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Need Help Getting Baby to Sleep 7 Ways to Get Your Baby on a Sleep Schedule

Sleep. It refreshes, rejuvenates and restores. Though our bodies are, for the most part, quiet during sleep, there is actually a bustle of activity going on inside us. Getting baby to sleep and having your baby on a regular sleep schedule is so important, that it is worth exploring and discussing.

Not only is a proper and regular sleep schedule vitally important for your babyís health, it also improves mood, function and physical development. Here are five major benefits that regular and sound sleep offer your child:

1. It helps your baby grow strong and develop quick reactions and coordination: studies show that babies who get regular sleep have improved reaction time, better reflexes and even better use of oxygen.

2. It helps keep babyís mood even and happy: obviously, babies get cranky and cry longer and more often when they are tired, and if they are sleep deprived, or on an irregular schedule, they can be very challenging to deal with.

3. It helps with memory function and development: Dr. Nilesh Dave, medical director of the Sleep Center at UT Southwestern Medical Center says "During sleep, your brain will process a lot and turn it into long-term memory," he says. "Memory is a function of what we think sleep does."

4. It keeps baby from falling asleep at times that are not part of the planned schedule: Iím sure every parent has experienced times when their baby fell asleep in the car, or while out somewhere, only to have the baby wake up irritable and still tired. If a baby is well rested, and if the parents plan their activities to accommodate babyís established sleep schedule, then more often than not, the baby will stay awake in the car, etc, because itís during the established non - sleep time.

5. It keeps babyís hormones balanced: Our bodies use sleep to release certain hormones, Dr. Davé says, including those essential for growth and development.

So, if sleep is so important, how do you ensure that your baby gets enough sleep? Getting baby to sleep does not have to be difficult. Here are some basics that might help:

1. Establish a bedtime routine: This helps your baby settle down, (and helps adults wind down after a long day as well). Allocate about thirty minutes before babyís bedtime to soothe and relax your child. Read, sing or play lullabies, or just sit quietly in a rocking chair, holding your baby.

2. Only put your baby down when itís time for sleep: Using the babyís bed for anything other than sleep gives the child confusing messages about what the bed/ or bedtime really means. If it is clear to the baby that the bed is for sleeping, the chances of the baby settling down are better.

3. Make the babyís bedroom dark, comfortable and quiet: limit distractions.

4. Donít play actively with your baby before bedtime: this can over stimulate the baby and make it more difficult to calm down in time for the scheduled bedtime.

5. Stick with the schedule: babies very easily can get off schedule, and it can play havoc with their mood and with their health.

6. Calm and soothe yourself and your baby: take some deep breaths. Your baby will pick up on your own relaxed state and this will help you both get quiet and peaceful.

7. Know when to seek help: talk to your babyís pediatrician for more ideas for establishing a regular sleep schedule for your baby.

I might add that getting baby to sleep and on a regular sleep schedule is important for the babyís parents as well, for all of the above reasons. Everyone benefits from a regular sleep schedule!
About Author Patrice Cosier :

Lull your baby into a deep, peaceful sleep so you can get the rest you deserve. Compose Patrice Cosier has blended lullaby style and form with relaxation techniques in her uniquely beautiful CD of original lullabies, "Good Night Lullabies." Get two free lullabies at <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Monday, December 8, 2008
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