Skip to main content

Establishing Night Time Sleep

Since I assume that most of you reading this are either mothers or women who want to eventually be mothers, then we each know that our child (or child-to-be) is the brightest and most well-developed child out there (who wouldn't agree?!).  Our prodigy child wants to see and do everything - especially at night.  And, as mothers, we all know who gets to wake up during the middle of the night to teach Baby that, when the moon is out, we sleep...us!  A mother's physical need for sleep seems to diminish during the first months after Baby arrives.  But, our mental need for sleep is still ever present reminding us - day after day - that we are exhausted. Well, establishing night time sleep isn't impossible, and this blog will tell you how I did it and had my baby sleeping through the night by nine weeks old (which, for her age, was six hours of blessed, uninterrupted sleep).

I read many books prior to Baby's arrival about establishing a good sleep habit.  On Becoming Baby Wise: The Classic Sleep Reference Guide Used by Over 1,000,000 Parents Worldwide andHealthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child were the two most helpful books.  Through these books I realized that I could establish a pattern for my child's day - without taking away the basic needs of my child.  It was really pretty simple.  I started my schedule after Baby woke up.  I would immediately feed her and then we would play, read books, or do other wakey time activities.  Then, when she was tired, I would let her go to sleep.  While I tried not always to comfort her to sleep (i.e., nursing or rocking to sleep), I also realized that occasionally this was going to be the only way I would get any sleep.  So, I did what was needed for my own sanity and the health and nurturing of Baby.  I will admit, occasionally Baby slept with me just because I knew she would sleep.  I don't think there's anything wrong with this because it made me a happier and healthier mom so that I could grow a happier and healthier baby.

Over and over again, I utilized the routine: sleep, eat, play.  At first, Baby would sleep for an hour, then eat for an hour, and then play for 5-10 minutes, then go back to sleep.  However, as Baby grew, so did the time between each activity.  She would sleep for longer periods of time during the day, take less time to eat, and stay awake to play longer.  So, as she grew, we were developing her daytime schedule.  Throughout the day, we would follow the simple routine and she knew what was happening.  I also got to know Baby's cries because they became associated with our schedule.  If she had just woken up and was crying, I knew she was hungry.  If she had been playing for a while and was crying, then I knew she was probably sleepy.  

While this schedule didn't give me immediate nighttime rest (I was still waking up every 2-1/2 to 3 hours to nurse Baby), it did allow me to know if there was something else wrong.  If Baby woke up before the usual time, then I knew she was either gassy, had a dirty/wet diaper, or there was another problem.  While it sometimes took time to find the problem - and sometimes she just wanted to spend time with Mommy - I had some peace of mind that I was doing what was best for my baby.  Through utilizing a daily routine, I was able to determine times that I could take a shower because Baby would be napping and times when I could do chores because Baby would be awake and want to look all over the house while riding in our carrier.  Life was getting a little bit easier.  

Now, I am not advocating a parent-directed, hyper-schedule.  There are always going to be times when Baby needs extra food, attention, or naps.  But, I am advocating trying to establish some sort of sanity routine so that both Mom and Baby can find time to relax and rejuvenate.  After all, the old adage is definitely true: When Mom is happy, everyone is happy!
So, for those of you who have gotten your kids to sleep through the night, please feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.  As mentioned previously, all babies are different.  What works for me may not work for you, but hopefully together we can help each other out!

Comments

  1. After having my third baby, I was shocked(!) to realize that I did not, in fact, know it all. Healthy Sleep Habits was recommended to me by a friend and it totally worked for us! Now I recommend it to all of my friends who are having sleep issues. You are so smart!

    ReplyDelete
  2. unrelated to sleep...but what type of carrier do you use?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I use a Baby Bjorn for just short periods of time, but have found that it causes my back to start hurting if I wear it too long. So, when I'm hiking around the mall, I use the Kelty Kids Pathfinder. It's a carrier made for hiking, but it can be easily taken off and set on the ground without having to take Baby out of it. It's perfect when I want to try on something!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have done CIO with all 3 of my kids and am a firm believer in it. Of course I hate to hear my kids cry but I think being able to STTN is a huge deal for a baby. I usually wait until 6mths since all my kids have been tiny and all have been breastfed but once they hit 6mths it's time to start. I have 3 awesome night time sleepers that know when it's time for bed and we don't hear from them until the morning. I know it's not for everyone but it has worked extremely well for us.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

If you give a mom a coffee cup

If you give a mom a coffee cup, she'll say "thank you" and immediately go to the coffee pot. 

At the coffee pot, she'll start the coffee and pour herself a cup...noticing the full cup of cold coffee that she poured herself yesterday.

She'll take the cold cup of coffee to the sink, dump it down the drain, and go to put it in the dishwasher.

She'll open the dishwasher and realize that it's full of clean dishes that need to be put away.

She'll put away all of the clean dishes and then will put in the dirty - now empty - cup of coffee from yesterday.

She'll notice that there are other dirty dishes in the sink that need to go into the dishwasher, so she'll put them all in the dishwasher.

She'll then realize that there may be other dirty dishes other places in the house and will go looking for them...finding them in bathrooms, on the coffee table, under beds, and in the sandbox outside.

While looking for dirty dishes, she'll notice that ther…

Bummis Super Brite

It's been seven long years since I started this blog as a place to look for cloth diaper reviews.  In that time, my family has grown to a party of five.  For a variety of reasons, we didn't do a lot of cloth diapering with our middle child, but now #3 is here and the cloth diapers have come back out!  With so many new options for cloth diapering, I thought I'd take a look back at my original reviews and update as needed.

So, let's start with the Bummis Super Brite!  I am still a big fan of this diaper cover.  Not only does it provide excellent coverage to minimize blowouts and leaks, but it is also easy to use and stylish in it's super brite colors and new designs in Cactus, Tampa and Circus.

However, there is one point to note.  My baby #3 is not a tiny baby as my previous two children were.  He likes to eat and his size shows it.  So, as we've re-begun using cloth diapers, I've noticed that they don't all fit like they did on his siblings.  The Bummis…

Where has the Golden Rule gone?

You would have to be living in a cave or some extremely remote location with no access to satellite or wireless reception in order to not hear or read about American politics and the upcoming elections.  It's everywhere...and it's an all out war.  Or, at least that's what it seems like to me.  I usually try not to say too much about politics because I was taught that talking about politics in polite conversation was rude and uncivil.  Today's state of social media and 24-hour news has proven to me that this lesson is, sadly, true. 

As a parent, I am trying to instill a sense of respect in my children.  Yet, how am I to do this in a world where everyone is out to get anyone who thinks, speaks, looks, or acts differently than they do?  No, this isn't always about politics.  But, let's face it, we've politicized everything.  There has been no subject left untouched in this year's political race.  There's no topic deemed to be out of bounds.  So, where …