Hello everyone and welcome back to my little blog where I share lifestyle and motherhood content. I am currently writing a short series dedicated to what I wish I had known during my first few years of motherhood.
If you are interested in my other blogs in this series you can find them below:
- Baby Gear Essentials
- Newborn Essentials
- Things You Need in Your Carry On if You’re Traveling With Kids
- Tips for Exclusively Pumping
- What’s in my Diaper Bag?
- What’s in my Hospital Bag?
- 5 Things to Bring on a Road Trip with Kids
- Your NICU Survival Kit
Today I am going to be sharing with you the tips and tricks I used to help our daughter sleep through the night. I currently have a two year old and let me tell you, sometimes it seems like sleep training is a never ending process.
I’ll get her to sleep through the night and then we will move, she’ll grow or get a new tooth and then we’ll be back to the beginning for a couple days.
If you are in this phase of motherhood, I have been there before and it does get better.
This post is kind of a doozy because it is jam packed full of information, so let’s just get right into the tips I have been using for the past two years to help my then baby, now toddler get sleepy and stay asleep until morning.
Try a 3 Hour Schedule
I actually discovered this trick by accident from my time in the NICU. At the NICU my daughter recovered in, every baby was on a 3 hour schedule and I honestly thought this was just to help the nurses because there were kind of a lot of babies who needed a little extra help.
It turns out there is actually research showing that a 3 hour schedule is beneficial to both Baby and Mom.
Let me just explain the concept of this a little bit because when I was a new mom especially in the hospital, I was given so much information in such a short amount of time I honestly felt pretty overwhelmed.
So the idea is you wake your baby up, change them, feed them, burp them, do tummy time, and then put them back to bed. And 3 hours later you do it again.
When we were finally able to bring our daughter home from the hospital, I just kept her on the schedule the nurses had put her on. Her day started at 8:00 am, her second feeding was 11:00 am, then 2:00 pm, 5:00 pm, 8:00 pm, 11:00 pm and finally 2:00 am.
The cool thing about a 3 hour schedule is that you can start your day whenever you want. If 8:00 is too early, start at 9:00. Do what makes the most sense for you and your new baby.
The other really cool thing about it is once Baby gets a little older, you can start taking out your middle of the night feedings until you are left with bedtime at 8:00 pm and morning at 8:00 am with all your feedings during the day. This really helps your baby know when to sleep because they will eventually associate eating with playing and tummy time.
Now I personally didn’t believe in scheduling a newborn until I became a mom. I truly thought on demand was better, but our daughter was so small and sick when she was born she didn’t wake herself up when she was hungry or had a dirty diaper. She honestly didn’t even cry more than once every day or so, so putting her on a schedule was extremely important for both of us.
I also found out you introduce on demand feedings and your mini will stick to the same 3 hour schedule once they have been on it for a few weeks.
This may not be for everyone, but it was is amazing especially in the first few months when I was completely exhausted from trying to recover and learning how to care for a tiny human. It also gave me a little more time between feedings than if little Holly had been on a 2 hour schedule.
Create a Relaxing Evening Routine
In the beginning this won’t matter as much because for the first few months your baby will basically be a little potato, but it will really help once Baby gets a little bigger.
Examples of things that I used to do when our daughter was a baby and still do now that she is a toddler are:
- Lavender scented baths
- Lavender scented lotion
- A tiny baby massage
- Extra cuddles
- Extra skin to skin bonding
- Singing lullabies
- Reading bedtime stories
I do want make sure to add this in though, babies have incredibly sensitive skin so if your little guy or gal is always getting a rash after you put lavender lotion on their skin they may have an allergy to it, so it’s always a good idea to do some experimenting in the first few days and weeks to see what will work for you both.
Maintain Routines During Unroutine Times
Obviously it won’t be perfect but if you can try to follow the same routine you usually use at home when you are on vacation, hosting in-laws, moving or something else.
For example, we tend to move a lot and every time we have moved our daughter has a little sleep regression even though I always do my best to follow her usual routine. However after a few days in our new place she will usually be back to normal self.
Sound Machines and Night Lights are Your Best Friends
A sound machine and night light were honestly things I never planned on ever using. I totally planned on co-sleeping and breastfeeding but both of those things didn’t end up working out for us.
I also used to think that sound machines would keep your baby up because they’re loud and noisy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Sound machines give your baby something to listen to as background noise, and the womb is not a quiet place.
So if you are a new mom and having a little trouble getting Baby to stay asleep, try a sound machine or a heart beat simulator. The sound of a heartbeat can be soothing for a new baby and help your them adjust more smoothly to life outside of the womb.
If you have a NICU baby like me, one of the nurses recommended I put a TV or radio in her room for the first few days after we brought her home to help her adjust from a loud hospital to a quiet-ish home.
I’m sure I’m just stating the obvious when I say hospitals are loud, let me tell you this was game changing advice that I never would have thought of. I only had a TV in her room for about a week. During this time I slowly stoped having it on all the time and pretty soon she was used to our house.
Holy smoke that is all I have for you today, thank you so much for joining me!
Laundry and Dishes is a lifestyle blog which includes articles written by myself as well as regular content from an amazing group of guest writers. You can find their work and website information on the Featured Collaborations page, so feel free to stop by. We’d love to have you join us by subscribing to the email list for access to FREE printables, and by subscribing you won’t miss out on any new content.
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