Getting your baby to sleep

16 Mar
Sleep.  Now that’s something I dream about.  Something I can’t wait to get 8 whole straight hours of.  Something that without much of, I go a little crazy.  Not just me, but most moms.  We hear that familiar mom-I-need-you-right-now-or-I’m-surely-going-to-die scream at 3am.  Sigh. 3am. And for a lot of us, that’s not even the first wake up of the night. Sigh.
So here is a guest post by Lauren Bailey, who regularly writes for accredited online colleges. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99

Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night

I’m not going to lie to you. There is no quick-fix, catch-all method of getting your infant to sleep through the night. Babies sleep around the clock at varying periods, usually for collectively 16 hours a day. Sometimes they’ll sleep a few hours; sometimes only minutes. However, there are a few tips you can keep in mind so that your child may sleep more at night than otherwise.

Be Patient, Be More Patient

Again, I’m going to stress the importance of understanding that you can’t expect your baby to sleep through the night. Particularly for the first few weeks of their life, there is no typical sleeping pattern. Much of this has to do with their immature brain that has not developed enough to maintain prolonged sleep. Until about 6 weeks old, a baby will wake up many times during the night. The best thing you can do is to simply not get frustrated when they wake up; creating a hostile environment around sleep may lead to bigger sleeping disorders once older.

Vary Sleep Associations

Many parents will stick to one effective sleep association to get their baby to sleep. While this association is usually strong, restricting your child to just one association often results in a baby stubbornly expecting this association every night. So, for example, don’t rock your child to sleep every night; you should sing to him or her some nights, feed other nights, and take turns as to which parent puts the child to bed. Otherwise you will have a child who refuses to sleep unless that one association is met. The more associations you can provide, the better.

Set Consistent Nap Times

Try to lay down with your baby a couple times during the day and let them nap. Eventually your child may be able to just nap at those times on their own. This will get your baby used to a daily naptime routine, and babies with consistent nap routines are more likely to sleep for longer periods of time at night.

Bedtime Rituals

While I said to vary sleep associations earlier, it is also still a good idea to be consistent with bedtimes and bedtime rituals. The difference being that a bedtime routine is a series of events beforesleep while a sleep association occurs as your child falls asleep; it is usually pretty easy to control a bedtime routine, but you can’t always meet the same conditions for a sleep association, particularly when your child wakes up in the middle of the night. Sometimes warm baths can soothe a baby, but this is not always the case. Reading to your child before bed is always a good idea and an important routine to instill at a young age.

Feed Your Baby Mostly During the Day

Infants need to feed at close intervals. If you feed your baby at least every three hours during the day, they will be less hungry at night. Sure, they will still wake up in the middle of the night needing to feed, but try to give them a full feeding when upon their first night waking. You don’t want your baby to get into the habit of nibbling throughout the night.

Provide Ideal Sleep Conditions

In early months, most babies prefer sleeping in a tightly swaddled blanket while older toddlers tend to prefer looser sheets and covers. Make sure the bed isn’t too cold when laying them down. Obviously, keep the bedroom quiet and dark, although subtle soft sounds such as white noise, running water, or air conditioning can also lull a baby to sleep.

Ok, back to me now: If you have trouble getting your child to sleep, during the day or at night, there is help out there.  Tresillian has an amazing amount of information available on their website. You can chat to them live on Facebook. And, if you live in the Sydney area, you can get a referral from your doctor or baby health nurse to go there for a day stay.  There they will help you tame those sleep demons.  If it still doesn’t improve, they offer residential stays as well.

When Hannah was 7 months old, she wouldn’t sleep during the day for more than 5 minutes.  SIGH. Then she’d do that I’m-going-to-die scream until I went back in the room.  No amount of rocking, patting, lulling, shhhhing, etc. would get her back to sleep again.  I was going half crazy with all the screaming, and no infant-free time to myself.

I’m pretty sure every parent goes through that at some stage or another.  The whole sleep issue is a big one.  But what did do?  I took her to Tresillian before I went stark raving mad.  I went there for an entire day.  After that, it took about 2 days of putting my new skills to work, and then she became a dream sleeper.  She still is.  Thank God for Tresillian.

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Copyright 2012 Sheri Thomson

3 Responses to “Getting your baby to sleep”

  1. LBcruiseshipblogger March 17, 2012 at 4:44 am #

    Or just put them to bed when they’re tired. No fuss, no hassle, works every time. Just on their schedule, not yours.

    • Sheri (Mommy Stuff Blogger) March 17, 2012 at 6:47 am #

      yeah that doesn’t always work either. Sometimes they are tired, but they don’t know how to get themselves to sleep. That is what sleep routine is all about. It’s all well and good if they go to sleep when they are tired because you rock them, pat them, whatever, but the goal is to be able to put them in bed awake, and they go to sleep by themselves. Plus, the nap times are always based on when they get sleepy. It’s not like a random time pulled out of your bum.

  2. Rica May 1, 2012 at 12:58 am #


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