Baby Sleep

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You’re exhausted, moody and can’t even think straight! Sound familiar? Most parents suffer from sleep deprivation at some point. Even those who are lucky enough to have a baby who is a good sleeper eventually have to deal with getting their toddlers to stay in bed.

To make matters worst there is so much conflicting information as to how and when we should get our babies to sleep through the night. It’s enough to leave a new parent wondering what’s the right thing to do?

Here are a few tips:

Consider cosleeping. Cosleeping may not be for every family, but why not give it a try and see how it works for yours? Families all over the world practice “sharing sleep” safely. Breastfeeding Moms in particular will get more rest if baby is tucked into bed with them.

Listen to your instincts. Remember you know your baby best. Take all advice you get (including this one) as what it is, “advice”. Never let it replace your own personal judgment. You know your baby best and only YOU know what’s really right for him. If it feels right to rock your baby to sleep, then do it. If it feels right to bring your baby into bed with you then do it. If you think baby will sleep better somewhere else, listen to that instinct too.

Baby relaxation CD. Angel Baby Sleep is a unique spoken lullaby that helps create an atmosphere of peace and safety and helps your baby fall asleep. With words of encouragement and peaceful lullabies, your baby will gently and peacefully drift into sleep.

Try a baby sleep journal. Baby sleep expert Elizabeth Pantley, author of The No Cry Sleep Solution recommends keeping a journal of baby’s daily sleep habits. Look for patterns that may emerge. Does baby sleep better when she’s had some fresh air in the mornings? Does missing a nap cause her to be fussier at night? Does she do better when she’s rocked to sleep or is massage more helpful?

Become an expert. Go online or to the library and read a few books on baby sleep and sleep patterns. Arm yourself with all the knowledge that you can so that when others come your way offering advice you can politely say you know exactly what you’re doing.

When reading advice don’t go for the latest books or fads. Go to the library and look for actual baby sleep research.  One of the best sources of advice on baby sleep is Elizabeth Pantley, whose book is mentioned above.

Then sit down and make a list of what you’re feeling. What do you feel is right for you and your family? This could be more important than any book you may find on the subject of baby sleep. Speak to your spouse and make sure you agree on what method you’ll use.

Whatever you decide, the main thing to remember is that sleepless nights are part of having a baby. It’s not healthy for a newborn to sleep all night. Babies have tiny tummies and they need filling often. Try to focus on your baby and not the clock. Take naps during the day if at all possible, lower your expectations when you have an infant, and rest assured that this time of your mothering life will be short indeed.