The Music of Sleep. Or, The Sleep of Music.

“You might just as well say,” added the Dormouse, which seemed to be talking in its sleep, “that ‘I breathe when I sleep’ is the same thing as ‘I sleep when I breathe’!”*

August 16, 2011.
1 month, 2 days.

While in the womb, it’s been said that music has a wonderful, calming effect on a baby. Studies have made connections between brain development and music, dubbing this as the “Mozart Effect”. There are critics for everything you go searching for, so I’ll just tell you my results. (Dan thinks it’s hogwash that if you play Mozart, your baby will be smart, however, he kept urging Mozart for my baby playlist.)

I made a playlist of different music, (all mellow sounds), and played it to Mila by placing headphone speakers to my belly, every night as I lay reaching for sleep. Most of the time, this playlist put me to sleep. I mixed happy songs and sad songs, since I figured it didn’t much matter since she didn’t know the words. It’s the vibrations that become the baby’s lullaby.

Fisher-Price World Baby
Peaceful Celtic Lullabies

Once Mila arrived, I played this playlist on repeat throughout the night and it seemed to send her into a calm and restful sleep.  When the CD no longer worked, (I’m noticing a trend here with Mila boring of things), I switched it with this — a CD I was given by a friend. –>

I instantly fell in love with this CD. And so did Mila.

To keep things interesting – and Mila to sleep – I would switch between this CD and my original playlist. At some point Dan put the country music station on and we added a third to the mix. It never fails – when Mila is fussy and wont sleep, I change the style of music and it really does help her drift off to sleep.

We have a few other CDs in this collection but they don’t seem to do the trick the way this one does. I highly recommend this to mothers of newborns – or even to those playing music to their unborn child. And definitely, for your sake, keep a radio/CD player in the nursery. The music helps drown out other noise in the house and it gets baby used to sleeping through noise.

August 20, 2011.
1 month, 6 days.

Another item I found very useful at getting Mila to sleep is the glow seahorse or some variation of that. I used this when Mila was really little and actually just started using it again. There are nights that Mila just refuses to close her eyes. The light from this distracts her, gives her something to focus on and between the glow and the song, she falls asleep in no time.

*Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, (1865).

Don’t ask me what any of that had to do with this – I just liked the quote.

Newborn Lesson #3

July 21, 2011 (one week old): The littlest of things just break your heart. Like that tiny sob right before the wail of pain from being stuck by a needle. Mean doctors!

Mila had several bilirubin tests in her first week of life even though they never reached concerning levels.  She started at 8.0 and then reached 12.0 (both safe levels from what we were told). When her third test had the same result (12.0) she was done with testing.

In order to test the jaundice levels in a baby, the nurse takes a square, plastic contraption then pricks a spot on the heel of the foot. Blood starts to flow and the nurse captures it into a vial, pushing and pinching the foot to get more blood. Imagine this feeling – you’re pricked in your foot and then you can’t move because you’re being held down and squeezed. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt us so much since over time our feet have become hard and callused. Still, not fun.

Newborn Lesson #2: Mother’s Beware!

July 20, 2011 (6 days old): Under-wire is the devil!!

One morning I grabbed a nursing bra with under-wire and boy did that hurt! I learned the hard way that a breastfeeding mother does NOT want under-wire in her bras. When I made this purchase, I was still pregnant and had no idea what I was in store for. Lactation specialists (and the Breastfeeding 101 class I took) never shared this tidbit of information.

Newborn Lesson #1

July 19, 2011 (5 days old): Things never go as planned, (good thing I’m not the planner).

What makes this funny is that, for the most part, I am the planner. It’s in my job title, (Meeting Planner) and I like to know what I’m doing and where I’m going in my social life.  I can say, however, that I’m pretty flexible. And that’s exactly what you need with a newborn: flexibility.