By Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns ~~~
Given a choice, your brand-new baby would sleep in your arms or in a sling for every single nap, every day. Your baby is one smart cookie! What’s not to love about the warmth and security of loving arms and the comfort of a familiar heartbeat, not to mention delicious, comforting milk at the ready, especially if Mommy is breastfeeding? Your newborn has some very strong instincts that direct every fiber in his being to recognize that his adult humans provide the most comfortable and safest place in the world to sleep.
Your bone-deep instincts are at work here, too. There is nothing — absolutely nothing — as endearing and delightful as a newborn baby falling asleep in your arms or secure to your body in a soft sling. When your newborn falls asleep in your arms your hormones breathe a deep sigh of relief and contentment. I’ve held all four of my children, my grandbaby, and countless friends’ new bundles for many, many, many naps! I can do and have done, just about anything with a sleeping baby in my arms — including coaching my daughter’s softball team (dugout baby in the team-colored sling), chairing a PTA meeting and even using the toilet. (Oh, you thought you were the only one to do that?) There appears to be a heavy-duty biological magnet that switches on when a newborn falls asleep in your arms that prevents you from putting the baby down!
The key to holding your newborn for sleep is to ensure your little one’s safety. Never risk falling asleep while holding your baby on a sofa, recliner, rocking chair or other soft, yielding surface if it’s possible that you will fall asleep. Be certain another adult is supervising, or your situation is perfectly safe if you do actually nod off yourself. And enjoy those sweet, cuddly naps!
Elizabeth Pantley is a mother of four, grandmother, and author of the bestselling book, The No-Cry Sleep Solution for Newborns plus 8 other books in the No-Cry Solution Series, which helps Moms and Dads through all key stages of parenting. Visit her at nocrysolution.com.