The sleepless nights have begun. Just remember that newborns and infants have been stereotyped for YEARS as waking in the night. Why else are we all trying to figure out how the heck to get them to stay asleep. Well, my advice for you "develop a realistic attitude about nighttime parenting." Sleeping is like eating. It is just not something that you can force a baby to do. The best thing TO do is to teach your baby that sleep is calm, restful and nice. If through your efforts to teach your baby to sleep you cause an uninviting atmosphere or put your infant in a fearful state then be prepared for such bedtime fights for years to come. Teaching your baby a restful attitude about sleep when they are young will result in both you and your child sleeping better when they are older.
So, easier said than done right? First things first. Stay flexible. You have probably learned or are learning that as the parent you gotta just roll with the punches. All babies will have different night time temperaments and each family has different night time lifestyles. Just don't be disappointed when you develop a routine of having baby in bed by 7pm and then you are stuck to that routine for the next couple of years. Can't teach the kid one thing and then expect them to stay out late with you at your friends or for dinner. Unlike us......babies will NOT roll with the punches. Lol.
My suggestions to you, other than stay flexible. Which as a parent you will find out is one trait you will get lots of practice perfecting. Here, is a list of the other "important" aspects....
* Decide where baby is going to sleep. There isn't really any right or wrong answer. Crib, bassinet, in bed with you (although I personally DON'T go for this one), in a bouncer or swing. Here's my soap box for one minute, as medical personnel my advice is not to let them sleep in their car seat or in bed with you. But, I am a mom. I get it. Sometimes it's whatever you have to do to sleep. Ok, box away.
* Get baby used to falling asleep in many different ways. If you rock your baby to sleep ever time then when he wakes up in the middle of the night he is going to expect you to rock him back to sleep.
* Set consistent bedtime rituals. Calming bath, lotion, a snuggle while you read or sing to baby. The rest is what I talked about in the bullet previous to this one. This is where bedtime ritual ends and the "falling asleep" rituals need to vary.
* Don't forget to tank up the baby during the day. Part of helping the baby sleep longer at night is by making sure he is getting enough to eat during the day.
* Last but not least, how do you get baby to stay asleep? Make sure the room temperature is good. Most recommendations are to keep the room between 65 and 70 degrees F. Make sure baby is comfortably dressed and swaddled. Keep the babies room dark and quiet and provide white noise to prevent baby waking at sudden sounds going on in the house.
There isn't any fool proof method to getting infants to sleep through the night. Keep a laid back attitude, remember that every baby is different. If baby is having an extremely difficult time be sure to consult with your Dr. to rule out any medical problems and.....here's my plug, if you need an extra set of hands, enlist your spouse or partner OR hire Time 4 Me. :) Email me for rates and we an discuss your families individual needs. firstname.lastname@example.org
Good luck and here's to hoping you catch some Zzzz's