A newborn needs to wake up several times a night to feed. As she grows older, these night time wakings are supposed to lessen. But what if it doesn't? These days, we hear more of babies who do NOT sleep through the night, resulting in overtired little ones and parents. And when it happens, affected moms and dads are willing to try anything, including probably this simple towel hack all the way from Vietnam.
Vietnamese first-time mom Lê Thi Ánh, from the Vu Thu district in the Thái Bình province, shared a two-minute video on Facebook of a nurse teaching her how to calm her baby to sleep. The nurse rolled a big large towel diagonally. She then placed the baby on his side, using the thickest middle part of the rolled-up towel to support his back. The top end of the rolled-towel went underneath the baby's head and neck, while the lower end was placed in between the baby's legs.
The two ends of the rolled-up towel should meet in between the baby's hands, as one would hug a hot dog pillow. (The rolled-up towel, in the end, looked similar to a pregnancy pillow, which also helps preggos sleep better.) Then, the nurse gently patted the baby's back as he fell asleep.
It's probably not a coincidence that the towel looked like pregnancy pillow, which also helps preggos sleep better.
"Thank you, doctors of Gynaecology hospital for very enthusiastic and very thoughtful attitude," Ánh wrote in Vietnamese as a caption for her video. "Everyone, please watch to apply for your children," the 23-year-old mom added.
As of this writing, the video racked up 15 million views and more than 300,000 shares since it was posted three weeks ago.
Smartparenting.com.ph got in touch with Ánh via Facebook Messenger to ask for her feedback on this sleep hack. She doesn't speak English, so we communicated with the help of an online translator. Ánh gave birth in Thái Bình Obstetric Hospital and tells us that doctors and nurses there always teach new moms this trick.
"After giving birth, the nurse/doctor taught me how to wrap a towel. My daughter, An Nhiên, is now 30 days old (at the time of the interview), and I am still using the method. It's easy to do and helps the baby sleeps very well," Anh said.
The towel hack, she says, helped her baby feel like he's still in the womb.
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Vietnamese website Me và bé (Mother and Baby) emphasized that when you use this towel hack support the baby's neck when it goes slightly backward and one of the baby's feet will be against his abdomen. The health professional explained to news site Vietnam Moi that tilting the baby to his right and applying slight pressure on the baby's belly is good for the digestive system and reduces the risk for chills and abdominal pain.
When you try this hack, make sure there are no loose clothing. Also, keep an eye on your sleeping baby at all times to prevent their airways from being accidentally covered by the pillow.
Experts recommend that you lay your baby flat on her back to sleep. She needs to be on a firm mattress with a fitted sheet and without any pillows or blankets to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Newborns sleep for only about two hours or so before they wake up and nurse.