October 12, 2021
WRITTEN ESTHER NIEDER-HEITMANN & JENNIFER SPIRO
Sleep deprivation or sleep hunger is a common phenomenon in parents with newborns. Sleep is the power station that keeps you sane, alert and calm through the day. Lack of sleep has a negative influence on one’s total well-being, physically, emotionally and socially. Fatigue babies are also affected in the same way and are to tired to learnpositive coping mechanisms needed to deal with stress.
The nurtureOne nesting cushion can therefore be used to rescue parents and babies who suffer from sleep deprivation.The following tips may be useful for you:Be aware of a babies sleep cycles of 45-50 minutes from drowsy to light and into deep sleep. The period of deep sleep is vital for the recuperation of their bodies and at the same time growth anddevelopment. By providing the necessary boundaries like the nesting cushion does, can keep your babycontained and secure and therefore optimise her sleep cycles and link the cycles during night time.01 SLEEP CYCLESThe nurtureOne nest provides boundaries for your new born, giving them a sense of security as though they are in the womb, similar to swaddling.However, if your baby needs to be swaddled, swaddle your baby in a stretchy cotton blanket before you put her down to sleep. This will keep her snug and contained and prevent waking up by her body’s own jerking movements, when going into the deep sleep cycle. It is perfect to place your swaddled baby in the nesting cushion which can assist even further with containment.
02 BOUNDARIESKeep your baby’s sleep environment or space consistent. In this regard the nurtureOne nest can become the most conducive tool. The cushion stays consistent, whether she is at a day-care facility or at home or anywhere on an outing.
03 CONSISTENCYEncourage self-regulating sleeping by offering a sleep soother. This will limit separation anxiety, which occurs usually between 4 and 6 months, from the mother. The nesting cushion can become a sleep soother which in turn encourages independent sleep, whether co-sleeping or in her own crib.
04 SELF-REGULATIONMake sure your baby is not hungry before he goes to sleep. By using the nesting cushion while feeding your baby before sleep time, makes the transition seamless and smooth between feeds and sleeps.05 FEEDINGBath your baby close to bedtime at night and massage her whole body with a soothing baby oil.The heat of the bath and the deep pressure of the massage have a calming effect on babies and make them drowsy. The nurtureOne cushion prolongs the warm and calming effect of the bath and massage on the baby, which in turn contributes to quicker falling asleep.
06 BATH &MASSAGEHolding your baby, while humming softly and rocking her rhythmically will encourage sleep. You can keep your baby on the nesting cushion while rocking, which will make the transfer to her crib/bed so much smoother and reduce the chances of waking her when you put her down.07 ROCKINGTry to establish a sleep routine during the day for your baby from early on. This will prevent an overload of stimulation which can affect your baby’s sleep. Again the nesting cushion can become a sleep association assisting with establishing appropriate sleeping routines.08 SLEEP ROUTINEDuring your babies wake cycles, make sure that she gets enough movement. Activities like taking her for a walk in the pram or in a kangaroo pouch sling, communicating with her while in the uprightposition and rocking her are just a few to be tried. Babies under the age of 4 months do not yet have good head control and are often still floppy when trying to hold them upright or move them. Therefore the nesting cushion can be used to support her head while you do movement activities.09 MOVEMENTReflux can contribute to lack of sleep in babies and it is advisable to consult a medical practitioner in this regard. However if that is the case with your baby you can try to keep her in a more upright position while feeding and after feeds. Again the nesting cushion can play a valuable role in this regard, as it can be used during feeds to keep yourbaby in a relaxed state while drinking and after the feed the cushion can be raise to a more upright position, while still holding her. When she is comfortable and you can put her down, the nurtureOne wedge, specially designed to compliment the nesting cushion, can be used to raise the head-space of the cushion.
10 RAISE THE HEAD
Reflux can contribute to lack of sleep in babies and it is advisable to consult a medical practitioner in this regard. However if that is the case with your baby you can try to keep her in a more uprightposition while feeding and after feeds. Again the nesting cushion can play a valuable role in this regard, as it can be used during feeds to keep your baby in a relaxed state while drinking and after the feed the cushion can be raise to a more upright position, while still holding her. When she is comfortable and you can put her down, the nurtureOne wedge, specially designed to compliment the nesting cushion, can be used to raise the head-space of the cushion.
About the co- author, Jennifer Spiro (Owner of NurtureOne)
- B.Sc (OT) (UCT), B.Soc.Sc Social Work (UCT)
Jen′s passion lies in meeting the needs of babies and their caregivers. She has brought this enthusiasm to her work in paediatrics for 10 years. After qualifying with both social work and occupational therapy degrees, she specialised in working with newborn babies and children with learning difficulties. She has worked in community-based well baby clinics, provided occupational therapy intervention for children with learning difficulties, and run social skills groups with children and adolescents. She has also worked in private practice. Her postgraduate studies have led to a holistic philosophy in which she integrates various approaches to provide children with appropriate sensory integration, neurodevelopment and emotional and or cognitive intervention. Being a mother of two, together with her work and studies, has given her a wealth of insight into the emotional, physical and developmental needs of babies. Jen believes that providing the correct environment for your baby is of utmost importance.
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