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Sleep & Naps

Getting your little one to sleep like a baby can be a lot easier said than done. Huggies has compiled articles, advice and answers on how to get both you and your newborn snoozing soundly.


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Tips for Coping With Long Term Sleep Deprivation

While we were in Ethiopia with Elvie, my husband and I took turns taking the night shift, but once we got home, it became clear that it would be best if I would just do the night feedings every night. Not only did Jarod have to get out of bed at a reasonable hour and have his mind functioning clearly at work, but I tend to hear Elvie before Jarod wakes. As much as I’d love to still be taking turns, it simply makes more sense for me to take the night shift every night.

For awhile, Elvie was waking every hour, sometimes even after just 45 minutes, simply because she was hungry, and her teeny, tiny stomach couldn’t take in enough nutrition to hold her over for very long. Now that she has grown and gained plenty of weight, she doesn’t wake as often, but still needs to eat more frequently than most babies her age due to her birth defect and history of malnutrition. Teaching her to sleep through the night just isn’t an option right now, so I’ve figured out some ways to help make the days go more smoothly and ensure that I’m not a grump to my family 100% of the time. If you’re riding in the sleep deprivation wagon, I’m so sorry, but also: welcome! Feel free to try any of these tips to help you make it through.

Generous Amounts of Coffee

No one wants to get jittery, so I wouldn’t say more is always better, but starting the day with a gigantic cup of hot, delicious coffee not only gives me a little caffeine kick, but also provides a regular starting point for my day. Some days I need a second large cup, and that’s okay.

Make Time for Slow Mornings

If at all possible, I schedule appointments and activities for the afternoon so that we can just ease into our day. We usually just hang out on the big bed until Elvie is ready for her first nap. There’s plenty of space for all of us to read and/or play. I set my coffee on the nightstand, and it’s perfect.

Embrace Unconventional Breakfasts

Normally, I like to make something hot for breakfast, but right now I just need mornings to be simple. Most of the time I’ve got muffins or granola bars and fruit handy, but sometimes I break all the rules and we eat cookies. These pictured have oats and nut butter, so I figure they’re no worse than a chocolate dipped granola bar, and with much better ingredients.

Eliminate or Procrastinate Unnecessary Chores

The bed really doesn’t need to be made if you don’t have the time or energy, and sometimes the laundry can serve as a very comfortable cat bed for an extra day. While I don’t want to live in a trash heap, sometimes it’s worth it to conserve my energy for nurturing and teaching my children as opposed to using it up dusting.

"Make" an Easy Dinner

We can’t eat out every night, but there are a lot of affordable options for the days I am the most tired. I count ordering enchiladas and bringing them home as making dinner. If I didn’t order it, my family wouldn’t be able to eat it, right?

Have a Sleep In Morning Once a Week

If you’re the only one who gets up with the baby in the night, it’s perfectly reasonable to expect the other half of your parenting team to wake early on his or her day off so that you can get a few uninterrupted hours of sleep. Getting a solid two or three hours of sleep on Saturdays does wonders for my energy level. When I’m getting discouraged during the week, I can always look forward to Saturday and know that I can make it until then.

Feel Free to Just Stay Home Sometimes

As a stay at home parent, I often feel guilty that we don’t get out and do more some days. But it is good for me to have a day that I don’t have to pack everyone up and get them out the door, and it is good for my kids to have a day to relax and just play at home. Committing to at least one play-at-home day per week has made a significant difference in how smoothly our week goes.

Remember That It Won't Be Like This Forever

Babies eventually learn how to sleep through the night, and while the length of time between now and then is uncertain, I know that it will happen. I also know that Elvie will only be little once. So as much as I don’t enjoy the frequent night wakings, I do enjoy have a tiny baby in my life, and I will take the difficult with the wonderful any and every day of the week.


17 Weird Tricks to Get Baby to Sleep That Moms Swear By

Getting baby to go to sleep is not easy feat. They're fussy, crying, and unwilling to get some shuteye, and seem like they'll do whatever they can to stay awake. So it's time to pull out any tricks from your parenting arsenal and get that little one snoozing.

