Busy Mom Shares Her Ingenious Hack For Keeping Her Baby Asleep
All parents will know how difficult it is to get their babies to stay asleep without holding them for the entirety of their slumber. Indeed, many mums and dads have found themselves in what is known as the "nap trap", whereby their child will only stay asleep in their arms.
Of course, as a mother or father, there are few things that can compare to the special bonding experience of having your tiny, defenceless infant sleeping safe and sound in your arms.
But as ideal as this sounds and as much as parents cherish these moments, they won't last forever - after all, sometimes it's just easier to be able to put the baby down out of sheer convenience.
I mean, if you need to get the cooking done, hang the washing out, or just need to take a quick shower, well, it's a bit tricky to do all that when your baby is relying on the comfort of your arms to stay asleep.
1. The inflated plastic glove trick
Well, Melissa Dykstra of the Gold Coast might just have some advice for new parents who are looking to get out of this so-called "nap trap". Dykstra discovered an ingenious hack and is keen to share it with other parents. When she tried it, she didn't have particularly high hopes that it would work, but it totally did.
The doting mother waited for her little one to fall into a deep slumber and then gently eased the child out of her arms. But before quietly backing away, she placed an inflated plastic glove on her chest. The weight of the glove on the infant's chest tricked her into believing her mother was still holding her.
Dykstra took a quick snap of her adorable little tot sleeping with the glove placed on the side of her body. Thrilled to have a few moments to herself, she took the opportunity to take a nice hot shower and drink a much-needed coffee.
After posting the photo on social media, parents from all over the world couldn't wait to weigh in with their thoughts on the hack. Unsurprisingly, the response was overwhelmingly positive with many expressing their gratitude to Dykstra for imparting her new wisdom on the topic.
Of course, not all the commenters sang Dykstra's praises. Indeed, some even went as far as to say the hack could be detrimental to the baby's development because holding your baby is beneficial for both parent and child. Studies have discovered that when a parent holds their infant skin-to-skin, bonding hormones like serotonin and prolactin are released. So this tip - helpful though it may be - is certainly not for everyone.
But as far as ensuring your baby stays fast asleep, there are plenty more hacks where this one came from.
2. Keep your baby's room dark
When you have to change or feed your little one in the middle of the night, you might want to consider keeping the lighting low in order to avoid overstimulation. You may even want to get yourself one of those smart LED bulbs that you can control from your phone without you even having to enter the room. Some parents even go to the trouble of getting blackout curtains for their kid's room.
It's important that you keep your baby's room dark in order to encourage their body clock to let them sleep mostly at night and less during the day. That's why many experts discourage the use of night lights as these can serve to affect their sleep patterns.
"I recommend that parents don't use a night light in their child's bedroom," says Diana Julian, a Family Sleep Institute-certified child sleep consultant and the founder of Big Sky Lullaby. "It's critical to help a baby distinguish night from day and sleep from wake, and the best way to do this is by controlling light and darkness."
Keeping a light on in your baby's room may lead to a much less restful sleep for your infant. "When an environment is lighted, melatonin production is inhibited. Melatonin helps us go to sleep, stay asleep and wake up well rested," says Krista Guenther, an infant and child sleep consultant and the founder of Sleeperific, a children's sleep consulting firm.
3. Allow them to fall asleep in the same condition
According to some experts, babies should fall asleep in the same conditions they will be in at night. This means that if your baby associates pacifiers and being rocked with sleep, they'll expect these conditions throughout their slumber and on a regular basis.
But if they learn to fall asleep without having anything particularly soothing around them, they are more likely to stay asleep or get back to sleep if they happen to wake up.
Weaning your child off pacifiers is pretty difficult given that they're usually a baby's first love, but eventually there will come a time when this just has to be done.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, when your child has reached the age of one, you should have parted ways with the pacifier. Preeti Parikh, MD, a paediatrician with Pediatrics of New York and an assistant clinical professor in the paediatrics department at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, explains that after your baby's first year, sucking is no longer a significant source of soothing.
So there we have it: the top three hacks for getting your baby to stay asleep. Have you tried any of them and if so were they effective?