It is 1108am
It is 11:08 AM and my child is still asleep. This is not a joke! She went to bed at 9:00PM.
You may be wondering how she’s still asleep, and I’m telling you I DO NOT KNOW. I don’t understand it. All I know is that my child needs her sleep, without it she’s unpleasant. Y’all know the typical one-year-old tantrum right? We are starting to see it peak though, I believe, but only when she’s running on little sleep or is hungry.
You might want to ask how I’ve managed to get her to sleep so late. I do have a little trick that I began from the get go.
My child slept through the night at two weeks old.
My child IS on a schedule. Without a schedule, life is hell.
The first days in the hospital with baby and daddy were absolutely positively terrible. HORRIBLE I TELL YOU. It wasn’t even my baby who woke us up, no; it was the nurses coming in and out all night. When she would fall asleep they would come wake her up saying some stupid shit about some obtrusive thing that would make her cry. Duh, what else could she do when she wasn’t happy?
So when we get home we are practically kissing the floor, but we are too tired for that, we get in bed and kiss our pillows. Little one has a bassinet beside our bed, but I love her so and I want her in the bed with us. She falls asleep on my chest and I lay awake until I finally muster up the courage to lay her in the bassinet, praying she stays asleep. She might fuss so I’m ready to begin patting her back the way she likes. She began sleeping in her bassinet at that moment. That’s where she spent her nights, beside my bed.
The Struggle and How We Overcame It
The first week was a struggle, daddy took off work to stay home, we had visitors every day, and we had no schedule. Everything was wild and out of control. Daddy went back to work after a week and I knew, I needed my “me” time, a schedule, and a shower. Daddy left at 2 every day, I fed baby, burped baby, and laid baby down IN HER CRIB by 3. She would sleep for about two or three hours. Now, I admit she did cry some; I would go in her room and pat her back or belly, whichever side the doctor told us not to lay her on. She would calm down and I would leave. I would check on her every little bit, when I heard a noise, when I didn’t hear a noise, anytime I got up to do something. Basically my “me time” was spent hovering over her bed. That’s okay, because that’s what I wanted to do. When I would take showers, I would imagine someone was breaking in and stealing my baby, I would freak out and jump out of the shower, fully naked and check on her, drenching the house all the way from the bathroom to her bed.
That, ladies, is how I established a naptime, and my “me time”.
Now, for bedtime, I did not let her sleep after her nap. Played with her and did everything I had to do to keep her awake. Just because people say all your newborn can really do is cry eat and sleep does not mean that’s all they should do. Talk to your baby, coo them, and spend time with them, your baby knows who you are and this will make them happy. Maybe they cry, but you will figure out what it is to make them stop crying. I laid her down at 8 or 9, I don’t remember (now her bed time is 9). And she would sleep until about 4, 5, or 6 in the beginning, only waking up to eat and then go right back to sleep. After that she would wake up around 8, 9, or 10. As time passed, she started waking up later and later. Especially when I was able to give her cereal with her milk before bed.
Now a year and a half later, she wakes up late. I have her breakfast made already when she gets up, change her diaper and let her eat.
She naps at 2 or 3 depending on how late she slept. When she gets up she eats lunch and then snacks until dinner. She eats dinner with us so it just depends on when diner is ready. She doesn’t care what time dinner is because she constantly has a snack.
And she goes to bed at 9 on weekdays. On weekends we are more flexible and she may go to bed at 10 if she’s being good.
6 Rules to Follow to get Your Baby Sleeping Through the Night
So here are my 6 rules for you!
- Don’t let your baby sleep with you, that is a hard routine to break them from. Not to mention, it is SCARY. You could roll over on your child, your body could smother your child, and your child could very easily fall off the bed. I know some people do it and that’s their choice and I’ve done it a few times, but never through out the night and never have I felt that it was safe.
- Put them in the bassinet or designated bed from day one your baby is clueless to what is normal, give them something that is normal and make it a comfort zone for them. Parker liked it when we put a thin blanket (I used a nursing blanket) over her little hood on the bassinet. That way it wasn't as thin and not as much light seeped through.
- Do not pick your baby up. Soothe your child by rubbing, whispering, singing, talking or patting them. Do not pick them up unless there is a reason for the tears (other than wanting to be held). If you pick them up every time they cry, they will know and they will use that.
- Let your baby take naps in their crib. If you let your child take naps in the crib they will be more used to it and it will be an easier transition from bassinet to crib once they outgrow the bassinet. Like I said earlier, they need something that is normal. How would you feel if you were stuck in a strange room in a strange bed that you’ve never seen before? Don’t let them be scared of their bedroom.
- Do have a set naptime and bedtime that works for you. I know this is hard because you may go here and there throughout the day. Just do it every time you can because eventually your child will be able to fall asleep anywhere. If you are going to a friend’s house take the pack and play and lay your little one in it. Be sure to bring blankets to lay under your baby, over a side of the pack and play (to block out so much light) and of course blanket for your baby to cover up with.
- Keep baby awake between nap time and bed time. This will help your child sleep throughout the night. Do whatever you can to keep your baby awake, play with them and talk with them. If your child is upset and crying because he/she is tired, maybe they needed a longer nap, push through and try for a later naptime tomorrow.
Just remember practice makes perfect! It can take time to get your baby on a schedule that works for both of you. Be patient! Good luck! Would anyone like to share their experiences and what has worked for you and others that you know of? We know new mommies need all the kind advice they can get!