We asked moms to dish on their tried-and-true methods to get baby to sleep to help you better put that little on to bed.

Some are classics, some are a little "out there," but they all seem to have done the trick. Don't knock it 'til you try it.

Take a look:

  1. "The only way I can get my son to calm down and go back to sleep after feeding and changing him is to let him lay on his belly on top of me or my boyfriend! That's the only way! It works even better if I am shirtless and he is shirtless."

  2. "One time I was having a little party at the house, and each person who arrived paused in the entryway, listened for a moment, and then asked, 'Is that your vacuum cleaner running upstairs?' At which point, I told them to just ignore it. It was in the hall outside my daughter's room because it was the only way I can get her to nap!"

  3. "When my daughter was just a few months old and my oldest was in swimming lessons, we found that every time we went to his lesson she would fall asleep and nap the entire time. So at home, we downloaded a swimming pool white noise recording and she would fall asleep within a couple of minutes."

  4. "With my son, every time I wanted to get him to sleep, I had to turn on the vacuum, nurse him, bounce him, sing to him, and pat his bottom. All at the same time for each and every nap and bedtime for a minimum of 15 minutes but sometimes up to two hours."

  5. "Lavender! I put some drops on a tissue, and put the tissue on the floor near the crib, and it works its magic."

  6. "Taking him outside, in the winter. Whenever he was really fussy and we couldn't figure out why, my husband would just take him outside in the cold air and he'd calm right down and go back to sleep! He was born in January and has always been a 'hot sleeper.'"

  7. "Put baby in a hiking backpack and walked two-plus miles every night after dark."

  8. "My oldest was two when Monsters Inc. came out, and he loved it but was scared of Randall. He was really bad about going to bed and would fight, and fight, and fight to stay awake. One night, I was stretching and my toenail scraped along the wall and he freaked out huddling down saying that Randall was after him. I looked at him and he was laying so still with his eyes closed tight and the horrible Mommy that I am told him, 'If you stay really still and go to sleep Randall can't find you.' Five minutes later, he was out. I used that trick for two years without fail and now that he's 13, he still laughs and tells his friends how his mom got him to sleep at night."

  9. "I put her in her car seat, put the car seat on top of the dryer, and turned it on."

  10. "The only thing that worked for her for quite some time was singing 'BINGO' (was his name-o) while touching her face. You had to sit down with her facing you in your lap, sing the song over and over, and just run your fingers over her cheeks. No other song would work and you could not skip the face thing. Otherwise she would fight sleep and cry like you wouldn't believe."

  11. "I don't do eye contact before bedtime. It always got her even more energized and excited, so I stop it about 20 minutes before it's time to put her down."

  12. "We got a box fan, and he used that for years. When I wanted him to wake up, I'd turn the fan off and his head would pop right up."

  13. "My husband had to lay my daughter on his chest, lay on the kitchen floor, and spin in circles."

  14. "One of my daughters had her nights and days switched around. I told my mom and she said turn her (somersault style) head-over-heels three times. I was so desperate, I tried it. Sure enough, it worked. She was sleeping eight hours at night (most nights) by 6 weeks old."

  15. "I make painful noises, as if I'm so tired, it hurts. They always take to that, because that is how tired they feel! So they feel heard, and they know I am aware of their pain. Just rock them to those noises and they all fall asleep!"

  16. "When my son was starting to out grow his nap around age , the only way I could get him to sleep was to have him lay on a blanket and drag him around the house."

  17. "My youngest went through a period where she'd only sleep in her swing, facing the fireplace, with a fire going. We went through sooooo much firewood."

This article was written by Suzee Skwiot from CafeMom and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image: Getty


Naps: Sleep Tips for Baby

Baby naps can be a restful time for you and your little one — but the process of getting your baby to sleep during the day can be anything but. Understand the basics of baby naps.

How many naps a day does a baby need?

