Sleeping is definitely one of the most important things for a new born baby. When a baby is born, all he does is sleep and eat, so we can only do our best to make sure that we provide the best conditions possible. Now my baby girl is one year old. She has a routine and always sleeps through the night at least 11 hours. So I think that I have enough experience to share in this department. Still, I want to point out that as a I first time mom I made a few “mistakes” and I hope that my story and tips will help you to move to a positive direction.
When you come home from a hospital with your baby, you might feel a little scared and it is totally normal. First time moms not always now what to do so be prepared to make those mistakes and learn from them. In a first month your baby will be eating and sleeping all the time. Babies doesn’t know the difference between day and night, so this process is natural. Despite that you should try to build a ROUTINE from the start, which will be very useful later on. For example, my baby was sleeping for about to hours and then she would wake up to eat. Of course I followed her routine. Then I noticed that in the evening, when she goes to sleep about at 11 p.m. she sleeps a longer period of time. That is when you should realize that this time is baby’s night sleep. So in this case, every evening, at the same time I would repeat the same ritual. That is another thing you don’t wanna miss. Night ritual is something that you repeat every night before sleep and that’s how your baby knows, that it is time to go sleep for the night. Our ritual was bath, changing into pajamas and reading a story. Yours might be different and that’s ok. Just try to avoid games, bright lights and sounds – everything that might be a distraction. Another great thing that I discovered later on – telling a short poem. It might seem weird or not important but use this advise. Your baby’s routine might and will change as he or she grows, so you need something stable. A little poem about sleeping is a great choice, because it will always be there for you, no matter where you are. If you build your night time routine about books or baths only, you might get in a situation where these things can’t be used, and that makes it very hard to put your baby to sleep for the night.
In a first couple of months you will notice, that the longest period of time when your baby is sleeping – gets longer and longer. That’s how it should be. Your baby is getting bigger and can go longer without feeding. Our baby girl was about 4 months old when she started to wake up crying in the middle of the night, when usually at that time she was asleep. And then I made my first mistake. Every time she woke up – I would feed her (I was breastfeeding her until her first birthday). I just assumed she was hungry, but learn from me – not every time your baby cries it means that he’s hungry. At that time I did what I knew and thought was the best. Later on I noticed that she would wake up more and more frequently. Also, I should mention that we had some problems with abdominal chords (we took medicine that our doctor recommended), but most babies do, so I couldn’t figure out what was happening and how long this will last. I have to say that the period of constantly waking up and feeding her in the night was the worst thing. I felt so exhausted all the time that I even started researching sleep training methods and other parents experiences. I also tried just to carry her, tell the same poem and put her back to bed, but even then when she felt that she’s already in bed, she would start crying again.
At about 7 moths, my baby was getting up at night every 2 hours or even less. That’s when I decided to try sleep training. I have to say that this method was definitely not for us. I just couldn’t stand to hear my baby cry so hard and I just knew that she has the energy to do that all night. So our sleep training experience lasted for an hour or even less and that was definitely enough. I new that there should be another way.
At about 8 months or so, after talking to a few other moms, I decided that our baby girl is definitely old enough to go through the night (the most part) without feeding. We would put her to bed at 8 p.m. and the earliest that I would feed her was 5 a.m. If she woke up earlier I would try to put her back to sleep using every trick in a book (yeas, even a blow dryer sound!). This period took about about two weeks and girl it was exhausting. Of course feeding her would be fast way to put her down, but in my case, the more I fed, the more she woke up. So to make a long (very long!) story short, after about two weeks without quality rest one night she just slept through it all. I remember myself waking up at 7 a.m. and rushing to check on her (she sleeps in her room and we use baby monitor to check on her). I just couldn’t believe that she slept through the night without any sound! On a better days she used to wake up a few times just because she lost her pacifier and that night she was able to find it for herself? I couldn’t believe it. After that til now my baby is sleeping through the night without any problems. Finally our family can rest and have the energy for the day.
This was my story of trying to get my baby to sleep through the night. I’m confident that we had these sleeping problems just because I started feeding her every time she woke up at night. Maybe for others it’s different, but in this case it was my mistake that a learned a lot from. I now this was the case because until that my baby was sleeping very well, at least 6 hours at night without feeding, so she was capable of doing that. Well what can I say. You live and you learn. I hope some of you’ll learn from my mistake.
I believe that my experience is worth sharing. My baby falls asleep by herself (day and night), sleeps through the night and even finds her pacifier if needed. To these are the main tips and tricks that you should follow from the start, to get your baby sleep through the night as soon as possible:
- Create a routine and follow it.
- Every night do the same ritual, so that your baby would know that it’s time to go sleeping for the night.
- Put your baby to a crib while he/she is sleepy but not completely asleep. This will teach them to for asleep by themselves. This is a key point of babies sleeping through the night.
- When your baby starts crying at night, don’t rush to the room to help and take the baby to your arms. A weird as it might sound, this is the right thing to do. Give your baby a chance to calm down and fall asleep. Of course watch your baby through the monitor to make sure everything is alright. If you feel that your help is needed, after a few minutes go and do what works for you.
- Remember that not every cry is a cry for food. Try to find other reasons, especially if those wake ups came from nowhere.
Well, this post got really long and some of you might think – too long. Still, I wanted t share the whole story and make it clear for every mom or dad that is looking for an answer. Just like I was. I wish I knew all these things before, it would have saved me some time rest 😀 But what can you do, I appreciate every night spent with my beautiful baby girl in my hands.
So, if your baby is sleeping through the night or maybe your dealing with some problems – share your story in the comment section. Only together we can help each other and find the answer!
Have a beautiful weekend everyone, – with love, daymom.