By Penny Warner
Sleep is essential to life. Sleep is curative, regenerative and soothing. A baby needs a lot of sleep in the beginning while recovering from the birth trauma and continuing its rapid growth and development in a new environment. Likewise, a new mother needs plenty of sleep to help her recover from giving birth, and to provide her with the stamina she needs to care for her new baby.
But some babies have trouble gett ing to sleep. While most parents know all the tried-and-true sleep-inducing methods – rocking, singing, driving baby around in the car seat – not all of these popular methods work for all babies. If you have a sleeplessin- the-nursery baby, try these top 10 "creative" methods from the "real" sleep experts – parents – to help your baby sleep.
1. Blow a Gentle Breeze. While singing or talking your baby to sleep, blow your words gentle onto your baby’s face. The air helps baby close her eyes while the tone of your voice soothes her to sleep.
2. Use White Noise. Download some white noise or calming music to your iPod or purchase a baby sleep CD. The white noise will help lull the baby to sleep, and may help soothe your frazzled nerves.
3. Call Your Mother. When you’re having a tough time getting baby to nod off, call your mother or a friend and share your problems while you rock her in your arms. Talking calms you down while you soothe your baby to sleep.
4. Bed Bounce. Place both hands on the crib mattress, on either side of your baby, and gently bounce the bed until he falls asleep.
5. Baby Ball. Get out your giant exercise ball. Snuggle your baby in your arms, then sit on the ball and gently bounce. You’ll get a good workout as your baby falls asleep.
6. Book ’Em. Gently pat your baby on the back, slower and slower, until you’ve almost stopped. Th en place a lightweight book on your baby’s back to simulate your hand. After your baby falls asleep, carefully remove the book.
7. Ticking Heart. Wrap a ticking clock in a small soft blanket and lay it near the baby so she can hear the muffled sounded. She'll fall asleep comforted by the simulated sound of mother's heartbeat.
8. Bike Stand. Hop onto your stationary bike with your baby in your front pack, then exercise your pregnancy weight off while your baby visits the Sandman.
9. Mommy's Scent. Lay your baby in the crib with the robe you wear when breastfeeding, so your baby is reminded of your smell and will relax to sleep.
10. Daddy's Turn. Take a break and ask Dad to try his luck with getting baby to sleep. Recommend he read baby the sports page or sing all the choruses to "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall." That should do it!
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