5 tips to get your baby to Sleep (And it’s not what you think!)
Sleep like a baby… whatever that even means. Are babies meant to sleep well, or biologically designed not to? I still have no idea. But I am a mother to two boys with two very different sleeping personalities. I am not an expert. Nor am I a sleep specialist or medical professional. This is nothing more than my own meandering experience. Phoenix, my firstborn, was what everyone would call a “bad” baby. I hated everyone asking. “Is he a good baby?” Even my neighbour, who had never previously said a word to me, would ask this question. Don’t get me wrong, Phoenix is a very beautiful, bright and happy soul. But did he sleep? Well, he woke up hourly on most nights. He couldn’t handle sleeping anywhere during the day or at night, except on me or beside me, for over two years. I tried absolutely everything. I didn’t choose co-sleeping, he did. I hated admitting it. I felt like I was failing as a mother compared to everyone else. I bought all the books, googled until I questioned my entire existence and easily would have bought any gimmick to help me get through those first two years of severe sleep deprivation. I was surrounded by so many others who had this magic formula that seemed to work. Tough love for three nights, and suddenly “they’re cured”. I know some of you guys might be reading this and still thinking… “Hmm Trace, you just didn’t teach him how to self-soothe properly”. And now, I’ve met my second baby, Cruz; who will fall asleep on his own without any tears during the day. Who wakes up to fill up his belly and will fall straight back asleep. Who will sleep in the pram, the car seat and his bassinet. Who can easily be transferred without trying to tip-toe out of the room and doesn’t wake up 2 minutes after being put down. So, all that stress revolving around self-soothing and miracle cures is a bunch of BS, written by companies looking to capitalize on your sleep deprived, insecurities. Anyway, if you’re picking up what i’m putting down, read on.
Trust your instincts.
The best way to get your baby to sleep is to do whatever it is that works for you and your baby. Throw out all the stupid books if they make you feel like you suck. Ignore the unsolicited advice you’re getting from the old lady in the checkout line, who’s children she raised fifty years ago. Stop letting your baby cry it out, if it doesn’t sit with you. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to stop breastfeeding, even if it’s your mother-in-law. Stop feeling guilty if your sister is doing things different to you. Don’t listen to your friends who don’t even have children about how to self-settle YOUR baby. It doesn’t mean that these people don’t know what they’re talking about. They only know what worked for them, and it doesn’t mean it’s going to work for you. Having a baby that sleeps well or on a routine does not make anyone a better mother. Mammals have been taking care of their young for as long as time. Trust yourself Mumma, you got this!
Now, here are a few of the things that I have tried to do to help soothe both my babies, which has only successfully worked on Cruz. You probably already know and all I’m saying is that these might be helpful.
Lots of babies love being swaddled, especially as newbies. Having their arms held in tightly makes them feel secure. Some babies don’t like being swaddled. It’s confusing, but you know your baby.
Same with being swaddled, they love being snuggled. Hello forth trimester. Newborns love being snuggled to fall asleep. My Snuggle Me Organic lounger has been a lifesaver as a second-time mum.
Both my babies loved white noise. When they’re really fighting to fall asleep, white noise just sends them off to sleep so much quicker. When we are out and about, and I know Cruz needs a sleep, I use it to drown out other noise distractions too.
Both my babies loved to suckle. There is such a bad association with suckling to sleep. If it works – use it! It’s such a magical tool. Phoenix only wanted the breast and never took a dummy. But Cruz seems to take one, so I’m rolling with it for now.
I hope you enjoyed this article and more importantly, I hope you are getting some well needed sleep!
Snuggle Me Organic baby lounger from Myrtle & Twigg.