Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sleep Tips for New Parents

Today MarketWatch reporter Ruth Mantell described how working parents struggle to get enough sleep after the birth of a baby.

“Caring for a newborn is tough on working parents, especially with limited corporate parental leave policies,” she wrote.

She offered advice to help sleep-deprived parents. One tip was to develop a routine that involves a manageable feeding schedule.

"A tremendous amount of sleep is habit driven," AASM member Dr. David Rapoport told Mantell. "So if you set up a routine you better be prepared to live with it."

Another tip was to resist comforting your baby every time he or she cries.

"Once you set limits, babies will generally adapt to them after an initial attempt to get as much comforting as they can out of you," Rapoport said.

Last year the Sleep Education Blog
reported that there is an ongoing debate regarding the best way to get a baby to sleep. Some support the “cry it out” technique. Others promote “attachment parenting.”

But one technique that should be a part of any parenting style is the establishment of a relaxing bedtime routine. Last year a
study found that a nightly routine helps young children sleep better.

There also is a
debate regarding the risks of co-sleeping and bed sharing. The AASM reminds parents to avoid putting an infant to sleep in a car seat. And a recent recall involved more than 2.1 million drop-side cribs made by Stork Craft.

Read more about sleep and infants. On SleepEducation.com the AASM offers these sleep tips for new parents.

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