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Contact Naps

Contact Naps

Posted on  July 7, 2023

For parents, welcoming a newborn into the world is a joyful and transformational experience. Among the restless nights and the never-ending cycle of feeding and diaper changing, one of the most precious and cherished moments is the chance to bond with your baby.

We receive a lot of well-intentioned advice and techniques for getting our newborns to sleep as new parents. However, perspectives on contact napping are typically split. Having said that, the worries about the practice are frequently based on a misconception that letting your baby sleep on you would lead to reliance and clingy behavior.

Contact sleeping comes naturally and intuitively. A contact nap is when your baby sleeps on your chest, in your arms, or in any other posture that allows skin to skin contact.

The emotional connection formed by means of physical contact might boost your baby’s sense of security and lead to deeper sleep. Furthermore, the attachment and relationships developed during a contact nap can have long-term benefits for your child.

 

Benefits of contact napping for baby and parent

Your little bundle of joy spent nine months in your womb, listening to your heartbeat and the rhythm of your breath. As a result, resting on you stimulates feelings of warmth, closeness, and security.

Contact sleeping provides various advantages for both you and your baby, including the following:

  1. Encourages the release of hormones that aid in nursing, such as prolactin, by skin-to-skin contact. It promotes a good breastfeeding attachment, increases milk supply, and improves the baby’s ability to latch on.
  2. Assisting in the maintenance of the baby’s regular body rhythms
  3. It may reduce cortisol levels or stress hormones in both you and your child.
  4. Improves your baby’s sleep quality 
  5. Improves the baby’s alertness after sleep
  6. Can promote better nursing/feeding habits
  7. Promotes the release of oxytocin (a hormone associated with calming and bonding) in both you and your child.
  8. Has the potential to lessen the occurrence and severity of maternal depression.

 

Reasons you might NOT want to contact nap with your baby

Sleeping with a newborn on your chest can be a wonderful bonding experience for you both. Contact naps, on the other hand, might quickly become “needed” by your infant at every nap and night if no other nap pattern is introduced. If you like it that way and it works for you, there’s no reason to change it!

However, for some parents, this is not feasible for every nap, every day, and there are a few reasons why you might not want to (or be able to) contact nap with your baby:

  1. You want to do something else (eat, sleep, shower, relax, work, watch a TV, etc.).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
  2. You’ve been touched out
  3. You have other children to look after or spend time with.
  4. You’re going back to work

 

A pleasant sleep environment, a bedtime routine, and teaching your child excellent sleep habits are all part of good sleep hygiene and will help your baby sleep better. When you practice these routines with your child when they are young, you are laying the groundwork for great sleep patterns as they grow.

Again, there’s nothing wrong with contact napping with your baby if you’re able to do so! It’s never too late for some sleep intervention if you discover it’s no longer working for you later on.

There is no right and wrong when it comes to cuddling with your little one. It’s all in your hands on how you want to sleep with your baby. Contact nap is not frowned upon and if you prefer to have your baby sleep on you, then go ahead mama!

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