You rock or nurse baby off to sleepy-time, but the minute you try to lay him or her down - the eyes snap open and the screams begin!
Photo credit: Baby sleeping POV, by robscomputer, on Flickr
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The reason that baby often wakes when being lain down are:
• baby was not completely asleep,
• the feel of the
drop in height onto the bed,
• missing the motion, warmth and/or scent of your body.
But what can you do?
Not Completely Asleep:
If you aren't sure if baby is completely asleep, use the
Limb Test. Lift baby's arm or leg, and let it fall a (very) short distance. If baby doesn't react, then it is usually safe to lay baby down and creep away.
Feeling the Drop:
Place a small step stool next to baby's crib, step up and lean as far into the crib as you can, before laying baby down. If you can reach in far enough to lean on the crib mattress with your elbow, that's perfect. The shorter the
drop, the better. Then lay baby down gently.
Or wear baby in a sling, and use the sling to lower baby into the crib. Once you know baby is asleep, lift the sling over the crib rails, and slowly lower the baby down, unfasten sling and leave baby to sleep with it. The sling will carry your scent and some of your warmth.
If you use a family bed, simply lay down on your bed to nurse or cuddle baby to sleep, then quietly creep away once baby is snoozing - making sure that baby is safe before you leave. Have a baby monitor nearby, so you can return if baby should start to whimper or move about.
Lack of Motion:
Wear baby in a sling to nurse or rock to sleep. Then you can either leave baby in the sling to nap or - making sure baby is completely asleep - slowly lower the baby, sling and all, onto the family bed or into the crib.
Warmth and/or Scent:
Make a rice bag out of the leg of an old pair of pants, and a pound (2 kg.) of rice.
Simply cut off one pant leg about 24-28 inches (38-46 cm). Stitch closed one end of the cut-off pant leg, and pour in the rice. Stitch the other end of the cut-off pant leg closed.
To use, place the rice bag inside the microwave and heat on HIGH for 1-2 minutes.
Or you can wrap it in tin foil, and place in a regular oven for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F. (Remove foil wrap before using)
Give the rice bag a good shake, and make sure it isn't too warm.
Then get a T-shirt (or any type of shirt) you have worn, but not yet washed. Wrap it around the rice bag. The rice bag will hold it's heat for about 30-40 minutes.
Before nursing or rocking baby, place the rice bag in the crib or bed. It will warm up the bed nicely. So that when you remove the rice bag and lay baby down, he or she won't notice such a shift in temperature.
And that smelly t-shirt? The warmth of the rice bag, fills baby's crib with the wonderful scent of you.
If you use a family bed, the warm rice bag is great to tuck next to baby, as you creep away. This scent-filled bag will make baby think you are still near-by.
• Cloud b Sleep Sheep Four Soothing Sounds From Nature
• Cloud B Plush Aroma Pillow Sleep Aid
• Baby Anti Rollover Sleep Positioner
• The Shrunks Sleep Secure Inflatable Bed Rail
• Kiddopotamus SwaddleMe Microfleece
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