It takes a while for newborns to develop a sleep schedule. During the first month, babies usually sleep and wake round-the-clock, with relatively equal periods of sleep between feedings.

As babies get older, baby nap times typically lengthen and become more predictable. For example:

  • Ages 4 months to 1 year.
    After the newborn period, your baby will likely nap at least twice a day — once in the morning and once in the early afternoon. Some babies also need a late afternoon nap. Many babies nap a total of three or more hours during the day.

  • Age 1 year and older.
    At this age or in the coming months your baby will likely drop his or her morning nap and only nap in the afternoon, often for a period of two to three hours. During this transition, consider moving up your baby's bedtime by a half hour to help him or her feel more rested throughout the morning. Most children continue taking an afternoon nap until ages 3 to 5.

Remember, however, that every baby is different and baby nap schedules can vary considerably.

What's the best way to put my baby down for a nap?

To ease your baby into nap time:

  • Set the mood.
    A dark, quiet and comfortably cool environment can help encourage your baby to sleep.
  • Put your baby to bed drowsy, but awake.
    Drooping eyelids, eye rubbing and fussiness might be signs that your baby is tired. The longer you wait, the more overtired and fussy your baby might become — and the harder it might be for him or her to fall asleep.
  • Avoid holding, rocking or feeding your baby to sleep.
    Eventually, this might be the only way your baby is able to fall asleep. If your baby tends to fall asleep in your arms after a feeding, do something gentle right afterward — such as changing his or her diaper or reading a short story.
  • Be safe.
    Place your baby to sleep on his or her back, and clear the crib or bassinet of blankets and other soft items.
  • Be consistent.
    Your baby will get the most out of daytime naps if he or she takes them at the same time each day and for about the same length of time. Occasional exceptions are inevitable, of course, and won't harm your baby.

What if my baby sounds fussy after I put him or her down?

It's common for babies to cry when put down for sleep, but most will quiet themselves if left alone for a few minutes. If the crying lasts longer than a few minutes, comfort your baby and then give him or her time to settle again.

If your baby wakes shortly after you put him or her down for a nap and isn't wet, hungry or ill, try to be patient and encourage self-settling.

Also, keep in mind that babies are often active during sleep — twitching their arms and legs, smiling, sucking, and generally appearing restless. It's easy to mistake a baby's stirrings as a sign that he or she is waking up or needs to eat. Instead of picking up your baby right away, wait a few minutes to see if your baby falls back to sleep.

Should I limit the length of my baby's naps?

It depends on how well your baby is sleeping at night.

Some babies confuse their days and nights — sleeping more during the day than at night. One way to set your baby straight is to limit daytime naps — especially those in the late afternoon — to no more than three or four hours each. If your baby is napping for too long at the end of the day, it can make it harder for him or her to fall asleep at bedtime.

What should I do if my baby suddenly resists napping?

Some babies and older children go through periods during which they refuse to nap — even though they still need the rest. If this happens, try adjusting your baby's bedtime. Making bedtime a little earlier or later can sometimes help a baby nap better during the day.

Helping your baby get the right amount of daytime sleep isn't always easy. Don't feel bad if some days are more challenging than others. Remember to look and listen for the signs that your baby is tired and try to keep his or her nap routine consistent.

If you have questions or concerns about your baby's napping schedule, talk to his or her doctor.

©1998-2014 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved. Terms of Use.


Working Around Baby's Nap Schedule

The first year of Baby’s life revolves around very few things other than eating, playing, and (hopefully) lots of sleeping. Of course the ‘sleeping through the night stage’ is the end goal for all new parents, but napping during the day can be just as important in creating a calm and happy environment for Mom and Baby. If your baby does indeed nap, it can sometimes leave you feeling house-bound in order to preserve the nap time schedule. Here are a few tips to help preserve a nap routine, and also allow you to get out of the house.

Typically a consistently good napper will have at least one nap that is better than the other — for instance Baby will sleep for a longer and more sound stretch in the morning than the afternoon. If this is the case, schedule your activities around the one “good” nap, staying home so Baby can sleep in his own bed, and then venture out for the afternoon and possibly sacrifice the nap that usually isn’t as good. This will ensure Baby gets at least one good solid stretch of sleep during the day.

