Sweet Sleep

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What's a top worry for moms-to-be: Will my baby sleep? If you are in your last trimester you've likely already got a sleep deficit. The first few weeks with round-the clock feedings can be daunting. We're here to make life easier.

First the facts. How much sleep do babies need.

Birth to two months 11-18 hours
2-12 months14-15 hours
1-3 years 12-14 hours
3-5 years 11-13 hours

Now how to get baby to tow the line when it comes to sleep. I went to a pediatric sleep expert, Jodi Mindell, Ph.D., to learn more about a recent study she performed on toddler sleep habits.

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Mindell teamed up with Johnson & Johnson to study the importance of a bedtime routine. They boiled it down to three key steps:

Quiet Time

Here's what Dr. Mindell had to share:

How much time should parents set aside for a sleep routine?
A baby bedtime routine usually lasts approximately 30 minutes, although it will likely be shorter at around 20 minutes for young infant and longer at around 45 minutes for an older toddler.

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At what age can parents begin the three steps?
The three step bedtime routine can be started as young as just a few weeks of age. It's an excellent signal to your baby that is time to transition to nighttime and falling asleep.

What about when you are traveling?
Fortunately, the three-step bedtime routine is portable. You can institute this routine wherever you go with your child, which will help your child sleep better when away from home.

Moms are also benefiting from this study (better sleep for them and closer bond to baby). Why do you think this is?
I believe there are several reasons why moms are benefiting. First of all, they are likely getting more sleep as their baby sleeps better. Second, it helps moms feel more in control at bedtime. So rather than it being a hectic time of day, which they may even dread, it can be a wonderful and enjoyable time with their child.
In a nutshell: establish a sleep routine early.Johnson & Johnson has a full line of baby and toddler washes and lotions (toddler bath products launch this month) designed to sooth children after a hectic day and make sleep come easier.

And when you send your new baby off to dreamland, Halo's SleepSacksare ideal. A SleepSack safely keeps baby warm. SIDs is a scary thought for all of us; using a SleepSack eliminates the need for loose blankets that can wrap around baby in a dangerous way. For expecting moms, order the 4-peice SleepSack Take-Me-Home Set (coverall, hanger, bodysuit, hat and SleepSack) and you'll have everything you need for the trip home and baby's first night at home. $44.95

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