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Protect Your Baby From SIDS and Other Sleeping Injuries

Nothing is scarier to parents than the idea that something can happen to their baby while he or she is asleep. Unfortunately, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (or SIDS) happens every year to 1,500 infants. It’s usually blamed on something interfering with a baby’s breathing while he or she is asleep. There are also other injuries that can happen after you put your baby to sleep. In fact, 26 babies are injured every day by their crib—usually from climbing up the side and falling over the edge. While all this is scary, there are things that you can do to keep your little one safe and sound while sleeping. These are six steps…

What is SIDS?

You’ve probably heard of SIDS, but you may not know exactly what it stands for: Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. It’s actually a subset of something called SUID, which is short for Sudden Unexpected Infant Death. Every year in the United States, around 3,500 infants die from SUID, and 1,500 of those deaths are caused by SIDS. SIDS happens when an infant (a baby who is younger than one year old) dies while asleep and a thorough investigation can’t determine the cause. Often it’s believed that suffocation is the cause, but autopsy tests can’t say with certainty whether or not that’s true. Instead, investigators look for signs that could cause suffocation, like soft bedding or the…

Best Lullabies for Kids

Sometimes, little ones love bedtime, but other times, sending a baby off to dreamland requires feeding, swaddling, or singing a sweet bedtime song to the baby. But what should you sing, exactly? These five classic lullabies are a good place to start. Softly croon or hum one of them and you’ll soothe your upset baby in no time. Hush, Little Baby: This humorous song is basically about the power of bribery. It lists all the wonderful gifts that a baby will receive from his mom—as long as there are no tears at bedtime. Hush, little baby, don’t way a word Mama’s gonna buy you a mockingbird And if that mockingbird don’t sing Mama’s gonna buy you a diamond…

Does Rocking Your Baby to Sleep Help?

Chances are, when you first brought your baby home from the hospital, you were willing to do just about anything to help him or her fall asleep. For many infants, rocking—or using another kind of rhythmic movement—works as a natural sleep aid, since it reminds them of being inside their mother’s body. While some babies have a strong preference for one particular type of movement, the truth is, there are many ways to soothe an infant. In addition to swaying him or her in your arms or rocking together in a chair, some parents bounce while wearing the infant in a carrier, push the little one in the stroller, or even drive around town with…

Sleep Methods for Babies

For new parents, few things can be as frustrating or confusing as figuring out how to get your little one to fall asleep at night. And the best way to turn nighttime into a dream is up for a lot of debate. These are the three biggest schools of thought when it comes to sleep training your baby:  The Ferber Sleep Method Created by Richard Ferber, M.D., director of the Center for Pediatric Sleep Disorders at Children’s Hospital Boston, this method is one of the most well-known ways to get your baby to fall asleep. He recommends starting when your baby is between three and five months old. The first night that you put your…

The Best Time for Your Baby's Morning Nap

Getting your baby to sleep the right amount and at the right times can be a sanity-saver as a new parent. But figuring out just what that means can be a puzzle in itself. Luckily there are some patterns that many parents and pediatricians alike swear by. While newborns tend to snooze much of the day, when they’re around three or four months old, many babies start to consolidate their sleep into two to three naps a day, starting with an hour or two in the morning. More important than the precise time that this nap happens is the spacing. Babies can keep their eyes open for only a limited period of time—about two…

When To Put Your Baby Down for an Afternoon Nap

Avoid naptime wars with these four sleep-saving strategies. With a baby in the house, naptime can become either a desperately needed break or one more battle to fight. But knowing how to time it right may help you call a truce—and make sure that your little one gets the sleep that she needs. From after the newborn period (about four months) until sometime after the first year, most babies nap twice a day: an hour or two in the morning and an hour or two in the afternoon. Some babies even add a third late afternoon nap, though it usually disappears by about nine months. While there’s no magic formula for naps—or for any part…

“Top Off” with Milk or Formula to Help Your Baby Sleep?

A MythBusters-style investigation into the idea that a large meal before bed helps baby sleep better. As every parent knows, waking at night to feed a baby—whether by breast or bottle—can be incredibly hard. High on the list of tricks to eek out more precious minutes of sleep is the advice to feed the baby extra milk, to “top off” or “fill the tank” before bed. A bigger meal, or even the addition of formula or rice cereal, will make her sleep longer. So the reasoning goes. This turns out to be a widespread myth. Newborn babies eat frequently and sleep in short stretches because their nervous and digestive…

How to Swaddle Your Baby to Sleep

These tips will help you wrap your baby safely and securely—and lead your tot toward sounder sleep. Chances are, you already know what a swaddle is—the blanket that you wrap your infant up in like a burrito to foster calmness and sleep. But how do you actually go about using it? Your technique is important. Loose blankets aren’t recommended for sleeping infants (because they can cause suffocation), so if a swaddle gets loose, it can create an unsafe environment. Then again, if you wrap it too tightly, that may cause your infant to overheat. Once you get the hang of it, though, the technique isn’t hard or complicated. These are the steps to…

What are Swaddles and Sleep Sacks?

Learn the real deal on how you should dress your baby for sleep.   Swaddles, sleep sacks—whether you’re looking for a gift on a friend’s baby registry or preparing to bring your own little one home, options for baby sleepwear can all start to sound like a foreign language. The one common theme with both options: safe sleep. Since infants aren’t able to move purposefully yet, covering them with loose blankets for warmth while they sleep can actually lead to suffocation and increase the risk for SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). Both swaddles and sleep sacks—which are made by a variety of different companies—can provide a safer sleep environment for babies. Sleep Sacks To make…