Plan outings closer to home so that if Baby starts getting fussy, you can make it home rather quickly…and before Baby falls asleep in the car. Ask just about any veteran mom and she’ll tell you that the car to crib transition doesn’t always go smoothly, so keep an interesting toy or book with Baby to keep them awake on the short ride home.

If the plan is to have Baby sleep in the car during nap time because of a road trip, or timing issues, plan on playing music softly in the car as to not disturb Baby too much, and always keep a book or magazine with you in case you arrive at your destination and Baby is still sleeping. Sometimes an extra 15-20 minutes added on to a Baby’s nap makes all the difference in their mood, so it can be worth it to sit back and relax a bit while you wait for Baby to wake.

If visiting a friend or family member for the day, plan ahead. Instead of rushing through your visit, bring a portable crib with you and set up a nursery away from home for Baby, complete with favorite blanket, pacifier and favorite book. Keep your nap routine consistent and try to settle Baby down for a nap on-the-go so that you don’t have to cut your visit short. While this doesn’t always work, it’s at least worth a try. The added bonus is it gets your baby used to sleeping in other environments, which is especially great if you plan to travel with Baby.

Consistency is key in any sleep routine, but the occasional alteration will not veer you completely off course, especially during the first 3-4 months. During this time newborns usually haven’t quite settled into a consistent routine anyhow, so this is the time to be a bit more flexible with your outings and straying from the routine. Once Baby is 4-6 months old though, a solid nap routine usually starts to settle in, so you’ll want to stay on course more than veer off it. Skipping the routine 2-3 times a week is perfectly okay, especially if it helps mom feel better.

Remember that a sleep routine and schedule only works if it works for the entire family. If Baby’s routine is preserved at all costs, at the expense of mom being able to occasionally visit with friends and get important errands done, then it’s not working. But making a few minor adjustments and not being afraid to alter off course every once in a while will ensure a happy, well-rested baby, and a happy, well-rested mom.


Your Top Baby Sleep Questions, Answered…Fast!

We know you’ve got a lot of questions about your baby’s sleep habits but not much time to read the answers. Voila! Los Angeles pediatrician Harvey Karp, M.D., creator of the popular book and DVD The Happiest Baby on the Block, shares super-quick advice—we’re talking 25 words (or less).

Q. How much sleep do babies need in a day?

A. On average: Newborns, about 16 hours; 6 to 9 months, 14 hours; 9 to 12 months, 13 hours.

Q. What’s the fastest way to get a newborn to calm down for sleep?

A. Wrap your baby snuggly in a blanket—it mimics the close quarters of the womb.

Q. Do babies really need to sleep on their backs?

A. Yes, to prevent Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Once baby’s a year old and can roll over, he can sleep on his stomach or back.

