Sleep Deprivation

I’m participating in the first ever “Train Up A Child Tuesday” over at Kat’s Korner and I’m also going to use this for my Works for Me Wednesday.

The biggest complaint most new parents have is regarding sleep deprivation and how to get your baby to sleep through the night. This is a touchy subject I know and my intention is not to sound like a know it all. I only want to help. I have three children and all three of them were sleeping through the night (8-10 hour stretches) by six weeks of age. I’ve learned a few tricks along the way and I’d like to share them with you in hopes that they may help someone else out. There are no guarantees of course but this is what has worked for us.

1. We developed a nighttime routine early on and stuck to it at all costs. Babies love predictability. I followed a set pattern right down to how I swaddled them and arranged them in their beds every night. I found that putting my babies to bed when they were sleepy but not yet quite asleep worked best. They would fuss but learned early on to comfort themselves to sleep.

2. Babies sleep so much better and for longer periods when they are swaddled up. Yet if you have a baby Houdini like I did you know that most swaddle blankets are useless in keeping the baby contained. The Slumber Bug came to my rescue and made life so much easier. It is a MUST have for all sleep deprived parents. I tried so many swaddle blankets before finding this one and there was no way my son was getting out of it! It consists of huge velcro straps on the side that wrap right around and a gathered neck feature that keeps baby oh so warm and the blanket away from the baby’s face. I also love the drawstring like cord feature at the bottom that keeps baby’s feet tucked nicely inside. I have no affiliation with this Company whatsoever. I’m just a really happy customer. Here is a picture of it. It even comes with the matching nightcap.

3. With my last son, I purchased from ebay a small battery operated box that played womb sounds when turned on. I turned this on as I placed my son in the crib and this signaled to him that it was sleeping time and it immediately relaxed him. It then continued to play for about another 20 minutes gradually getting quieter and quieter. It was part of his routine.

4. This next step is an important one. When my babies woke in the night I didn’t rush right in at the first peep. I allowed them time to comfort themselves and generally gave them at least 10 minutes. I didn’t let my babies cry it out necessarily but I did make sure they were worked up to a real cry. Here’s the important part. Do not talk to them, make eye contact with them and definitely DO NOT turn on any lights. Babies need to be taught the difference between night and day. The sooner you can get your baby back to bed the better…..perform the bedtime routine again.

So this is what has worked for us. Now, my daughter tells me that I need to ask a question if I want more comments so here goes. Do you have any tricks that worked for you to get your babies to sleep through the night? Please share them with us.

Thanks!

Filed under: My Life

Comments

11 Responses to Sleep Deprivation

  1. 1
    Jenny says

    Well our baby days seems like eons ago (3 years) and we were lucky with having boys that slept thru the night early on as well. We never had a “family bed”. Our children always slept in their own beds. Like you, we didn’t rush when the baby made a sound in the middle of the night. If we had to give a bottle or nurse I would make sure the lights were dim and that we didn’t overstimulate the baby.
    Honestly though it was never really an issue.
    Great topic.

  2. 2
    Kat says

    Wha ha ha! Laura, as I’m reading this I am nursing a 10 week old who insists on waking at 3 or 4 am every night. So of course your post is both timely and amusing…i’m nursing him now on boppy in front of computer. But i’m sure i’m overstimulating him, so you know I will be implementing your suggestion tomorrow night. Will be back to hear what other bloggers have to say… Thanks for the post! You must have read my mind.

  3. 3
    Becky says

    Just had to let you know how much I like your blog! So informative and colorful.

  4. 4
    Anonymous says

    Well, Miller still gets up at least one time…Madison did too…I think its the nursing thing……it is worse around teething time. I have tried these things…..although I never swaddeled him..wished I would….thanks for the advice….
    jen

  5. 5
    Katrina says

    Great tips, Laura. I agree that keeping middle-of-the-night feedings very boring, dark, and quick is a key part of helping them learn to sleep through. Logan and Camden both hated to be swaddled – really and truly hated it – so that made the early weeks a little trickier since they often startled themselves awake. But it still wasn’t long until they were sleeping better. A regular routine and boring night feedings went a long way!

  6. 6
    Mom2fur says

    Mine were terrible sleepers! I love the idea of swaddling them. I think it makes them feel secure. Will have to remember this if I ever have any future grandbabies overnight.
    BTW, the recipe for Dorito Chicken is on my blog now.

  7. 7
    org junkie says

    Hi Jen, I didn’t nurse my first two babies so of course everyone told me that was the reason they slept through the night so early yet I am currently breastfeeding my youngest son and he still sleeps through the night which I’m VERY thankful for. I really don’t do well on interrupted sleep.

  8. 8
    Annie says

    Well I think I just got lucky, I never swaddled my baby…she actually didn’t care for it. She had a Sleep Sack and slept through the night at 6 weeks as well. I don’t think it had much to do with my parenting…just blessed!!

  9. 9
    Erna says

    Good tips and all worth a shot. Some worked for us and some didn’t. LOL! Firstborn wouldn’t be swaddled, slept 8 hours around a month old, and then flipped the switch when she got older. Second one, loved swaddling but was always waking frequently until after over a year (she was a preemie). Anyway, we tried it all but now both our girls sleep through the night. Thank goodness! I’m sure your post will encourage many new moms. Good post!

  10. 10
    Kili @ Live Each Moment says

    Love the tips. I have a great sleeper (one year now) and still takes two naps approx 2 hrs each.
    Kilikina
    My Blog
    Email Me

  11. 11
    Anonymous says

    Hey Laura,
    Thanks for the great advise. I will try it with my second due to arrive in November. I see now the mistakes I made with my first and why it took so long to get him to sleep well at night. I hope it goes better this time around. You remind me so much of my great sister in law who also loves to organize too. I enjoy reading your blog!

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