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.

Getting Multiples on a Schedule



Two (or three, or more!) of everything- how exciting! Until, of course, you start to consider that there will always be multiple babies to feed, bums to change, naps to facilitate, and bedtimes to prepare for.

Almost every book and every expert on twins, triplets, and multiples suggests that having your babies on a schedule is key. Many parents get more rest and feel less overwhelmed by feeding, changing, and putting multiples to sleep on the same schedule. If this kind of routine-based parenting is for you, here are five tips for getting your babies on a schedule:

1.       Hospital to Home
If your babies had an extended hospital stay, you’ll get off to the best start by sticking to the schedule they were already on. You can ask the nurses for a written record of their current schedule for feeding, changing, and sleeping.

2.      Sleeping Together
Letting your brood sleep together will help them snooze more soundly, while also encouraging them to wake together. On a safe sleep surface (link: http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/hp-ps/dca-dea/stages-etapes/childhood-enfance_0-2/sids/ssb_brochure-eng.php#safe-sleep), place your twins, triplets, or multiples side by side. This practice is appropriate until one or more of them have learned to roll over – once that happens, opt for separate sleeping solutions instead.

3.      Let Sleeping Babies Wake
Forget that saying about never waking a sleeping baby. If one of your babies is awake and needs to be fed, changed, or otherwise attended to, wake the other ones as well. This prevents you from going through the whole routine again an hour later, when the next one calls.

4.      Bedtime Routine
Have a bedtime routine that is calm and familiar each evening. For many families that routine involves bathing, feeding, and, finally, bed.

5.      Be Flexible
Take it as it comes - life happens! Your babies’ schedule is meant to make your life simpler, not deprive you of social interaction. It’s okay to deviate from the routine now and then. Also, if your babies have a different schedule in mind some days, just roll with it. Just try to give your babies the same things at the same times - so if one wakes up or feeds early, wake or feed the others, too.

 

 

Over time, your twins, triplets, or multiples will have different needs. Your schedule will need to evolve to meet these dynamic requirements. Always pay attention to their cues, even if they go off-schedule - feed babies that seem hungry, put sleepy babies to sleep, etc.

If you follow your intuition, trust yourself, and roll with the punches, you’ll soon find you have the tools to navigate through anything. A solid schedule will help you get there.

 

 

Get More Sleep Tonight

 

 

Although you were warned that pregnancy is exhausting, you probably weren’t prepared for just how tired you were going to be. Your body is working hard, making an entire, intricate human being.

 

During the first trimester, your body is making changes to prepare you to provide nourishment to your baby for many months to come. Your breast tissue changes as your body prepares to breastfeed your baby. Your blood volume begins increasing as soon as you become pregnant and will increase by 50% over the course of pregnancy. The hormone progesterone will signal your body to lower carbon dioxide in the blood, changing the way you breathe. Morning sickness can wreak havoc on your nutrition, making it harder for your body to meet demand.

The many changes your body is making deplete you of energy. Hormonal changes and the physical demands of pregnancy add to fatigue. Then there’s first-trimester insomnia! You may have difficulty sleeping even though you are more tired than you have ever been before!

So how does a pregnant person get more sleep and avoid fatigue, moodiness, lowered immunity, and other health concerns related to pregnancy sleep deprivation?

1.       Start by creating a routine. Individuals who go to bed and wake up at the same time each day feel more rested. Set a regular time and ensure you'll be in bed at least 8 hours.

2.      Reduce your evening screen time. Even with the advent of iPhone's "Night Shift," late-night screen time can discourage melatonin production and in turn sleep. If staying off your phone or other devices for the two hours leading up to bedtime is not realistic for you, be sure you're using Night Shift or some other filter, choose devices with smaller screens and turn down your screen's brightness. 

3.      Have a relaxing ritual. As an extension of your routine, adding in some relaxation techniques can help you fall asleep and stay asleep. A hot bath each night, scheduling some quiet time for yourself, reading a book, and having a small snack, can help you sleep better if added to your bedtime routine. 

4.      Exercise and physical activity have been shown to improve the quality of one’s sleep. Take some time to get a little exercise each day.

5.      Work with your health care professionals to relieve any pregnancy related discomforts you’re experiencing to make it easier to sleep. You may find adding a chiropractor, acupuncturist, or massage therapist to your prenatal care team helpful. Your Ottawa Family Doula can provide carefully vetted resources for practitioners in the Ottawa area.

Follow these tips for blissful slumber. Sweet dreams!

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.