Q. Will feeding baby more at night or putting cereal in her bottle help her sleep longer?

A. No. It can actually lead to indigestion, which makes it harder for baby to sleep.

Q. If you keep baby up late, will he fall asleep faster and sleep better?

A. Nope. Being overtired amps up baby’s stress hormones and leads to more night wakings.

Q. Should I be waking my baby up for feedings at night?

A. Possibly—it depends on how a baby is gaining weight. Discuss with your pediatrician.

Q. What’s the deal with crib bumpers—do or don’t?

A. A don’t for newborns, says the American Academy of Pediatrics. They increase the SIDS risk.

Q. Crib aquariums and white noise machines: good idea or not?

A. Good idea: They’re soothing. Also, your baby will associate whooshing sounds with sleep (and sleep)!

Q. When do babies start sleeping through the night?

A. More than half of babies sleep five to eight hours at a stretch anywhere from 2 to 6 months old.

Q. If baby sleeps well in a car seat, is it OK to have him sleep in it at night?

A. No—babies can’t breathe as well sitting up, another SIDS risk. Transfer him to a crib.

Q. How do I get my newborn to sleep nights instead of days?

A. Keep her awake more often during the day and do several feedings in the evening.

Q. How important is it to have a bedtime ritual for babies?

A. They’re key. Routines help even newborns know what’s coming, so they’re more ready to snooze.

Q. How do I discourage nighttime wakings, as baby gets older?

A. Don’t be fun or playful and keep the lights low. Baby will get the message.

Q. When is it time to "sleep train" my baby?

A. Wait until at least 6 months, when baby’s brain has matured enough to establish patterns.


Don’t mess with the snuggle

You’re not alone if you have a young baby who cries the minute you try to put her down. Since babies are completely dependant on the care of grown-ups for their survival, they’re born with a strong drive to be held all the time.

The good news is it’s not possible for a baby to be spoiled by too much attention. In fact, the opposite is true. Studies have shown that the more babies are held, the less they cry.

Babies kept in physical contact with their caregivers were found to cry an average of an hour less per day than babies who weren’t. Those that were held and responded to quickly were also found to be less clingy and more adaptable to new situations when they turned into toddlers.

But this hold-me-all-the-time phase is definitely challenging for parents. One solution is to buy and wear a strap-on front carrier that will allow your baby to keep in close physical contact with you while freeing your hands to do other things.

And when you have to put her down, your baby will probably be comforted by having you nearby. A reclining high chair in the kitchen will let her gaze at you and hear your voice as you get a drink or make a sandwich. During the first month, a firm bundle wrapping can help to comfort an unhappy newborn — though pediatricians don’t recommend bundling a baby past that age. After that, a cozy sleep sack or pajamas will help her feel secure.

Once baby reaches six months and older, she’ll be able to sit up and support her own head and have more control over her hands. By that point, she’ll also be more content to entertain herself with hands-on activities like activity seats, highchair tray toys or banging spoons on pots.

Sandy and Marcie Jones are the authors of Great Expectations: Baby’s First Year. Order your copy from Barnes & Noble.

BW sleeping baby

25 Ways to Help Your Baby Get More Sleep

Sleep is easily the hardest part of the baby years. Some babies are decent sleepers, while others seem to loathe it. While it is a fact that babies spend the majority of their early life sleeping, it can be hard to get your baby to fall asleep. As a mom of three, I can say that each of my girls had completely different sleep habits. What worked for one did not work for the other, and so on... I polled some friends and family members, asking them what sleep tips they had, and here's what they had to say...

