As a first time mom, I was most worried about being able to wake up in the middle of the night to tend to my newborn baby. I was scared I wouldn’t be able to handle the lack of sleep, because if you know me, you know I need my full eight hours of sleep.
The first month of my daughter’s life, she was not much of a sleeper at nights. It seemed as though she would sleep all day and stay awake all night. I was still learning about her likes and dislikes at the time and constantly trying to figure out how she liked to sleep, be held, whether or not she liked the pacifier, if she liked to be rocked, and the list goes on and on. I now am glad to say, I mastered putting her on a schedule and she now sleeps from 8:00pm to 7-7:30 am each night. I am very well aware that this could change any day, but I am definitely soaking up every good night’s sleep I’m getting thanks to a few specific items.
I started her bedtime at a late time in the beginning when I noticed she was sleeping one four hour stretch a day. I gave her a bath at 11:30pm, and she slept from 12:00am-4:00am, waking up for her bottle. She eventually started sleeping until 5:00am, then 6:00am. After she slept until 6:00am for a few days, I changed her bedtime to 11:00pm. So I would bathe her at 10:30 and she would sleep by 11:00. She woke up at 5:00am for a few days, then went back to waking up at 6:00. So every few days after she would get used to the new schedule, I would adjust her bedtime to an hour earlier. Now I know every baby is different and what worked for my daughter will not necessarily work for every baby out there, but I definitely do recommend giving the following items a try. Ever since my daughter’s umbilical stump fell off I have been giving her a bath every night to tire her out. I know parents are told bathing babies every day is not necessary, but her skin has not been dry for a single day, and she really seems to enjoy her baths. I did a lot of research on which baby shampoo to use and ultimately decided on Noodle & Boo products. They smell AMAZING and make her skin and hair so soft. After her bath, I like to read her a story or two while feeding her. I make sure to feed her right before bedtime, so she can fall asleep on a full stomach. She really seems to enjoy this time we spend together as well. As soon as I notice she is getting sleepy I swaddle her with the SwaddleMe Original Swaddle and hold her in my arms until she falls asleep completely. These swaddlers are lifesavers! I could not recommend them enough to new moms, and they also have super cute designs to choose from. She does not respond much to rocking, so I just hold her and walk around the house, and she may be small, but trust me she knows when I sit down! Lol
My cousin gave this next tip to me and I could not thank her enough! I purchased a DockATot Deluxe and a HALO Bassinest (the original one without all the bells and whistles), and placed the Dockatot inside the Halo. Perfect fit! She slept longer stretches with the Dockatot and each night slept longer and longer. The routine takes about an hour all together and now at three and a half months, she is sleeping around eleven hours a night and waking up a happy baby! Some nights she wakes up once for her pacifier, but overall she sleeps the whole night through. I know not all babies are able to sleep for such a long time, but I feel incredibly lucky to have a daughter that does.