A subject which always comes up at a party is ‘sleep’. Some mothers claim their babies already slept through the night when they were only a week old whereas others have to struggle to get their baby to sleep. In my opinion everyone should, of course, do what feels right for them. My boys didn’t already sleep through the night when they were only a week old, but after a week or 8/12 they luckily did, so I am quite lucky with them. People often ask me how I get my boys to sleep, so I wanted to write a blog about it. I hope it will help you ☺.
First of all, I think that the weight of a baby has influence on his sleep. Sam weighted 8,8 lbs so he was already strong enough to sleep for five hours at the very beginning. Mees however (6,4 lbs) woke up every 1,5/2 hours. We used the same tips for both of them.
- From the first week on we began enshrouding the boys. It might seem a bit pitiful but I thought it would be worse for them to wake up by the movement of their own arms. We enshrouded them for approximately 3 or 5 months and afterwards we moved on to a sleeping bag. We found out that they love to sleep on their stomachs!
- Initially, I didn’t want to start using a teat. However, after a while my little finger got so tired of all the sucking at night that I decided to buy a teat. In one way or another, my boys want to suck my finger or a teat so very often. I never wanted a very eye-catching teat, so I bought the transparent pacifiers by Philips Avent.
- Routine: Every day we repeated the same routine: Sleeping, eating, playing (in the playpen), sleeping.
- I used to make noise during their afternoon naps so that they would get used to noises while they were sleeping.
- We always have the same bed routine before they go to bed. Drinking milk, brushing their teeth, washing their hands and faces, hugging with mom, playing with dad, putting the sleeping bag on and finally going to bed. I think it doesn’t matter what happens during the ritual as long as it repeats itself. In this way, they will know when it is time to sleep.
- Of course there were days when they did start crying and did not want to go to sleep. When I was sure that they had a clean diaper, weren’t sick and there was nothing else wrong with them, I let them cry. I timed for how long they kept on crying. It always feels longer than it is in reality so I always made a deal with myself for how long I would let them cry. When I eventually went upstairs (after for example five minutes), I comforted him, sang a song and put him back in bed. There have been nights when I had to go upstairs five times and of course it was tempting to let him fall asleep while I carried him, but Sam and Mees always fell asleep eventually. I believe there are schedules which show you how to lengthen the amount of minutes you should wait to go upstairs. Stay in there!
- Sam and Mees were never allowed to sleep in our bed. Oops. They were. ONE time! Resulting in Mees not wanting to sleep in his own bed the next night; He wanted to stay in mine again. No surprise, we never let them stay in ours again! Of course they can come to our bed when they wake up ;-).
- Sam drank porridge out of his baby bottle in the evening ( breastfeeding didn’t work with him). We think he slept longer because of this. However, Mees doesn’t like porridge and also sleeps well so I am not sure if the porridge helped Sam to sleep.
- We always leave the boys in their bed if they do sleep around the clock. In this way, they don’t get used to being carried out of bed when they make one little noise.
Of course, it differs from person to person which method works best, but I think that people should feel comfortable by letting a baby cry for a little while. I know I am acting tough right know, but I wanted to cry with them when they cried! My boyfriend was a great help in being persistent. Our boys also have had their moments when they didn’t sleep well. When they are ill, I remember how killing these sleepless nights are again. Lately, Mees hasn’t been eating a lot so he often wakes up at night when he is hungry. Argh.. I have now ordered the Philips Avent Food Maker( to prepare food easily).
I am curious to hear if you have any other tips?
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