Keeping in mind that complete exhaustion is a rite of passage for most new parents, there are ways to improve your baby’s sleep patterns. Here are some ways you can help your baby, and you, get a good night’s sleep….eventually!
What type of things can you do to develop a routine? Establish a calm, consistent routine that can include bathing, cuddling, singing or reading in a softly lit room, and have a defined end point when the activities are over and you leave the room. Be sure not to over-stimulate your baby and be sure you start the sleep routine before your child is not too tired.
Did we make you yawn?
A trick we used to establish consistency (i.e., kept us from losing our minds due to exhaustion) was to write everything down to try to identify patterns (times for naps, bedtime, feedings, diaper changes, etc.). The first thing I learned from this was that it really wasn’t up to me. My babies needed what they needed when they needed it, and I had to adapt. By writing things down, however, it got to the point where I could predict a lot of what my baby needed before they got fussy, which also kept me from thinking I was about to get a break when in fact things were about to get really busy! My system was not 100% fool-proof, but it created consistency for my babies and gave me a sense that I had a bit of control over the chaos. The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends keeping a sleep diary for the same reason.
It is really difficult to know exactly what you are buying when you purchase a crib. Many cribs are advertised as being made of “wood”, but this can mean very different things. In Canada, there are standards for saying something is “solid wood”:
Solid wood logs.
Solid wood is the term used to describe wood-based materials that have been extracted from the truck and further processed without mechanically altering the structure of the wood. The quality concept “solid wood” is strictly standardised, especially in the field of wooden furniture making. Only furniture with all parts (except rear panels and drawer bottoms) made of solid wood may be called solid wood furniture. If veneer (thin sheets of wood on a carrier material) is used for a piece of furniture, this must be indicated to the customer. (www.felder-group.com/en-ca/materials/solid-wood)
Images of laminate, solid wood and engineered wood.
However, there are no such standards for saying something is made of “wood”. For example, MDF is “wood”, as are wood panels, plywood and fibreboard, which all contain a very toxic mix of chemicals to hold wood slices, chips or pieces together. All engineered wood products are created by taking pieces of wood and gluing them together. It is the chemical off-gassing of the glues and the energy-intensive manufacturing process that make the use of these products problematic for our health and the environment.
And don’t be fooled by products such as “eco-plywood”, which can only claim less toxic off-gassing then its more toxic cousins. Aim for no off-gassing at all, and go for locally made, 100% solid wood, hand-made, naturally finished baby cribs!
LuLé's 100% solid wood, all natural baby crib!
As the founder of LuLé and a proud mom, I am passionate about helping you make the right decisions for your baby. All blog posts are based on information found on respected government or institutional websites, such as Health Canada.