Saturday, December 3, 2011

How to get a baby to sleep through the night

Both of my children have slept through the night (for the most part) by 6-8 weeks. Lots of people ask how I do it. Here's some tips in case I forget or am not around to help out my little Bria when she gives me some grand babies! These are tips from the NEWBORN STAGE(first couple weeks). If the baby is older, I have many tips for that too. But remember, I'm no doctor. Or actually, even expert for that matter. So only treat me like one if this works for you;)

1 Feed them every 2 hours from 8am-6pm.
Starting at 8 am, wake the baby if she is sleeping. Wake her and feed her. Even if she 'falls asleep at the wheel', try and tickle her, take off her shirt to rest against you etc to get her to wake and at least get a little feeding. Don't force it though.
2 Starting at 5:30, give her a sponge bath. Docs say don't bathe every day, I do. They will start to pick up a pattern. Also, they sleep ALL day and are barely active. This will wake them up and wear them out one last time before the night. Rub 'em down with some baby oil so their skin doesn't get dried out.
3 Give them one last feeding. In the room they are going to sleep in, with the lights down, sing a that can always be sung at bedtime. I think they will start to associate it with bedtime eventually.
4 Let them sleep on their tummy if they want. Again, docs say NO. But when I was a baby they said NEVER put a baby on your back. I think our bodies rest best when they are most comfortable. For me, and turns out my babies, it's on their tummies. Not all babies LIKE tummy sleeping though.
5 When you get up for night feedings, try and keep the lights low, room quiet. Change their diaper FIRST. This will wake them up a bit, but it's better now than right after they've eaten and fallen asleep again. Otherwise you wake them up all over and it can be difficult to get them to settle again.
6 Introduce a paci or get them to self sooth on their thumb. Again, only if they don't settle easy on their own. Do this if they are fussy and can't fall back asleep at night. Get them used to it, so when you lay them down without the comfort of your body, at least they will still have something they like.
--Things to try to get a baby to shut up when you know she's tired. And you know that if her diaper is changed, full tummy, she's not sick or uncomfortable. That means all her needs are met, so she's probably crabby because she needs SLEEP. Rock her, shush her, bounce up and down, hold her over your arm on her tummy, run water in the sink, walk her in a baby wrap and DON'T transfer her to the bed/resting place until she's been in a deep phase of sleep for awhile. REM sleep.

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