My Sleeping Child! 7 tips to help your baby sleep better

Quality sleep is as crucial as proper nutrition. Babies grow and develop in their sleep and therefore a baby’s sleeping habits are a major concern for mothers around the world. While it is natural to be worried there are several ways to improve your child’s quality of sleep.

As your little human grows, their sleeping needs will change, and the hours of sleep required will gradually reduce. While newborns sleep through most of the day (14- 17 hours), they are light sleepers with their sleep divided into sleeps cycles of 4-5 hours till the age of 3 months. Babies between the ages of 3 to 6 months require 12-15 hours of sleep which spans 2-3 naps in the day and possibly a long stretch of sleep at night. From 6 months to a year, the baby’s sleeping patterns start coming closer to that of an adult. They will sleep through the night and require about 11-14 hours of sleep.

Here are 7 tips to help improve your baby’s quality of sleep:

  1. Monitor your child’s sleep rhythm

Although it can be difficult and erratic in the beginning as your child grows, they will start to present a more consistent sleep schedule.

  1. Respect your baby’s preferences

Adjusting to your baby’s sleep cycle might not always be ideal and can often be life-altering. But it is recommended that parents respect their baby’s sleep patterns. As your child grows older, you may gradually introduce a healthy sleep cycle.

  1. Giving the baby time to settle down

Babies might fuss or cry before finding a comfortable position and falling asleep. Be patient and monitor them. Check on your baby, offer comforting words, and leave the room. Your reassuring presence might be all that your baby needs to fall asleep.

  1. Soothe the baby

The baby needs to be calm to be able to fall asleep. As you acquaint yourself with your baby’s likes and dislikes, make sure to take note of the activities that your baby finds soothing to get them drowsy and ready for bed. You may start rocking the baby or sing lullabies to them.

  1. Introduce a bedtime routine

As your baby grows, it is a good idea to introduce them to a bedtime routine. It helps the baby develop habits that prepare them for quality sleep. A positive bedtime routine involves going through a few quiet yet enjoyable activities with your baby about 20 minutes before bedtime. This could include giving them a warm bath or reading to them.

  1. Feeding before bedtime

Make sure that you feed your baby in a dimly lit, calm environment between naps and before putting them to sleep at night. This will indicate to your baby that they have to prepare for sleep and not play.

  1. Keep distractions away

Babies are easily amused. It is a good idea to provide them with an environment that free from distractions to improve their quality of sleep. Avoid using mobiles or TVs especially, one hour before bedtime.

As your newborn grows, their ability to sleep soundly will improve. Good quality sleep plays a key role in your child’s physical and mental development. If you notice that your child is sleeping too little or too much, it is recommended, that you consult a paediatrician as sleeping issues could indicate underlying medical issues.

To book an appointment with our expert Paediatricians, call: 1800 419 1397

Preventing Birth Defects – All You Need to Know!

Every mother-to-be needs to be aware of certain conditions that might affect her baby. One of those is the risk of birth defects. 1.7 million babies are born with birth defects every year in our country as per UNICEF, India.

Not all birth defects can be prevented, but you can reduce the risks by taking certain precautions.

Here are 4 measures you can take to help you prevent birth defects:

  1. Commit to a Healthy Lifestyle– Leading a healthy lifestyle is all about making healthy choices. Various studies show that an obese woman having a BMI of more than 30 is at a higher risk of complications during pregnancy. Some serious birth defects can be prevented if one maintains healthy weight before and during pregnancy.

What can you do?

  • Exercise regularly (consult your obstetrician about the best course of action)
  • Consult your nutritionist for a personalized diet plan and eat healthy meals
  • For light exercise, you can go for short regular walks
  • Attend prenatal yoga sessions, which will help calm your senses.
  • Try to maintain a healthy weight.

In case, you are an expectant mother and have diabetes, you need to take precautions advised by your obstetrician. If left unchecked gestational diabetes can cause serious complications for the unborn baby. You can prevent birth defects and other problems by keeping your blood glucose levels in control. Consult your nutritionist for a healthy diet plan and get ample exercise.

  1. Keep away from Alcohol and Cigarettes

Drinking and smoking are a BIG NO during pregnancy. The alcohol passes through your bloodstream and the placenta to your baby. As your baby is still developing in the womb, be mindful that the liver is the last organ that develops.

It is important to abstain from alcohol and all other harmful substances. Drinking alcohol during the first three months of pregnancy can result in miscarriage or preterm birth. Even after the first three months, drinking  may result in the baby being born with birth defects.

What can you do?

  • opt for a healthy lifestyle and consume healthy drinks like fresh juices
  • Meditate – Meditation helps you to take control of your mind and body
  1. Include Folic Acid in your diet

If you are planning to embrace motherhood or are pregnant, Folic acid is a diet essential. WHO advises pregnant women to take 400 micrograms of folic acid daily. Folic acid is a B vitamin that helps create new cells in our body.

Why Folic acid?

  • It helps form the neural tube
  • Prevents major defects at birth
  • Helps prevent defects in the baby’s brain and spine.

What can you do?

  • You must take 400 mcg of folic acid every day during pregnancy
  • Include folate-rich foods in your diet each day, all through your pregnancy.
  1. Avoid Self-medication

Most women  self-diagnose medical issues and take certain medicines without consulting their doctors. From menstrual problems, abortion to back pain and other issues. On an average, nearly one-third of pregnant women practice self-medication using  herbal and/or conventional medicine.

Effects of self-medication:

  • Impacts foetal health
  • The medicinal product or chemical agent can cause morphologic or physiological abnormalities in the baby.
  • Can cause developmental delays in the baby .

What can you do?

  • You must consult your doctor before taking any medicine/drugs
  • Be aware of all the medicines you take
  • Rely on the doctor’s advice.

All in all, the risk of birth defects can be reduced  to a large extent if mothers adhere to  prenatal care. At Fernandez Hospital, we have an experienced team of obstetricians, nutritionists, and childbirth educators who can help you have a healthy pregnancy.

To know more, call 1800 419 1397 (toll free).