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How to get your baby to sleep through the night

AP Photo/The Detroit News, Todd McInturf
At least you don't have to get three to sleep...

Your eyes tell the story.  The bags that have made a permanent home along with the new parent fog that you have been walking through tell everyone that you are a new parent, and no, your baby isn't sleeping through the night.  "Oh, your baby slept through the night from one month on, huh?  And you didn't really have to try to make that happen?  Wow, thanks for sharing, (now never mention that around me again)."  Often times it feels that you have no control over your baby's sleeping patterns, that is, of course, because you don't.  But, there are some tools that you can utilize to help your chances of adjusting the sleeping patterns of little (never) Sleeping Beauty.

White Noise:  Have you been perplexed at how your baby can sleep through the jostling and noise of 15 people crammed into your living room and taking turns holding the her, only for your baby to awaken (and stay awake) when everyone leaves?  Babies enjoy and are soothed by the chatter of the crowd and other types of noise.  Some great white noise resources are your vacuum, hair dryer, a radio channel that doesn't come in too well, and perhaps Daddy trying to sing.  It is not advised to run either of these objects through the night, but you can tape these household instruments, or purchase a CD with these noises and some noises from the womb.

Swaddling:  Your little one has been in a very confined place for the last 40 weeks and as uncomfortable as it seems to you, it's the epitome of comfort for your little one.  One of the best ways to attempt to replicate this feeling is to swaddle your baby so she feels comforted and cradled throughout the night.  Depending on the blanket that you use swaddling can make your little angel sweat through the night, so the Woombie is a great product which keeps baby swaddled without all of the warmth of flannel swaddling blanket.

Routine:  All humans are creatures of habit.  What's the problem with starting your little one on a good schedule from early on in life?  In the early weeks of life your baby will definitely dictate your life (get use to it), but you can slowly impose your will piece by piece.  Start creating a normal bedtime routine for baby.  Bath time, feeding and bedtime is a good routine, but you won't bathe baby each night.  On nights in which you don't have a bath scheduled you can substitute the bath, with a short, soothing "massage" followed by feeding and bedtime.  If you are consistent with baby, bedtime will be made easier....eventually.

Many babies will have trouble sleeping through the night and for every one gloating mother who has a wonder child who slept through the night in 2 weeks, many more will be experiencing the same frustration and sleep deprivation that you are.  With the above tools in hand you will have a fighting chance to get your baby to sleep through the night, or at the very least you'll feel that you have more control over the situation.  In the end you should enjoy these evenings with your little angel because all too soon she will be a teenager who doesn't want to hang out with you and sleeps too much.

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Comments

  • Deb 5 years ago

    Sounds like you are making fun of me in this article ;-) hopefully it doesn't jinx me!!

    Just kidding..hope you are enjoying your time with Isabelle..she is a doll

  • Lucy Frost 5 years ago

    Brandon, thanks for the great article!
    My husband and I swear by the Cocooi by Merino Kids (www.babysleepbags.com), since the fabric naturally regulates our little guy's temperature unlike other brands that use fleece and other manmade fabrics. (And he looks like a human burrito when we wrap him up. Too cute!)
    We haven't tried a white noise CD, but will have to invest in one of those!