’t mean you can’t. If baby wakes once every 4 hours, alternate with your partner who will wake up each time or each night. Then at least you’re getting 8 hours every other night, and can hopefully take a nap while the baby sleeps during the day. Realize that this phase passes before you know it, and you will sleep again.

Put them down drowsy, but awake

From the get-go, put your baby down to sleep when they’re drowsy but still awake. This will help them when they do wake during the night to be able to fall back asleep alone. If you hold or rock them to sleep consistently, they won’t be able to fall back asleep at night without you, as YOU have become their comfort item. If they are always accustomed to falling asleep on their own they should not develop problems later on.

Check on them in increments

When you’re getting them to adapt to sleeping at night and comforting themselves, a good strategy is to progressively wait longer to check on them. For example, if your baby starts crying, wait 5 minutes until you go in to comfort them. The next time, wait 10 minutes. Go from there until your baby is able to self-soothe. This is known as the Ferber method, and teaches babies that the crib is for sleeping and that crying won’t get you to get them out of the crib. They know you will come, and the longer they wait the more likely it is that they will fall asleep. After about a week of consistency, this method has proven to work well for sleep training.

What tips worked for you to get your baby to sleep through the night? At what age did your baby sleep through the night?

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16 Simple Meals to Make After Baby Arrives

Being a new mom is no joke, and the last thing you want to worry about is what’s for dinner. So, we’re here to help give you a few ideas. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, eat gluten-free or have no dietary restrictions, there’s something for everyone. With a range of meals that take (literally) ten minutes, or recipes that can be thrown in the slow cooker, you’re sure to find something that works for your family.

Without further ado, here are links to 16 simple meals to (have your partner) make after baby arrives:

For Vegans

For Vegetarians

If You’re Gluten Free

For the Omnivore

What are some of your favorite quick recipes? Share your picks in the comments below!

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Ways to Feel Better Prepared for Baby’s Arrival

You can only do so much planning for and scheduling around the arrival of your baby. Unless you have a scheduled C-section or induction, baby’s grand entrance will be a mystery and may leave you feeling a bit anxious.  Stories of babies coming early or late may leave you wondering how much time you actually have left to prepare, and how soon you need to get some things ready.

To help ease that feeling of uncertainty, here are some things you can do to help you feel better prepared for baby’s arrival.

Set up the crib or bassinet

Don’t leave things looming. Even if you think you have a few weeks, if having the crib unassembled is bugging you in the back of your mind just set it up. Knowing that you have a space for the baby all ready for them will give you a great sense of relief. Despite having a bit more decorating to do or some final touches to make on the nursery, having the basics of what the baby will need will help you relax and feel prepared for them to come home.

Make arrangements for your absence

If you have a pet, arrange for someone to come over and care for it while you’re in the hospital. Make freezer meals in advance or accept any offers to provide meals for you and your family. Hire a cleaning company and schedule cleanings for every few weeks after your due date. Start thinking of important things that need to get done after baby comes that you might not be able to do for a while, and get them all arranged. This will help you relax and rest easier while you’re recovering, and make you less anxious leading up to delivery.

Pack your bag

Again, if you start having that anxious feeling that it could happen anytime, just pack the bag. Even if you’re a few weeks away, it’s better to ease that anxiety and feel ready than have an unchecked mental to-do list bug you every day. Pack an outfit, a spare toothbrush, even headphones and a favorite book, or whatever else is on your list. Load it in the back of the car or keep it handy, but not in the way, so you can just go without thinking when it’s time.

Install the car seat

Installing the car seat could jar this sense of reality that it’s really happening, which is probably the best way to help you feel prepared.  After all, before your baby can’t sleep in the crib and you can’t enjoy the snacks you’ve stocked up on until you get the baby home.  Make sure to install it properly, and don’t hesitate to stop by your local fire station or police station where they can inspect the installation and show you proper safety protocols to follow.

What did you do to help prepare for the arrival of your baby? Did something particular help appease your anxiety? Share with us below!

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How to Design a Cute but Safe Nursery

Hours could be spent scouring Pinterest for ideas and inspiration for beautifully-decorated nurseries. As you consider each component of your baby’s nursery and pour your heart into each detail, consider these design ideas and, more importantly, these safety protocols to help you design a timelessly trendy yet safe and secure nursery for your baby to sleep and grow in comfort and style.

Opt for hand-crafted, durable furniture built to last

Real, solid wood and durable designs are trending right now as more people are viewing furniture as an investment. Nursery furniture is no exception. Not only is it more aesthetic, it’s also safer for baby. Composite, pressed, and other types of manufactured wood can contain formaldehyde, and can also be more prone to breaking or tipping.

Make sure that you anchor pieces of furniture that can be a tipping hazard, like dressers and wardrobes. Consider placing corner guards on low, sharp cornered furniture or fixtures such as fireplaces.

Create meaningful DIY projects

Putting the time and energy into handmade décor or furniture adds more meaning to your nursery and the memories made there. From a hand-painted crib and coordinating furniture to a custom painting, create a custom nursery just for your baby. As you begin these projects, make sure to use water-based paints that will be safe for your baby once the teething stage sets in.

As you hang artwork, consider using canvas materials rather than heavy frames to avoid injury or damage if they fall.

Create a comfortable feeding area

Choose a comfy chair with a cute, matching print where you can spend those late nights feeding in comfort. Place a table or small shelf nearby to hold supplies and a lamp, and consider an ottoman or foot rest for optimal comfort. A feeding area is a cozy addition to a nursery where you can feed your baby safely that will help avoid the temptation to bring the baby into your bed.

Remember to secure any electrical cords to the lamp or other devices safely out of baby’s reach. Similarly, place outlet covers over outlets not being used to prevent electrical accidents.

Crib design: go for simple

Not only are straight, simple lines trendy, but it’s also safer for your baby to keep it simple in the crib. The only things in the crib should be the mattress and a fitted sheet. Avoid the temptation to adorn the crib with cute pillows, animals, and blankets as these are a suffocation hazard.

The placement of the crib should also be considered, for design and safety purposes. Proximity to the changing table is convenient for those inevitable leaky-diapers, but should be safely away from the window so baby can’t reach any cords or curtains and pull them down.

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