One thing every mom told me when I got pregnant was….”You are going to miss sleeping”. And…..they were right!!
But lets be positive, they’re are ways to get a good amount of sleep, it may not be the way you used to sleep before(10 hours on a Sunday, wow those days were good!!), but there is hope.
Sleep is something that can be taught! The earlier the better!!
I want to share what helped us. Tamanna (my daughter who is now almost 22 months) was not a fussy baby, and a good sleeper. I believe baby wearing(studies show baby wearing results in less fussy babies) and couple of other things we did helped with her sleeping patterns.
This is what we did for when she was a newborn(these tips will probably not work for a toddler)!!
Lets get right to it.
The Missing 4th Trimester
Babies are born after the 3rd trimester, because if not their heads would get to big and would not be able to get thru the tight birth canal,killing both mother and baby.
When a baby is born it is very comforting for them to feel like they are in the still in the womb.
This is the time for you to hold and snuggle your baby as muchhhh as possible, it is what they need. It is impossible spoil your baby the first 9 months. I repeat!!!!!! IT IS IMPOSSIABLE FOR YOU TO SPOIL YOUR BABY THE FIRST 9 MONTHS. So if someone is telling you otherwise, Kindly disregard!!! (Bye, Felicia)
How would you feel if you were all snug in a womb, and then you come into this whole new world? You want to be eased in, still snuggled and tight like you were in the womb. Right?
Also it wasn’t quiet in the womb, it was surrounded by a constant shushhhhhh, which is louder than a vacuum. This explains why babies are soothed by car rides, hair dryers, and white noise downloads.
For thousands of years parents swaddled and rocked their babies. Almost every traditional baby calming technique returns babies to that cuddly, rhythmic prenatal world.
I am going to reference the book “The Happiest Baby on the Block”, by Harvey Karp. This book helped us sooooo muchhhhh.
For more in depth information on sleep check out “The Happiest Baby Guide to Great Sleep”, by Harvey Karp
This is a must read for all new parents.
Im going to briefly discuss what I learned from this book.
Mr.Karp talks about the 5 S’s, the Five Steps to Calm your Baby and Sleep Longer
- Swaddling: Snug Wrapping
- Side/Stomach: Lying on your side or stomach(only when you are there with your baby; never for sleep.
- Shushing: Strong white noise
- Swinging: Tiny rhythmic, jiggly motions(just one inch back and forth)
- Sucking: Sucking on your nipple, a clean finger, or a pacifer
When these 5 S’s are done correctly, they work like magic!! They did for me.
These S’s don’t need to be done in this order you have to learn what is best for you and baby.
We had a sleep routine which consisted of bath time, breast milk, and then bed time.
After she was bathed and fed, I would start by swaddling her, I had to do it a few times to get it right, if she was able to get out of it, I didn’t do it tight enough. But you want to make sure you give room for the legs to move.
Watching youtube videos helped me master swaddling, it took many many attempts.
I also had a ready made swaddle which I used when she was two months, it was much more convenient.
So once it was time for bedtime I would swaddle her, and give her, her pacifier. I would have white noise playing for her(there are so many on youtube, find what works best for you).
Then I would rock her back and forth, or put her in her bouncy.
These simple things after some trial and errors helped us both get some sleep!!!
During the day I made sure she was exposed to sunlight, so that with time she could learn the difference between night at day.
It takes time for healthy sleep habits to develop and every baby is different, some have a harder time than others.
Things like teething, sleep regressions, fevers, have changed her sleep routine for periods of time.
Raising a child takes a village!!! Asking for help doesn’t make you an incompetent parent, but a smart one. During the time that you are helping your baby develop healthy sleep habits, you will need support and naps!
You need to be taking care of yourself so can take care of your baby, and you will get thru this!!!!