  1. Give them a lovey - Most little ones love to snuggle. Giving them a soft lovey to snuggle with can certainly make them feel better.
  2. Full tummy - Make sure baby has had enough to eat before it's time for bed. A hungry baby won't sleep well.
  3. Nursing down - Some breastfed babies sleep best when they are nursed to sleep.
  4. Pacifier - If your little one takes a pacifier, let them use it in bed. The sucking can be a great soother for them.
  5. Room sharing - Sometimes baby sleeps better knowing you're near. A crib or cradle in your room might help them get more sleep.
  6. Staying in their own room - When Margot was sleeping in our room, she woke up constantly. We finally switched her to her own room and she has been sleeping soundly. I think she just needed some peace & quiet.
  7. Consistent routine - Some babies sleep better if they have a nightly routine. This prepares them for what's to come and gets them in a better rhythm.
  8. Massage - Babies love massage. Give your little one a relaxing rub down just before bed. This calms them down and prepares them for rest.
  9. Bath - In the same way, a bath can relax a little one. Being fresh & clean and in new pjs can help them get more sleep.
  10.  A sound machine - Total silence can sometimes wake a baby up in the night. Consider a sound machine to help them sleep better.
  11.  Rocking - The back & forth motion of rocking your baby can be a great sedative. Plus, it's great for bonding!
  12.  Singing - The soothing sound of mama or dada's voice can help put baby to bed. Sing the same song every night to get them in the habit of  calming down before bed.
  13.  Darkness - If your little one's room is too light, it can be hard for them to get rest. Consider some black-out curtains and just a small night light.
  14.  Mom's smell - Babies are usually more calm if mama is near. Consider leaving an unwashed shirt in baby's room so that your smell lingers on.
  15.  Rub her ears - Physical touch is one of the most calming things. Rubbing baby's ears while they are nearing sleep can help them relax.
  16.  Essential oils - Many mamas swear by using essential oils. Put a drop of lavender on baby's feet at night to help them calm down and relax.
  17.  Shorter daytime naps - To help baby establish the difference between day and night, make sure they aren't napping too long during the day.  Shorter daytime naps usually means longer stretches at night.
  18.  Clean / dry diaper - Make sure to change baby's diaper right before bed. They'll be more content and they'll be less likely to wake up because of  a leak, etc.
  19.  Wearing down - Another way to get baby to sleep is to wear them in a wrap or sling. Do some chores around the house with them attached to  you until they are just about asleep. Then, carefully put them in their bed.
  20.  Temperature - Make sure the temperature of baby's room is just right. Not too cold and not too warm.
  21.  Cozy PJs - Dress your baby appropriately for bed. Nothing too hot or too cold, and nothing uncomfortable, either. We learned this the hard way  by putting our baby to bed in a sleeper that had a giant ruffle across the rear.
  22.  Music - Many babies are comforted by soothing music. Put a few songs on a CD or use an MP3 player to help baby fall asleep.
  23.  Warm bed - A cold bed sheet can be startling. Warm the bed sheet ahead of time by throwing it in the dryer for a few minutes, or by laying a hot  water bottle on it before your babe lays down to rest.
  24.  Play - The more activity your baby has had, the more ready they'll be for sleep. Play, play, play if you want them to get a decent night's sleep.
  25.  Relax - A baby can sense if you are stressed out. Try to relax as much as possible, so your little one can relax, too.

Image: Getty 


5 Ways to Start Good Sleep Habits Now

1. Create a bedtime routine. “Getting your child to sleep soundly at night starts during infancy,” says Alison Tothy, M.D., Medical Director of Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Chicago Children’s Hospital and a mother of two kids. Start by setting the mood for sleep in the evening (silk onesies and sheets not required): Dim the lights, change your baby's diaper without cooing and gooing, and put her to bed. "When my kids woke up for a change or feeding," says Dr. Tothy, “I didn’t play or talk with them—it was all business!"

2. Give her space. Try to pick a place at home for your baby to sleep, so she'll associate it with zzz-time. “We let our first child fall asleep everywhere—the swing, the bassinette, the papisan,” says Jean Goh, M.D., a pediatrician in North Brunswick, New Jersey and a mother of two. “It was ridiculous! She didn’t sleep well at night in her crib for her first year. With our second, we were all crib all the time, and he was a champion sleeper.”

3. Say no to epic naps. For her first two months, your little Rip Van Winkle will sleep a lot (we’re talking up to 16 hours a day) and wake up frequently for feedings. After that, she’ll doze for longer stretches. “I tell Moms with babies older than three months not to let them nap for longer than three hours, or they might be wide awake at night,” says Dr. Goh. "I know how tempting it is to use an extended nap to, say, unload the dishwasher or do other chores. But I'd remind myself I didn’t want to be up from midnight to 5 a.m.”

4. Teach baby to soothe herself. Rocking or feeding your little one to sleep may seem easier, but then she might need your help falling back asleep whenever she stirs. The best thing to do? "Try putting your baby down when she's half-awake," suggests Dr. Goh. Another idea: Do a test-run during the daytime, when you’ll have more patience—and willpower!

5. Hang in there! By three months, most babies have some sort of regular sleep pattern. Rest easy—you’ll get your bedtime back, soon.


