The Best Baby Sleep Gadgets

 

The baby product business is booming! Tired parents are desperate for sleep and always on the lookout for the latest and greatest that will help their family get that elusive 6-8 hours of rest at night. Let's get real, how many of us wouldn't be happy just to have a few solid hours of sleep each night? 

There are an endless array of products that guarantee your baby will sleep better. You may have tried or heard about many of these items. Sleep gadgets can even be expanded to include baby carriers, cribs, playpens, and bassinets. A quick trip through Babies R Us may leave your head swimming with all of the things available to you that just might get your baby to sleep.

Swaddles

In the last few years, a myriad of adorable swaddling blanket sets and special devices have flooded the baby product market. From the cute prints of classic swaddles from aiden + anaise to the easy to use HALO Sleep Sack Swaddler, there's something for everyone. Not sure how to swaddle safely? Our Postpartum Doulas can teach you! We promise it’s not near as complicated as it looks!

Sleep Apps

Like they say “There’s an app for that!” What isn’t there an app for these days?

From soothing sounds apps to apps for tracking and charting your baby's sleep a quick search for "sleep" in the App Store should pull up some excellent options. We love the 10 Best Apps for Better Bedtimes by Parents.com. Many of these sleep apps can be used to help children of all ages improve their sleep, and even adults.

Soothing Devices

This category includes pacifiers, lovies or security objects, and even aromatherapy. Every baby is different and what soothes one may not work for another child.

Pacifiers have been shown to reduce the risk of SIDS but should be used with caution if you are breastfeeding until your feeding relationship is well established.

Many children are soothed by a special to them object or lovey. Most children will choose this item for themselves.

The use of aromatic oils and herbs goes back thousands of years but has become increasingly popular. There are some studies to back claims that essential oils can have an effect on relation and stress hormones. We always recommend you consult a certified aromatherapist before using essential oils with your baby and never use undiluted essential oils on your skin or your child's.

White noise machines, sleep sound apps, and night lights are also in the Soothing Devices category. The Skip Hop Moonlight and Melodies Nightlight Soother is a client favourite that has both lights and sounds to soothe your little one.  

Remember that you are your baby’s favourite soothing device!

The Ultimate Sleep Tool

Have you booked your Postpartum Doula? Whether you choose to co-sleep with your baby, bedshare, or have your baby sleep in a sleep space of their own, a postpartum doula can be there to help you maximise the amount of sleep you're getting.

For parents that are bedsharing, a Postpartum Doula can help with changes, keep you company, or work with older children to ensure they're getting a good nights rest. Often breastfeeding parents choose to have the Postpartum Doula bring the baby in for feeds and then handle diaper changes and soothing so that you can go right back to sleep.

If your baby is sleeping in their own space, you can choose to have the doula care for your baby throughout the night. A Postpartum Doula can handle all of baby;s needs while you enjoy time with your partner and get a full night of sleep. This is especially valuable for parents who are returning to work or feeling overwhelmed by sleep deprivation or a lack of intimacy in their partnership.

During the day, Postpartum Doulas are happy to look after your home, meal prep and children while you catch a nap, with or without your baby.

The beauty of Postpartum Doula care is that is can be customised to match your needs, day by day, night by night. Postpartum Doula care is the ultimate sleep tool!

What is your favourite tool for getting a good nights sleep with a baby in the house?

 

 

New Parents Need Naps Too

No matter how smooth your pregnancy and birth go, your body had undergone some intense changes. You have been working very hard growing your new little person. In many traditional cultures, new mothers are cared for and given a month or more to recover. North American culture tends to forget new parents need for rest, trading the peaceful "lying in" tradition with numerous visitors, expectations to get your body back, and pressure to take your new baby out and about.

