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The role of the Registered Nurse or Newborn Care Provider is to feed, soothe, bathe, change & provide all other gentle care to baby through the night.

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Swaddling + White Noise = Sleepy Baby

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Babies spend most of their lives sleeping.  And with all the information out there for new parents and the universal truth that babies should not be put to sleep on their bellies, helping baby to do something so natural and safe should be the easiest thing in the world.  Right?

Babies spend most of their lives sleeping.  And with all the information out there for new parents and the universal truth that babies should not be put to sleep on their bellies, helping baby to do something so natural and safe should be the easiest thing in the world.  Right?

Sleeping in the elevated position has been recommended by many pediatricians and GI specialists when babies have some type of reflux or gastric distress, but pediatricans and the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines state that the only safe sleeping position for baby is on his or her back.  

For parents whose babies are uncomfortable on their backs, it might be tempting to use baby gear to help prop baby up. However, popular items such as the Boppy have instructions stating to “never, ever allow baby to sleep on the Boppy® pillow.  And sleep positioners have not exactly been recalled, but “The deaths and dangerous situations resulting from the use of infant sleep positioners are a serious concern to CPSC” so they’re out.  

And the AAP does not recommend co-sleeping.

So that leaves bouncy seats and swings for which a quick Google search shows 2 pages of recalls as well as AAP and manufacturers instructions recommending baby *not* sleep in them.

What a brutal welcome to parenthood.   You’re looking for answers in a sleep deprived haze and your options to give baby a cozy sleep area are putting her in danger, mortal danger or avoidable danger.  Everyone can advise what not to do, and the avalanche of recalls can cause any parent to question what is actually safe.

So what IS the answer?  

1. swaddling

2. white noise

3. holding baby upright after feeding for 20-30 minutes.

Dr. Karp, the renowned infant sleep expert who wrote the “Happiest Baby on the Block,”  recommends, “Two simple steps — swaddling plus white noise — can quickly boost your baby sleep (often an extra 1-2 hours) while keeping her safely secured on the back (also called the supine position).”   In addition to this, ensure that baby has been given at least 30 minutes to burp and work out any gas before lying down.  Thirty minutes sure is a long time in the middle of the night, but making that time investment, plus swaddling and introducing white noise will pay off later in the night in restful sleep for baby and you. 

This is not a sure fire answer to every sleep question, but swaddling, white noise and holding upright might be just the tools you need to help baby sleep comfortably and safely.

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