I am not going to pretend like I have the magic key to the land of sleep. I am well aware that sleep varies from child to child and what works for one will not work for all. But, because I have 3 kiddos who have all slept through the night by 3 months and my newborn has slept through the night starting around 2 weeks, I decided that I might have a few tips to share.
My number one tip for new moms is always “swaddle that baby!”
This one is kind of a wash if you have a babe that can roll, because then swaddling isn’t safe. It also might be too late if you don’t start swaddling from day one. The point of swaddling is that they maintain the feeling of being tight and cozy in mama’s belly, but that doesn’t work if they have forget that they love the feeling. Keeping the baby bound up tight by a swaddle keeps him from waking himself up with the flailing arms and gives him the same sense of safety and security that he had in his mama’s tummy. So, if you are pregnant or plan to grow your family and hope for better sleep habits the next time around, find yourself an awesome swaddle and start using it immediately!
My next tip for mama’s hoping for a good nights sleep is to establish a bedtime.
I take my time establishing a feeding schedule and a nap schedule but I immediately start to establish a bedtime routine. 8 pm is our household bedtime for kids and that already includes Eli. We don’t have any special routine, its simply nursing (but not nursing to sleep), a clean diaper, clean jammies, swaddle and prayers, then lights out while baby is still awake. If Eli cries, we will lay next to him with our hand on his tummy until he calms, but we do not pick him up or rock him to sleep, he falls asleep on his own.
Finally, I suggest co-sleeping until proper sleep habits are established.
I am not an advocate for long term co-sleeping. I am not particularly against it, but because I am an advocate for prioritizing marriage over children, co-sleeping doesn’t work for us. We do, however, co-sleep until we have established good sleep habits and baby is sleeping from 8 pm to 8 am. (That is the sleep schedule that we set for all of our kids, you can set whatever schedule works for you but 12 hours is whats recommend by doctors.) I recommend co-sleeping in the beginning is so that you can immediately attend to the babies needs and reduce the amount of awake time. If Eli fusses, I can quickly reach over and give him his pacifier. If Eli is in another room and starts to fuss, he may be fully crying and awake by the time I wake up, get out of bed and get to him. Helping to facilitate longer and longer stretches of deep sleep through the night by quick response to fussiness will bring about full nights of sleep faster.
To ensure safe co-sleeping, I highly recommend the DocATot! DocATot is a multi use lounging, playing, chilling, resting and snuggling dock that is easily portable and can be used anywhere from your couch, to the floor, to a pool lounge chair, to your bed. My favorite use for our doc is as a co-sleeper bed. Because it is a made of soft cushy material, it isn’t awkward in our bed like some co-sleepers can be in a bed. Brushing up against it in the night isn’t bothersome, its more like having a comfy pillow between the husband and myself.
There are so many other reasons we love our doc. The entire cover can easily be removed and thrown in the wash, so if you are like me and have a baby that never stops spitting up, your doc will not be permanently stained. The DocATot is also intentionally shaped so that the baby can slightly and comfortably sink into the bed, bringing the sides of the bed snuggled up to the baby mimicking the same safe and secure feeling that a swaddle brings. This feature also prevents the infant from rolling, falling off of the doc, or being rolled over by sleeping parents. Finally, the DocATot is designed with fabric that does not trap carbon dioxide eliminating the risk of suffocation when asleep.
You can find out more about the DocATot and shop the variety of colors and accessories on their website. You know me and my all white everything, but there are so many cute colors!
Like I said in the beginning, I do not have the magic key for all babies, but I hope these tips help bring you a peaceful night of rest sooner than later.
Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.