What can I do to get my baby to sleep!?
So we all know once becoming a parent how you miss a goodnight sleep! Is your baby sleeping through the night? You are one of the lucky ones! Hopefully, it will last, but just in case it doesn’t. Let me share some tips.
Parent life is eaaaaasssyyy – my little one was sleeping through the night for at least 8 hours from 2 months until 4 months, I swear to god, not even a tiny squeak (I know what you are thinking, “WOW, that an achievement in itself”). Unfortunately,all good things come to an end, maybe because my husband I got cocky thinking that kids are easy! Lo and behold, sleep went out of the window.
Let me explain what happened. it started when my daughter got here first jabs
- Started with tossing and turning early in the night.
- Then the small cries in her sleep.
- Followed by her not drinking her milk.
- And finally sleeping for half an hour and then getting up again!
To say we struggled was an understatement; it was hard work as there was no time to rest. We tried many things such a changing the position of the cot, adjusting the height, new bedding, pillow spray, nothing seemed to work! We were grappling to get her to have a full night sleep, she would wake up every half an hour and want to be rocked back to sleep or get in the bed with us (avoid this at all costs, you will regret this in the long run, it’s a hard habit to kick). Broken night sleeps weeks on end meant we that we couldn’t really do much in the day because we felt lethargic. There was only one thing we could do…
Tell you the truth, there wasn’t a set methodology we followed, we did a lot of research, one thing we realised was that each child is different, but we can share some tips that worked for us. The fundamental:
Feeding before her nighttime bath.
So, we tried feeding her after she had her bath, my god, this was a huge chore, especially when your child grows older as they have more control over their limbs. At times she would drink maybe 2 ounces and think that this is the right time to cause some havoc. She will feel tired but wouldn’t sleep because she was hungry. We decided to change her feeding time and bottles. My daughter is bottle-fed, and she had some serious colic, we use Anti-Colic Bottles and added a small amount of gripe water which really helped. We fed her before her bath (make sure you leave enough time before you bath them as they need to be comfortable for them not to puke it up later!). This actually helped a lot, even when she didn’t have her full feed, whatever was leftover, she would then happily drink the rest after her bath. She would go to sleep on a full stomach and gave us peace of mind that she was well fed.
So how much sleep does a baby need you may ask?
Newborns need about 8 to 9 hours in the daytime and about 8 hours at night, but generally, they won’t sleep more than 1 to 2 hours at a time. A lot of babies won’t start sleeping through the night (about 6-8 hours) without waking up till they are about 3 months old.
There is one thing I can say that my daughter loves a good little bubble bath! We have an Aqua Scale Bath Tube and trust me it does wonders. It shows the temperature of the water and weight of your child all in one! The added bonus is that your child can lie down and play while you wash them with without worrying about them falling down or bumping there heads!
We usually let her play with little bath toys for about 15 minutes and give her a good little scrub until she wears herself out, perfect for getting her ready for bedtime. Do yourself a favour though, don’t leave it too late; otherwise, they start getting really cranky, and they won’t want to put their sleepy clothes on!
Setting a proper bedtime.
At first, we use to put our daughter down at 10pm as that was the time she would initially fall asleep (that and we didn’t know any better), but let me tell you the problem with this. Not only do you not get any unwind time; but ultimately this means your child is not getting enough sleep, especially if they don’t like napping during the day (just like my daughter; doesn’t want to sleep at night or during the day!). So we moved her bath time forward to around 7pm and would then comfort her and put her to sleep by about 7:30pm. I’m not going to lie, this took some time and discipline! It didn’t happen overnight. Just be patient, and I promise it will be worth it!
This gives you time to unwind after a hard day of looking after your child – maybe even catch up on your favourite series on Netflix. Remember that you also need a good night to rest, so try not to sleep too late either.
In my experience, this helped a lot, not only did it give my husband and me some quality time but also allowed my daughter to sleep for at least 8 hours, she would then get up about 4pm for another feed and knock out for another 4 hours, Mission accomplished if you ask me.
Remember that the day time naps are also crucial, try to nap with them for at least one of their day time naps, this will help to fresh you and won’t make you as tired as you would be without it
One final thing regarding sleep – babies are usually very restless when teething, we also found that teethers really soothe the pain and applying some Baby Bonjela.
Does this help, what tips would you give