It’s 2 AM again… and your baby just gave another blood curling scream. That scream marks the fourth time she has woken up in 5 hours.
So you roll out of bed (because lets face it you dont have the energy to do much more), and try to calm down a baby who thinks sleeping is for the dead.
I sat up many nights wondering what I was doing wrong. I mean my other children slept through the night at 6 weeks old! Did I forget how to do the newborn thing? Had I lost my touch?
At one point I really felt like I was going crazy. I mean I totally get why they use sleep deprevation as a form of torture. So I spent every free moment I had research on sleeping methods, colic, sleep training, etc. If it had the word sleep in it, I read it!
It took me weeks of trial and error to figure out how to get my baby to sleep a full 6 hours. I am happy to say she has been sleeping through the night since about 4 months old!
Here is how I did it:
- Get your baby on a schedule. I know… I know. You have heard it a thousand times, and it hasn’t worked yet. I promise you though its imperative, and will be worth it, so stick with me. This is what my daughters schedule looked like:
7:00 PM- Bottle and/or Baby food
7:30 PM-Bubble bath and play. (Keep them in the bath as long as they will stay. This really wears them out)
8:00 PM- Offer them another ounce or two of milk. You want to make sure they are good and full before bed.
8:30 PM- It’s time for bed. Make sure your baby is wrapped up tight. I used one like this
- Make sure you put your baby to sleep while she is tired, but not fully asleep. I know we love rocking our babies, but they have to learn to self-soothe. We started putting my daughter into this automated Rock and Play by Fisherprice. The rocking helped her fall asleep on her own. I think the best part was if she did wake up, we would just turn this back on instead of picking her up! This is a must have for babies who won’t sleep. Seriously a life saver!
- The next step was the hardest for me, and I know it will be for you too! When your baby does wake up, let them cry it out for about 10 mins. If your baby doesn’t calm down, go in and pat their back every 10 minutes or so. This goes back to the self soothing technique. I learned really quickly that typically my daughter would get herself back to sleep. All of those nights when I was picking her up the moment she cried, were really doing more damage than good.
Getting a baby to sleep through the night is hard, and the earlier you can get on a routine the better! Just remember you are not alone. Most babies don’t sleep well, and have to be taught good sleeping habits. Stick with it, and here’s to hoping you get some much needed rest soon!