Monday, February 1

Getting Baby To Sleep Through the Night!

I thought this one would get your attention! Perhaps I am just the luckiest woman in the world, but I would like to think that my husband and I played some tiny role in our daughters’ sleep habits. Both slept through the night at an early age, and have been excellent nappers and sleepers ever since. My top 5 tips?

1. Be realistic: the first couple of months, let baby feed and sleep at will. Even I’m not that unreasonable. Do what you can to grab sleep in the daytime yourself, although I could never nap properly, and found it more refreshing to get something done rather than lay in bed and count down the minutes until baby was up again.


2. Swaddle! With our first, my husband mastered the art of the blanket-burrito, but with the second we invested in a Kiddopotamus “SwaddleMe” (pictured here; we used this exact same pink microfleece version) and it was one of the best baby purchases I ever made. Even in the summer heat we swaddled her up over her diaper and just kept the room cool. There is no doubt in my mind the swaddle bought us extra hours of sleep.


3. Do not respond to every noise. Easier for us than for cosleepers, of course: our first slept in our room for the first two nights, but neither child has slept with us since, so we don’t even hear every noise let alone jump to respond, but babies will learn to soothe themselves. When they really need your attention, you’ll know it.

4. When baby reaches an age where he no longer requires a middle of the night feeding...I recommend letting him cry it out. (GASP!) Can you believe we even took turns with earplugs, so only one of us needed to listen and be alert for changes in sounds?

5. Babies who sleep well during the day sleep well at night. The following nap tip worked for me, although many would advise against it: Use a swing! After the three month mark, we put our girls in the swing during morning and afternoon naps, which I believe trained them to sleep for a long period at those times. Eventually we transitioned them to nap in their cribs instead, and had no issues.

If you have any of your own tips for helping baby sleep (or you would like to kindly critique mine), please, share here! I welcome your comments and ideas.

Feb. 5/10
P.S. Just read an article in the March issue of Today's Parent discussing the results of a research study which showed that parents' beliefs about sleep training play a role in its success: if you feel guilty about it, or don't believe that parents can control infant and sleep patterns, the technique is less likely to work for you. Interesting.

5 comments:

Allison said...

I am keeping this one on file for the future! You should offer "sleep coaching" in person!

Jennifer Blakeley said...

Hi!
Love this article! We have a 2 month old baby girl, and we are using a lot of the things listed here. We have been swaddling (since the beginning) and our little girl loves it! I don't think she would sleep as well with out it. And she takes frequent naps during the day. Whatever we are doing is seeming to work... she sleeps for 12 hours at night (7pm-7am) and just wakes up once for a feeding!

Now watch... now that I said that out loud... tonight she is going to cry all night. lol. I hope I didn't just jinx myself!

Congrats on the great blog! Ill check back often.
- Jennifer

This Mom said...

Thanks for the feedback - I value your opinion! (Just so the rest of you know, Jennifer is the talent behind the artwork in Alphabet Photography -- see my previous post.) Good luck with the baby!

Jennifer Blakeley said...

Thanks!

We just put Brooke down for the night... now I will see if my big mouth got us in trouble. Wish us luck! lol.

First Time Mom said...

Just wanted to say thanks for letting me know about this posting, I enjoyed reading it. My son is a good sleeper, excepted when teething and growing pains come in to play, so I guess I can't complain. Although I am not looking forward to the time when naps no longer happen, so I will hold on to nap time as long as possible.