For the first two months, Baby B did her own thing. She slept and ate on demand, and I know this is normal for newborns. My husband and I were exhausted, as most new parents, and we were looking forward to getting her on a schedule. Also, we started to notice, when Baby B didn’t get enough sleep, she was fussier during the day. Baby B was waking up every 2 hours all night long at 6 and 7 weeks old. So we asked everyone we knew for suggestions, and by putting all of these things together, we now have a great nighttime sleeper. Naps are another story…for another time, but good sleep has to start somewhere.
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By slowly working on a schedule and following the wake, eat, play, sleep cycle, Baby B was on a pretty good schedule shortly after turning 2 months old. Once I got her on this cycle and daily schedule, it was like suddenly she would sleep almost all night! There are still nights when she will get up, but usually will sleep from about 9:00 pm to 5:30 am. I am not a baby sleep professional by any means, but am just sharing what worked for us. Also, we used items that worked for Baby B and are not a professional recommendation.
First, we got a new bassinet
We decided to switch our bassinet to the Graco DreamGlider based on a recommendation from a friend and love it. It wasn’t a quick fix, but did help Baby B start sleeping for longer stretches. It has six different swing settings and is pretty powerful. We usually keep it just on a Level 1 or 2. It has a vibrate function that you can use while it swings and a built in sound machine.
As Baby B gets closer to transitioning to her crib, we will stop the swinging motion and get her used to being in a stationary bed.
We continued to use the Love to Dream Swaddle
Right when she was born, we tried to swaddle her with a blanket and the Velcro swaddle things, but she hated it. Then, we tried the Love to Dream Swaddle, and it has been working well for her. B likes to keep her hands up by her head, and this swaddle lets her to that. They also have a 50/50 swaddle that allows you to unzip one arm at a time when transitioning out of the swaddle. You can find that one here.
started using Pamper’s Baby Dry Diapers at night
Another friend of ours recommended using these diapers at night. I don’t know if they really make a difference or not, because we started doing most of these things at the same time. But, Baby B is sleeping so much better so we are going to keep using them while she sleeps.
we try to follow the wake, eat, play sleep cycle
This was yet another suggestion from someone. I typically just go with what Baby B needs and follow her cues, and she has kind of put herself on a schedule. Below is a typical daily schedule for us, but it is flexible. I try to have her play after she eats, but sometimes she falls asleep and I let her. I found that if I encourage good naps during the day, then she sleeps better at night. This works for now, but will probably change as she gets older.
She sometimes has another cat nap around 8:00 or so, maybe just for 20 minutes. Then always wakes up. We are trying to push her bedtime up to be a little earlier every night, but she’s not having it right now.
and Started a bedtime routine
When we were foster parents to two toddlers, our bedtime routine was key to getting them to sleep well through the night. So we figured we could go ahead and start one with Baby B too. About an hour before we want her to go to bed, we dime the lights and turn off the TV. Then, she gets a bath. We use Aveno products and haven’t had an issue with her skin drying out from a bath every night. Sometimes she just sits in the warm water, but this seems to help her calm down. We read books and put her in her Love to Swaddle. Then she gets a bottle and usually will fall asleep.
After doing these thing consistently for a few days…
I woke up in at 1:30 am freaked out because Baby B was still sleeping! I went back to sleep and she didn’t wake up until 5:30. The few things mentioned above seem to work for her right now. I don’t know if it’s one thing or all of them, but we are going to keep following this routine until it needs to be changed.
What do you do to help your little one sleep? Especially if you have a baby a few months older or toddler, I would love to hear suggestions we can use in the future!