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  • The Joys and Challenges of Lulling a Newborn Baby to Sleep

    Daddy Dennis Serfino shares his and his wife’s quest to understand their newborn baby’s sleep patterns and how to introduce a sleep routine.
    by Dennis C. Serfino .
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    Searching for answers

    So I did my homework and surfed the Internet for an explanation to a newborn’s erratic sleeping pattern. After all, knowing one’s enemy is key to defeating it.

    What I discovered was enlightening. Newborns can’t tell the difference between night and day. And while new babies appear to sleep up to 18 hours a day, their sleep is not at all like adult sleep. Up to 80 percent of adult sleep is deep. In contrast, newborns only get 20 percent of sound, deep sleep; the rest is only a light doze. This explains why they seem to drift in and out of consciousness all the time.

    In addition, their tummies are pretty small and unable to store substantial amounts of milk. They have to wake up every few hours to feed. As a newborn begins to take larger feedings and starts spacing these feedings, a clear connection between a full tummy and sleep becomes more evident.

    My wife and I have come across several tips on how to make newborns doze off more easily. A few have prov-en to be useful, including dimming the lights in the bedroom, playing soft and soothing music, and feeding the baby before he actually asks for it or gets too upset.

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    What really works
    I have to mention that the tip from my friend is not only cruel; many pediatricians also say it is false.

    However, there is one suggestion that I can fearlessly give parents who are struggling with the same problem: Sleep when your baby sleeps. It does not really address the issue of setting a sleep routine for your infant, but it does let you recharge.

    No one solution will work wonders for the sleep-deprived brand-new parents. I have come to accept it as a baptism of fire that my wife and I must go through. We can only find comfort in the thought that things can only get better.


    Photo from flickr.com

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