Postpartum expectations, both internal (the expectations you have for yourself and your experience) and external expectations (the expectations that come from society, family and friends) can wreak havoc on your need to recover from pregnancy and birth. You have so many demands put upon you, on top of learning to care for a baby, keep yourself nourished, sneak in an occasional shower and get the sleep you need. Let's face it, "Sleep when the baby sleeps." just isn't very realistic for most new parents.

At the very least, do your best to take it easy when your baby is sleeping. It may take some adjustment mentally to accept that you have a need for more rest that you are used to. Being unable to do it all is okay. Your need for recuperation is far more important than texting, phone calls, tweets, and even housekeeping.

As a new mother, you should feel confident letting others know you need a nap. Take your baby with you, or have someone else care for the baby while you get some quiet time or a nap in, any time you need.

Napping is harder for some people than others. You may not be used to sleeping during the day. If you're having trouble adjusting to short periods of sleep during the day you can try:

Lay down.

Take every opportunity to lay down in the early weeks and months. As a new parent, don't stand if you can sit, don't sit if you can lie down. Caring for a newborn is very draining and just laying down for a little while can go a long ways towards your sleep debt.

Enlist support.

Clear your mind by having someone else help with that mile long to do list. Family and friends who come to visit are happy to help with tasks around the house. If you don't want to ask for favours, you can hire assistance with the care of older children, housekeeping and laundry, and order takeout to save on meal prep time.

Postpartum Doulas are a tired parent's secret weapon. Families who choose doula support get more rest and feel better prepared to care for their growing family. At nap time (your nap time) a Postpartum Doula can care for your baby and older children, tidy up, and tackle on tasks on your to-do list. When you're awake, you can save your energy by actually utilising the unique role of your Doula by having her help with whatever it is you feel like you need. No one knows just how exhausting having a baby is like a Postpartum Doula.

 

You deserve to get proper rest.

 

You cannot genuinely care for others if you're not caring for yourself. You'll be happier and healthier if you make rest and recovery a priority during the postpartum period.

How To Feed A Sleepy Baby

 

It seems counter-intuitive to wake a sleeping baby. You were warned about how little sleep you'd be getting but now that you're settled in with your newborn you find yourself concerned by how much your baby sleeps. A sleepy baby can interfere with breastfeeding success or make it difficult for your infant to get enough formula to gain weight.

Your baby may be extra sleepy as a result of:

·       Not getting enough breastmilk or infant formula

·       A difficult birth

·       Medications you were given during labor or while you are breastfeeding

·       Overstimulation due to bright lights, noise, or interaction

·       Jaundice or other medical conditions

If your baby isn’t waking up to feed every 2-4 hours around the clock or has trouble staying awake to feed, you may want to try to keep your baby awake by using one of these tricks.

·       Unwrapping or undressing your baby

·       Talking to baby

·       Stroking or massaging baby’s body

·       Rubbing baby’s face (babies have a reflex that opens the mouth when the chin is touched), stroking the cheeks, circling the lips, kissing

·       Expressing breastmilk or dripping a bit of formula onto baby’s lips

·       Changing your baby’s diaper

·       Switching breasts or arm that you hold baby in to bottle feed

For babies that fall asleep too quickly at the breast, you can try compressing your breast to increase the milk flow which may stimulate your baby. Stroke your baby’s face, or nudge your baby underneath the chin. Keep your baby undressed and skin to skin. These techniques can be used throughout the feed to keep your baby eating.

Be sure to seek the support of your doctor or midwife if your baby is too sleepy to eat effectively. An infant that is not getting enough to eat can get sick very quickly.

Family Doulas of Ottawa is happy to offer suggestions and provide support for your feeding journey. Contact us today for information on infant feeding.

 

Do We Need a Night Nanny or a Baby Nurse?

night nanny

 

 

There are many reasons Ottawa families hire professional postpartum care when they have a new baby. Be it a desire to have an expert to look to, a lack of supportive family and friends nearby, or your independent nature, choosing to hire professional postpartum care can significantly improve your experience. 

