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Hey, mama. Need baby to sleep through the night already? Like, yesterday? Now you are here, deliriously hoping to find any shred of advice that will get your little nugget to catch some zzz’s, particularly during the night time hours. Well, look no further! I’ve got 6 sure fire tips to help make that happen! Let’s get to it!
Get Your Daytime Schedule In Order
Your little dream boat has been happily sleeping away in your womb without a second thought about the time of day. That won’t change until you help it change.
To do this, you need to use appropriate wake times based on your baby’s age so that her sleep pressure can build up, making her ready to nap again. You also need to focus on getting your baby to sleep consistently and for the right length of time. All of these factors during the day effect your baby’s nighttime sleep. In fact, to get my babies sleeping through the night from as early as 5 weeks old, I only used a daytime schedule. No nighttime sleep training. Just a solid daytime schedule.
To help more moms learn how to do this I’ve written an ebook that outlines the steps I took as well as gives you all the sleep info you need about baby’s daytime sleep needs. It’s a game changer, mama!
Swaddling baby will help her avoid having her newborn involuntary reflexes startle her awake. These reflexes are totally normal and it’s also very common for them disturb baby’s sleep. Additionally, if you think about the fact that baby was tucked into your tummy very snuggly, it makes sense that replicating that environment in certain ways would be incredibly comforting. To help with this sleep disturber, swaddling is a life saver! I personally loved these Aden + Anias Cotton Muslin blankets because they were large, breathable and totally gorgeous! You can also use swaddle blankets/sacks if you feel intimidated trying to swaddle. However, have a mother/baby nurse or mom friend show you how to swaddle if you want to learn and the skill will serve you well!
Use White Noise
Get yo self a noise machine, asap! Seriously! This allows you to enjoy life during nap when you might want to take a shower, catch up on some housework or relax with some Netflix. No matter how you spend this time, you don’t want to disturb baby. Also, the thinking about this is along the same lines as the swaddling. Baby has been used to a kind of white noise while in the womb. It makes sense that replicating this sound would be very comforting.
I have used two different noise machines and have had good things to say about them both. To begin, I used a cheap Munchkin sound machine that worked just fine other than the projector part usually got jammed or stopped working when dropped a few too many times. This part of the machine didn’t seem very child proof. However, the sound part always worked well and for $20, I didn’t have too many complaints even though I did end up having to buy two or three over the span of four children.
That was until I decided to up my game a little when my three year old son was waking too early and coming out of his room before I wanted him to. So, I switched over to the Hatch Rest sound machine because it has color options that I can control. Both sound and color can be controlled from my phone! It is also programmable by phone so nap and bedtime can be preset and it just wonderfully comes on! The only challenge I have had (and read reviews that claim the same) is that the cord falls out easily and is annoyingly temperamental to get back into the machine. For $60 I feel like this should not be a problem but if you purchase and have the same problem within one year, contact customer service and they respond quickly.
Develop A Consistent Bedtime Routine
Using a routine helps calm baby down but also signals to her that the end result of this routine is that bedtime is coming. Have you noticed that all children respond better when they are giving a heads up about what is coming? Mine certainly do and newborns are no different. Using a calming and predictable routine helps baby understand that bedtime is coming and she should get used to that idea over the course of the routine.
Our routines have looked liked this: bath, feed, book, song, put down in bed.
This routine has easily grown with each child. As my baby got older, I moved the feed to before bath to remove any negative association she had with being fed to go to sleep and we have also omitted baths every night when kids are older or begin to shower in the morning. You can still use a book and song as kids get older as long as you both enjoy it.
All of this helps you stick to one of my main sleep rules, which is: Drowsy = head to bed, Tired = too late
Avoid Unnecessary Associations
Associations are anything your baby comes to rely on in order to go to sleep. You want to avoid any association that you have to recreate in order to get baby to sleep during the day or night. Negative and unnecessary associations include:
- Being rocked (by you or a machine) to sleep
- Feeding to go to sleep
- Being held to go to sleep
You want baby to be able to fall asleep on her own rather than relying on one of these associations that are contingent on your help. If baby needs you to do any of the above, or anything else, that means you both get less sleep. Baby sleep cycles often last around 45 minutes and the goal is for baby to easily go from one cycle to the next without any assistance. But when they have developed a reliance on an association, they wake up looking for it and can’t get back to sleep without it. So, just try your hardest to avoid these as best you can!
Give Her A Minute
….or five. Or however long you are comfortable with. The point is, don’t go to baby with every whimper or grunt. Let her learn what it means to stir and then get herself back to sleep. She cannot learn this if she is not given an opportunity to. Babies are loud sleepers and any given noise does not necessarily imply distress. Also, little cries and whimpers are a baby’s only way to communicate. Give them a moment to work it out themselves. This is one of the first of many important skills you will be teaching your little darling.
There you have it! These tips will most definitely lead to your little one sleeping through the night.
And here are the helpful products I mentioned to make your days easier and your nights longer:
Swaddle Blankets (why they are the BEST: soft, large, breathable, beautiful, variety, matching sets)
Hatch Rest Sound Machine (why it’s great: changing colors, 12 sound options, controlled by your phone)
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