Sleeping tips for au pairs
Children have wide ranging sleep patterns. Some can immediately succumb to slumber while others resist the lulling tug till their last blink. Some youngsters will delightfully yield to getting under the covers yet others will disgorge an avalanche of delaying tactics such as one more story?, one more lullaby?, one more drink please?. Whichever is in your care you can make either naptime or bedtime an easy, blessed event.
Newborn to 6 months
Newborns will normally sleep for long periods interspersed by waking for feeding and changing ? always attended with crying of course. Sleep and wake time patterns evolve and gradually with a certain predictability your own patterns follow suit much to your relief.
For a baby under 3 months there is little perceived regularity, though by age 4 months regular patterns begin to emerge. A common cycle is as follows: awake two hours, asleep two hours ( depending on the baby and also the parents inclinations regarding sleep, but it's best to take ones lead from the baby). Keeping the baby awake all day so that she may sleep better at night is never a good course of action. This makes for a much more tired baby that will not sleep well. Well rested babies tend to sleep longer and deeper. However, excessive napping can result in baby not resting at night especially if naps are close to bedtime.
Some infants will happily sleep though the night while others won't. Some have become accustomed to a sleep routine for instance: a bath, a bottle, a lullaby and then to sleep. Being rocked to sleep is preferred by yet others.
Off to dreamland
Here's the best way to ensure baby sleeps safely whether it's bedtime or naptime:
BACK TO SLEEP
Place the baby on its back to sleep, never on its stomach. Babies placed on their stomach are at risk of SIDS- ( sudden infant death syndrome ).
SWADDLE SNUGLY AND SAFELY
If they're swaddled, some babies will sleep better on their backs. However, swaddling should be stopped once the baby is able to kick the covers free. Note that loose blankets are a potential danger in a crib.
BACK TO SLEEP FOR FLIPPERS TOO
Continue to put her down on her back, even when she has begun to prefer rolling over. Allow her to choose.
KEEP BEDDING OUT OF THE CRIB
A crib with comforters, pillows, stuffed animals or fluffy blankets are a danger due to suffocation and therefore should never be in a crib. Dress him in a warm sleeper if it is cool in the room. Also ensure that bumpers are snapped on or secured tightly to the cribs sides.
Remain with-in earshot of the baby at all times so that the shattering screaming level is never reached. Accordingly, any intercom should be kept on and nearby as well.
Keeping a good baby down
Familiar sounding isn't it? For a quarter of an hour you cradle and rock her to and fro ...yearning to free your aching arms. When you finally gently ease her onto her mattress her eyes spring wide open- usually accompanied by crying. Why?
The answer is that she was not fully into the sleep mode. Stay with the lulling rocking and if you lift an arm or leg and let it go, watch the behavior. If baby jerks or reacts, she's still not asleep. If the limb drops freely, she's in blissful slumberland.