I am a Mother of 2 daughters and the handsome little guy is the newest addition to the family. Since I know a lot of new moms and moms-to-be, I wanted to share some tips that have helped me get my babies to sleep.
Although I am not an expert yet, all of my children have slept through the night at 2 months and are still great sleepers. Some moms have told me that their children didn’t sleep through the night until the age of 2! That means they didn’t sleep either.
Sleep deprivation is not fun! I hope these tips will help you and your baby get more sleep.
1. Hungry Babies Aren’t Happy Babies.
So get your baby to nurse for at least 20 minutes, or take 2-3 oz of formula. This may take an hour to accomplish because of the sleepy and gassy nature of your baby. If you must, keep your baby awake by undressing him, changing his diaper, even tickling his toes. The end result will be a satisfied baby that sleeps longer.
2. When in Doubt, Burp it out.
I am convinced burping is a learned action and does not come naturally to your baby. If you can’t get a burp right away, lay your baby flat for a few minutes and then try again.
Still no burp? Keep trying. Unfortunately, without a burp your baby won’t sleep very long.
If he does wake up early from his nap crying, try burping him again. If you do get a burp out, try putting him back down to see if he falls asleep.
To reduce his chances of becoming gassy, prop him up when you feed. You and I don’t lie down while we eat, so baby shouldn’t either. I like to use the “football hold” for this when they are very tiny. I use it exclusively for the first 3 months.
So, prop your baby up while feeding and, “when in doubt, burp it out.” Your baby will sleep better without a belly full of bubbles.
3. Order is everything.
Follow this order of operations; feed, wake, sleep. During wake time, I try to keep my baby upright for an hour, which includes feeding time.
Your baby’s digestive system is still developing and is very sensitive. It’s like an active volcano. He will get gassy if he lays down right after a big meal. He doesn’t need to be alert and awake before you lay him down, but make sure you are not feeding your baby to sleep.
The reasoning goes along with tip #2. If you skip burping your baby he will either wake up right away, or 30 minutes later, acting like he is hungry. A vicious cycle ensues.
You try feeding. Baby eats a little and falls asleep. You put him down again, but he wakes up right away acting hungry again. You think to yourself, “This kid is a glutton!” So, you feed him again and guess what happens? He throws it all up because he wasn’t hungry. He was gassy!
The feed, wake, sleep order helps your baby’s stomach settle and helps him learn what to expect. Many new parents get this order mixed up. Remember, the feed, wake, sleep, order is key to helping your baby consistently sleep.
4. Got a Schedule?
If you don’t have a schedule, I would make one right now. A schedule will help you accomplish more, reduce stress, and help you get more sleep.
When it comes to my baby, I like to stick to a 3hr schedule for the first 3 months. That means, 3 hours from the start of one feeding to the beginning of the next. I will wake him up to feed, except at night when I let him wake up on his own after 10pm.
Think about it. If you get over-hungry how do you feel? Does your stomach grumble or feel queasy? Do you get grumpy, or emotional? I think the same idea applies to your baby.
When you let him get really hungry, he may be harder to feed because he is grumpy and his tummy hurts. A schedule helps you determine what your baby needs.
You don’t have to stick to a rigid schedule. Every baby is different. Some babies are hungrier and might need more food. Some are fussy and more demanding. I highly recommend a schedule, but adjust it according to your baby’s needs and to your unique parenting style.
5. Don’t Set Your Hair on Fire.
Stress is a daily battle for all mothers, but we can’t let it get the best of us. Things are suppose to go wrong. Our babies are going to cry and fuss. These tips will definitely help, but sleepless nights will happen.
I remember being very stressed out with my first baby. My worry became despair, my despair became an urge to set my hair on fire, and then my husband stepped in to stop the madness and encouraged me. He reminded me that the phrase, “don’t act like a baby” wasn’t created out of thin air.
Babies cry and sometimes there is nothing you can do to stop it.
Be confident in your mothering skills. No one is perfect, no one is perfect, NO ONE IS PERFECT! This stage in your baby’s life will flash before your eyes. So remember, don’t stress and enjoy the precious time you have with your new bundle.
Congratulations to those of you who are New Moms!
I hope these tips help. Do you know any new moms? Please share this post with them. If you are a veteran and have a tip for new moms, please leave a comment.
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Disclaimer: If you are concerned about your baby’s health, always contact your doctor first.