Get Baby to Sleep Well; Advice and Helpful Products
Tips For Getting Baby To Sleep- HONEST!
With a 10 month old baby who was still not sleeping through the night- at all- not even close, I had reached a desperate and low point in my life physically and mentally. I am a researcher by nature and have a background in psychology, which basically set me on a path to search high and low for answers, logical and reliable. I barely had the energy to do this and wondered if I should be researching baby sleeping pills instead. After my "research" and "test studies", I got my baby to sleep through the night within a week- going from waking every 2-3 hours to sleeping 10-12 hours consecutively. She is now 14 months and "sleeps like a baby" even when sick or reaching a developmental milestone.
My "findings" were all over the chart. Most books left me more confused than before I began my quest. Let me also add that I don't believe in the cry-it-out theory. May work for some, but it felt like giving up to me so I couldn't go that route. That eliminated a lot of books because that theory is utilized in several. My favorite book (because it had the most tips for babies of all age groups; The No Cry Sleep Solution, by Elizabeth Pantley.
For wee little babies, consider milk allergies or food allergies consumed through breast milk or other health issues. This was a factor that got my baby and I off to a bad sleep start. She cried a lot, after feedings and at night- it was a milk allergy. After that, I believe she was in the habit of not sleeping well.
Honestly, the only way I got through those rough initial months was the Miracle Blanket- the name says it all www.miracleblanket.com and worth the price. Sleeping wedges and positioners are great too. These work because they snuggle your baby around the sides mimicking the feeling of being held.
Onto the nitty gritty...Helpful tips I uncovered, and a commonality among several books, is creating and sticking to a routine. Do not underestimate this tip! However, some books suggest routines that can be up to 20 minutes or longer and in my opinion that is not realistic. All that is needed is a 5-10 minute routine. You go longer than that and I guarantee your baby will find their second wind and want to play by the time you want to put them to sleep. I have a 10 minute max routine with my baby- play one song on CD, turn on fan or humidifier (white noise), make bottle, wrap her in blanket, feed her bottle, rock and sing one song to her. Routines that I tried (and failed) were bathing, massage, and reading books. I think these didn't work because both are stimulating and associated with playing. As soon as I shortened her routine, it was a whole new sleepy baby.
My dear sweet angel is an active ad alert baby- knew this even while she was in the womb. Believe me, I had the cards stacked against me in the sleep department and I swore she just never needed to sleep. I can't stress enough that you need to know your baby and while this may seem obvious, you really need to know your baby. If you have an active baby, purchase (used or new) exercise toys- jumperoos, push and kick toys- whatever their developmental level is, wear them out. The week I got her to start sleeping through the night was when we were taking her in a swimming pool. I'm not saying you have to run a marathon every day, but a few days a week is helpful.
In helping you get to know your baby, study how she plays. Child psychologists learn a lot from child's play- it's crucial in therapy. Is she organized and meticulous (strict bedtime routine), is she mellow or interactive around noise and people (noise OK or quiet bedtime)? Want to go one step further, read up on your baby's horoscope or even have a profile done, which takes into account their day and time of birth,etc.
Stimulation? Motion and lotion; rocking and massaging. Somewhere in your routine should be a physically comforting ritual. If you rock your baby to sleep, stop rocking her before you set her down, then when you set her down lay your hand on her (on a place like the stomach) for a few minutes- this gradual release process works (my own "finding").That way the rocking and warm mommy arms aren't taken away all at once. Another tip with the precious new ones is to hold them in a cradle position stomach up. If you hold them stomach down on your chest while they're sleeping and you try to set them down on their backs, they'll be sure to awake- too much of a transition. Massage I found to be too stimulating for my baby so keep that in mind.
A psychological tip that I enjoy from the book I mentioned earlier, is to repeat a key phrase as your baby is almost in dreamland. After time your baby will associate this phrase with sleep and you can say the phrase to her as you're getting ready for bed and this will start calming her as she will know your intentions. I always say "sleepy baby time" and she yawns.
I had a rocky journey, but I hope some of these tips will help the desperate and drained.
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