New Moms, Moms who’ve been around the block a few times with the babes, and every Mom in between wants to know, “How do I get my baby to Sleep?!”
We’ll try anything to attain that holy grail of sleeping baby. It’s the hot topic of Mom conversations everywhere, and one that I’m asking myself as I prep for baby #3. So, what’s your secret to sleeping baby success? Sleep deprived, desperate Moms want to know.
I always try to remember that the most important thing here is the health and wellbeing of me, my baby, and my family, so whatever works to accomplish this, I think is all good and priceless. You and your hubbs (significant other) have to be on the same page too. You’re a team. If one of you isn’t buying in to the plan, the plan won’t work. And, remember plans change! We’re getting to know our babies, and understanding how they behave and respond to different things. So, be consistent with your efforts, and very open to the change-up plan when it’s needed. I always give it 3 straight days of consistent effort to see if what I’m doing is working, or needs a revamp.
Here’s how I got my “sleeping babies!” My two boys were in totally different situations. One was in the hospital with NICU and hospital alarm sounds going off every couple minutes, and came home at around 9 weeks, and the other came home day three of life, and right in to baby sleep boot camp he went. Both boys were sleeping 8 hrs through the night by 8 weeks old, and 2 weeks home from the hospital for my NICU baby. Key to note is that my boys were breast/bottle fed due to breastfeeding challenges both times. Another thing is my babies go right into their crib in their own room from day one. Always important details when seeking out baby sleep suggestions!
Set the stage: There ‘s a lot of research out there that supports the quiet, dark room with no distractions to ensure a good, restful night’s sleep. So set the stage for sleeping baby. This means no sound machines, starry lights shining on the ceiling, or music playing in the background. The thought is if your baby always needs stimulation to sleep, then the trend will carry on throughout his life. I buy in to this, so we keep it quiet, dark, and peaceful in baby’s room!
Feed, Wake, Sleep, Repeat: I love and use the Baby Wise method! It’s worked awesome for my babes, and has for so many of the Moms I work with. Feed baby, keep him up for about 20 minutes (bath, tummy time, play with Mommy/Daddy, or be entertained by what the older siblings are doing), then sleep until the next feeding. Repeat this the whole day, then after the last feeding of the day (ours was 10 or 11pm) let baby sleep until he wakes for feeding on his own. Feed, put baby right back to sleep, and let him wake on his own again until the first morning feeding begins the new day’s cycle between the hours of 5-8am. This helps get Baby’s body rhythm in tune, and helps Mom and baby flow better in the ever changing winds of life, ultimately boosting the healthy and happy at home and in life!
Check the scene, and let go: First things first, always check the scene. Baby's crying. What could be causing it? Hunger. Did baby have enough at the last feeding? Wet/Dirty diaper, gas (needs to burp), too cold/hot, or distress of some sort (baby rolled over and face is smashed in mattress, leg caught in between the rails, etc)? Thank God for baby monitors so we can check the scene before entering it. My pediatrician said something once that really clicked. Once your baby has slept 3 straight nights through the night, the only reason they will wake up is for one of the above reasons, or they are not feeling well. Never feed them again during this time once they've proven this as it would only be for soothing and not necessity. If you have to change a diaper in the middle of the night, it's all business. No talking, playing, etc. They need to understand that you're attending to their needs, but sleep is the priority, and they go right back down. Let’s face it, one of the greatest things standing in the way of our sleeping baby is our fears and misperceptions. As a new Mom, it’s totally normal to randomly check on baby just to see if they’re breathing and alive! Then there comes the time when it’s good to practice trusting all is well and let go. This comes with time and getting used to the whole parenting thing, so be gentle with yourself, yet aware that this needs to happen at some point soon. The calmer and more confident we are as parents, the more calm and secure baby will feel drifting off into their of sweet slumber!
Possible Game Changers:
Binkies: Find your Bink. Every baby has their own taste in binkies. Have a few different “models” hanging around before baby arrives to try on for size. My boys took to the Nuk.
Swaddle: One loved it until 6 months, the other busted out at 3 weeks. Try it and see. It’s the only way to know if the cozied up approach is best for your baby.
Merlin’s Sleep Suit: Never tried it, but one of the Moms I work with basically said it saved her from giving away her severely sleep challenged son to the next circus that came through town . Just kidding, but you get the point. She was at her wits end, and this saved her sanity!
The Sleeping Baby Zipadee-Zip (Shark Tank sensation): Never tried it, but am ordering it for baby #3. It’s getting rave reviews from sleep deprived Moms everywhere.
If all else fails, there may be something more than meets the eye. If you’ve tried everything, and your baby still isn’t sleeping, you may want to talk with your pediatrician about other things that might be going on like acid reflux, allergies, ear infections, etc.
Cheers to Sweet, Sleeping Babies and Sane Mamas!