How We Started Sleeping Through The Night

By: Becka Robinson

That’s right folks, this is the story of how our son started sleeping through the night. And then stopped. And then started again and stuck with it. Sleep and the lack of it that comes along with having a new baby is a hot topic. There is no one right way to teach your baby how to sleep. This is the very true, very unscientific way we regained our sanity and started getting more than 4 hours of sleep a night…

Our son has been a pretty good sleeper always. As much as a newborn can be a good sleeper. For the first weeks we were up with him at one hour and two hour intervals around the clock. At around 3 months, magically, he started to sleep for 5 and 6 hour chunks of time all on his own. Cue the hallelujah chorus! We reveled in our consecutive sleep. And then… like a cruel, cruel joke from the sleep gods, our son stopped sleeping through the night at exactly 4-months-old.

Naturally, I turned to the internet and begged google for the answers. And I got them. In the form of a dirty little phrase known as "4 month sleep regression". Did you know that this was a thing? Because no one told me this was a thing. I learned that sometimes babies will just randomly stop sleeping through the night at 4 months. The experts think it has something to do with sleep cycles and growth spurts but no one knows for sure. Message boards were filled with stories about babies who continued sleep regressing until almost a year old.


There was no way I was going to continue waking up every 2 hours at night for the rest of my son’s first year of life. We tried to wait it out but after 2 months of waking up every 2 hours we were at the end of our rope. We asked everyone we knew with kids, we read sleep training books, we scoured the internet, we asked our friends on Facebook, and we talked to our pediatrician. Advice and tips were all across the board. One person said "do this". Another said, "No, don’t ever do that." It was like a puzzle but no one had the big picture on the front of the box to show us which way to go. If you have gone through this with your baby or are currently going through this let me tell you, there is hope! Also, I feel your pain.

What we learned from the experience was that there is no one right way. And as parents you’ve got to take everyone’s advice with a grain of salt. You’ve got to decide what you want for your family and then make the best decisions you can. For us, that meant that we went with our instincts and combined a lot of the advice we got and did a bit of trial and error until something worked. If you’re curious… the combination that worked for us was…

  • Increasing the number of ounces of formula he had during the day so we could decrease his night feedings (this was advice from our pediatrician)
  • Adding some scoops of powdered rice formula to his bottles in the evening to help fill him up (this was advice from a bunch of moms and grandmas)
  • Introducing fruits and veggies as solids (this was our own gut instincts)
  • Watering down the bottles we gave him when he woke up in the middle of the night. (this was a tip from our pediatrician that sounded so strange to us but worked like a magic charm in just three nights)
  • Putting him to bed a bit earlier. (this was a tip from the sleep training books)

He is now sleeping (knock on wood) about 12 hours every night and has been for almost 3 months now. We’re so happy to have our nights back to ourselves and he’s happier since he’s so well rested. It’s a happy house nowadays. I hope that by sharing this story some of you might find an answer that works for you and your family. And please know that I am, in no way, saying that this is the only right way or that everyone should follow these tips. You’ve gotta find what works for you. So to all you sleep deprived mamas out there, keep your chins up! Trust your gut and you’ll find your way.


Why can't she sleep on my schedule?

You may hear that it seems like newborns never sleep. Actually though, they sleep quite a lot. New parents, even those who sleep when their baby sleeps, may still feel extra tired because becoming a parent is a major adjustment and it's tiring, both physically and mentally.

Plus, just because a newborn sleeps often, her patterns are wacky, so she may not be sleeping when you're used to sleeping.

Newborn sleep habits

By the time your newborn is about a month old he'll be sleeping a tiny bit less but will have developed a schedule of sorts — not always on your schedule though. At this point you should still allow your baby to sleep whenever he likes. Training a baby under the age of four months to sleep on a perfect schedule is not going to work and both of you will become frustrated. You can stay sane by doing the following:

  1. Sleep or relax when your baby does.
  2. Get help and support so that you have a chance to sleep uninterrupted.
  3. Don't wake your baby up to feed him unless your pediatrician has a specific reason why you should. If your baby is hungry he'll wake up. Halting his sleep will only make him cranky.

Once your baby starts nearing that four-month age, you can start trying to teach him the difference between night and day. At this point you can also try to get your baby to fall asleep on his own, although some babies do better at this than others.

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