 

If your birth was traumatic or you are struggling with postpartum depression you many have heard a Baby Nurse will aid in your recovery.

 

For families with multiples, an extra set of hands is always useful, especially if that extra set of hands is attached to someone experienced in infant care!

 

A Baby Nurse or a Night Nanny can be a helpful option. People who work under these titles specialize in infant care only. You can expect to have your baby whisked away and looked after. The Night Nanny or Baby Nurse manages newborn related tasks while you get much-needed rest or attend to your other responsibilities. If your goal is to have someone else care for your baby, a Baby Nurse or Night Nanny might be right for you.

 

But what if you want more? Or something different?

 

Similar to a Night Nanny or a Baby Nurse, a Postpartum Doula can spend her days and nights in the nursery with your baby if you’d like. She could also bring the baby to you for feeds if that is your preference, providing breastfeeding support and managing tasks while you’re feeding.

 

Unlike a Baby Nurse, your Postpartum Doula’s focus is on the recovery of your entire family. Her goal is to assist you in finding a new normal and smooth the transition taking place as you integrate your newest family member. She isn't solely focused on the baby unless that's what you need. She may assist with household chores, run errands, engage your older children, make meals, provide information for your physical and emotional recovery or even just be the unbiased listening ear who brings you a hot cup of tea.

 

For families that would prefer to care for their baby most of the time but would like additional support, a Postpartum Doula is an ideal option. A Postpartum Doula's broad scope of practice creates flexibility for your family.

 

 

With compassion, knowledge, and expertise on all things birth, postpartum and newborn care related, a Postpartum Doula will meet your needs day by day, hour by hour, minute by minute.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Postpartum Support: That Mythical Creature

There are millions of words written about mythical creatures. Sphinx, Minotaur, Cyclops…

But what if there were creatures that could come help once you were home from the hospital with your baby?

Mythical creatures devoted to helping families with the transition into parenting and life with a newborn. Mythical creatures like…

The elusive laundry fairy… Washfolder!

The fairy, who instead of trading teeth for coins, trades dirty piles of laundry for neat, orderly, clean ones. Not only has the laundry fairy been known to take care of the piles that are in the baskets and hampers, but she swoop up sweaty sheets, breast-milk-soaked nursing tanks, and baby onesies saturated with various liquid explosions.

Or the mythical house elf… DoItalla!

The helper devoted to food preparation. Magically food appears, and disappears when meals are needed, regardless of the time, and devoid of the lingering mess that goes with them.

Or a phoenix

The creature that when at the end of it’s life, would rejuvenate and be born with new energy from the ashes of its old self.

For many new families, the only mythical creatures that make an appearance are zombies and vampires. Tired new moms and dads slowly take on the pale complexion and dark tired eyes. And a new baby can sometimes feel like a sort of vampire – a being not really understood but that requires incredible amounts of energy from others to keep thriving.

Well, there is good news. Even though we don’t live in a world where these magical creatures are available to help, there is someone who can take on the wonderful abilities listed above.  She’s a postpartum doula!

The ins- and outs- of life at home with a new baby can be made easier with the extra hands of a professionally trained postpartum doula. A postpartum doula will come to your home, help you rest, help nourish you, help take care of tasks, AND help understand the new baby that has come home too.

A postpartum doula gives encouragement, energy, and attention to the matters of your recovery you most want help with, all the while acting as another sort of mythical being – a muse for parenting.

A muse: a person who helps you see clearer, come up with ideas that make the most sense for you, and a person who you feel better simply by being around.

Ottawa Family Doula does not need magic to help you feel your best. Ottawa Family Doula is happy to help in all the ways you can easily identify, and all the ways you can’t.

Ottawa Family Doula is a birth and postpartum doula supporting families in Ottawa. Exceptional and confident care for your pregnancy to have your birth and your baby, your way. Specializing in all types of birth at all hospitals and birth centres in Ottawa.