Like any new parent I’m sure you’re reading this because you’re desperate for sleep. I get it and we’ve all been there. The first few month’s are brutal and the best advice I can give every new mom is to get a support system lined up before baby’s arrival.
It really takes a solid 2 weeks to start feeling like yourself again after giving birth. I mean you just got a human out of your body! You will be tired, weak and in need of some serious healing time.
During the first 2 weeks at home my mother took the night shift with the new baby so I could get a full night’s rest. Your sleep is a very vital part of your healing process and is not something you should skip! Not to mention that if you’re adding baby #2 to the mix you need your sleep to help you be a put together and sane person during the day. A cranky Momma isn’t good for anyone.
Keep in mind that until the baby is either a few weeks old OR has almost doubled their birth weight then they will still need to eat every 3-4 hours. After that you can let them sleep as long as they want to at night without feeding. In generally this is usually around 5 straight hours as their small bellies can’t go much longer than that without getting hungry again.
If you’re still thinking to yourself oh geez that still doesn’t sound like a lot of sleep take comfort in knowing that MOST babies sleep through the night, which is considered 6-8 straight hours, by 3 months old. Yes that is still a VERY long time to be sleep deprived
Below are a few quick and easy steps to take to help your baby get a better nights sleep.
- Keep the Room at a Reasonable Temperature
Unless you’re a sleep deprived momma like some of us, then it probably wouldn’t be the easiest thing for you to sleep well in an environment that was bright and noisy and possibly too hot or cold. Well there’s nothing revolutionary about it, babies need a proper sleep environment to get their best Zzzzz’s.
Make sure that your baby’s room is no warmer than 72 degrees Fahrenheit; we like to keep it at 70. Keeping your little one’s room cool is not only conducive for a good nights sleep, but is also shown to reduce the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).
- Make the Room Pitch Black
In addition to the temperature keeping the room pitch black dark can also aid in a good night’s sleep. Its not like there are a lot of lights on in the womb right? Adding blinds and possibly blackout curtains in your babies room is a great way to accomplish this.
- Turn-up the White Noise
Invest in a white noise machine. Believe it or not this is what it sounds like in the womb to a baby and is very comforting to them once they are outside. This one is our favorite since it does not turn off and will play all night long. It is also easily portable and chargeable. I pack ours in our diaper bag to calm baby down from time to time when they get over stimulated.
- Swaddle, Swaddle, Swaddle!
Lastly, swaddle your baby! I know some parents say their little ones don’t like it, but it really does remind them of the snugness of being inside the womb again and can be quite comforting. It also muffles their startle reflex which can jolt them awake easily the first few months. I really like the SwaddleMe brand that Velcro. They are so easy to use and don’t require you to learn baby origami, not to mention it keeps their squirmy little arms in and away from their face.
Now if you have a little Houdini like I did you may want to invest in a different type of swaddle such as the Miracle Blanket.
They even make a swaddle for babies that love to sleep arms up if you can believe it!
There are seriously TONS of swaddles out there made for every type of baby, you may just have to try a few and see what works best for you.
- Stick to a Schedule
Babies LOVE a routine, in fact they crave it. When you train your baby to learn the queues that it is time for sleep they will drift off much more quickly.
With both of my kids I didn’t even bother trying to do this until they were at least a month old because they were waking every 3 hours on the dot and weren’t ready to sleep longer stretches yet.
We generally start our bedtime routine off with a bath followed by a book and bottle and then being rocked or sung to until drowsy. DROWSY being the key word here. You do not want to establish a sleep association that your baby uses as a sleep aid. For example, if you always rock your baby to sleep then later on when the 4 month sleep regression hits your little one will not be able to go back to sleep on their own and will need you to come to their aid and rock them. TRUST ME do not form this association, you will be better off.
I know it’s probably extremely late and you’re searching the internet for any bit of advice that might help, but hang in there momma. Eventually all babies sleep, not always in the timeframe we want, but they do. Just know that you are doing an amazing job and the fact that you are even here reading this proves you are trying to be a great momma.
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