As a parent, you’ll be well aware of the importance of sleep and in many cases, probably can’t remember the last time you slept an entire night. Getting your baby to sleep is, of course, the key to getting more sleep yourself.
Some babies seem to be really good sleepers straight away, (five or six hours is good by the way!), while others can take many months to establish a lengthy and regular sleep pattern at night.
Knowing what tools are available to you to help your baby sleep can be invaluable, but unless you have enough budget, you can’t be expected to invest in them all. Do you need a rocking chair for baby? To answer that question, we will look at how rocking and swaddling can ultimately help you and your baby to sleep better in the coming months.
Successful Sleeping Techniques
If you’re having trouble getting your baby to sleep through the night, rocking and swaddling can help. But how? Here are the ways in which they can help your baby not just get to sleep, but stay asleep.
Rocking is known to be a very relaxing and calming activity. The rhythmic motion of rocking releases endorphins in the brain, so it’s no wonder that people (especially children) have a natural inclination to rock themselves in times of distress.
Rocking is also recommended to simulate the feeling of being in the womb and the more you can do to simulate this feeling, the better. Rocking your baby will naturally relax and soothe them, which will help them get off to sleep. Rocking can also help to relieve symptoms of colic, reducing crying episodes and helping them to sleep faster.
Do you need a rocking chair for baby? The short answer is, not necessarily, but it helps. If a rocking chair is out of your budget then, of course, there are many other things you could rock a baby in, including your arms, a stroller, and a hammock.
It is better for parent bonding, though, to rock your baby close to your chest. Pacing back and forth for hours on end rocking your baby in your arms is going to be a lot more tiring than being able to sit down comfortably and rock them from a rocking chair.
On a side note for those soon-to-be-mums reading this, if you know that you are giving birth by cesarean section, then you may benefit in more ways than one from having a rocking chair in your nursery. It is said that new moms who have had surgery have a faster recovery time after using rocking chairs than those who don’t. Faster healing times are also true of people recovering from other types of surgery.
Another great way to help your baby to sleep is by swaddling them. Like rocking a baby, swaddling will help simulate the feeling of being in the womb as it constricts the movements of their arms and legs while they sleep.
More often than not, your baby will wake themselves up from a jerk reaction. An unexpected sound or movement will trigger their startle reflex.
Their hands may clench, and their legs kick which will startle them awake. They will often wake up crying, leaving you no choice but to go through the rigmarole of soothing them and getting them down again.
Acquiring a proper blanket for swaddling won’t cost you much at all. Ideally, it needs to be at least double the length of their body, square, and be slightly stretchy, breathable, and of course, soft. Learning the proper swaddling technique takes a few tries, but once you’ve mastered it, you’ll find that your baby sleeps more soundly, and for longer, through the night.
As you can see, there are a few good reasons that a combination of rocking and swaddling has helped babies to sleep more peacefully for many years now. There are many things that you can buy to help you along the way, but you don’t really need any one of them. They are just here to make your life easier by helping you if you need and want it.
The way you rock a baby should depend on your baby’s preferences. Some prefer to be rocked upright, especially those suffering from reflux, while others will look more comfortable and get to sleep faster when rocked in a horizontal motion. When it comes to swaddling; however, there is only one way to get it right, so you’ll need to learn that fast!
It’s essential to establish a regular sleeping pattern as early as possible so that you get the sleep that you need. Getting the right amount of sleep yourself will ensure that you are more physically and mentally able to care for your baby, allowing you to enjoy your time with them much more during waking times.