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.