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Good Night. Sleep Tight?
While you may not get a lot of sleep as a parent, you can certainly appreciate the value of a good nightï¿½s sleep. While the average adult requires about 7 hours of sleep a night, a newborn baby may sleep as much as 16 hours.
Even by age two, a toddler spends more time asleep than awake. In the first 3 years of life sleep is as important to a childï¿½s development and well-being as nutrition, physical activity, playtime, and learning. Making sure your baby or toddler gets enough rest is but one of many concerns as a parent.
So how can you ensure a good nightï¿½s sleep for your baby and in turn, you? Create healthy sleeping practices and a safe sleep environment from birth.
Schedule lots of play time and tummy time throughout the day, but leave plenty of time to wind down too. Ensure babyï¿½s room is quiet, dark, and comfortable. Believe it or not, an ideal temperature is about 65 degrees, probably cooler than you prefer and you have covers on!
Establishing a routine thatï¿½s right for your entire family is important and can be as simple as a bath and a story, or rocking and singing lullabies.
Put baby down to sleep when they are drowsy, but not asleep. Teach your baby to become an independent sleeper and how to be able to fall asleep on their own.
Healthy infants under 12 months of age should ALWAYS be placed on their backs to sleep unless otherwise advised by a pediatrician.
Create and maintain an enjoyable bedtime routine from birth and into toddlerhood but keep in mind that habits, sleep patterns, and routines will change often and learn to adapt with them as your baby grows. Now that youï¿½ve established your sleep plan, donï¿½t forget about safety!
Many older cribs do not meet all current safety standards. Even if you are on a tight budget, you should not purchase an old crib at a garage sale or accept a hand-me-down crib that may not meet Federal and ASTM standards.
Crib slats or spindles should be spaced no more than 2 3/8ï¿½ apart, and none should be loose or missing.
NEVER place the crib near windows, draperies, blinds or wall mounted decorative accessories with long cords. Make sure there are no missing, loose, broken or improperly installed screws, brackets or other hardware on the crib or the mattress support.
The crib mattress should fit snugly with no more than two fingers width between the edge of the mattress and the crib side.
Each year hundreds of deaths occur when children are placed in a sleep environment that is not specifically designed for children. The safest place for a child is in a fully functional, properly assembled crib.
While every family is unique, itï¿½s best to determine your best sleep plan and whatï¿½s right for your entire family.
The practice of cosleeping, or sharing a bed with your infant, is controversial, a personal decision and one that should not be taken lightly. Itï¿½s important to weigh the pros and cons and consider room sharing as a safer alternative.
With some careful planning, naptime and nighttime can be a pleasant experience for both you and your baby. Make every night a good night!