Knowing those who have gone before us are a well of knowledge just waiting to be tapped, we asked our Facebook and Twitter followers what sleep tips they’d share with their sleep-deprived sisters, and boy did they deliver.
Rather than leaving you to drown in a sea of sleep advice, we’ve picked a selection of tips from all corners that you can take or leave. Maybe something will strike a chord, or maybe you’ll feel inclined to print this out and burn it while screaming about how there is no God. No judgment.
The important thing to keep in mind is eventually, no matter what you do or don’t do, your baby will sleep.
Consistency is key
Hillary – We’ve been doing the same routine every day since the day our daughter was born. She also has always slept in her own room. 8:30 we take her to her room and change her diaper and put her into pjs. I would nurse her one more time and we would read a bedtime story in her room and put her down. That’s it.
Elizabeth – Whatever you do….BE CONSISTENT!!!!!
Brittain – No sorcery, just routine!
Susan – Remember that all kids are different and what worked for your first or second child will naturally not work for third making him the most rotten of the bunch. But really consistency is definitely key!
Brandi – Consistency!!! We are absolutely those parents that end the day with a set bedtime (almost) no matter what and make NO apologies for it. Have done two the same way and plan on doing the same for the third. Moved them to the crib from a co-sleeper around ten weeks (for both this was about when they would start sleeping 6-8 solid hours). Then I would nurse them at the same time each night and put them down asleep. As they got older, same routine whether they were asleep or not. By 4 or 5 months, I could put an awake baby down and leave the room and they would go to sleep. Sometimes they would take longer than others and those nights were cry it out nights. However, they are both great sleepers now and can self-soothe themselves to sleep.
Baby Sleep Tips & Tricks
Eileen – Rub a newborn gently with your thumb between his eyes so they close – helped my tired baby give in to sleep.
Krista – I put about half a dozen soothers in the crib so he can find them when he wakes up at night. It looks nuts but it works
Sara – I put on the same lavender hand lotion every night and I think the smell acts like a cue that it’s bedtime.
Brittany – Every night I sing the same song when I’m feeding my baby so she knows it’s sleep time.
Tara – Before I go to bed I do a “dreamfeed” to top the baby up for the night and it usually buys me a couple more hours.
Jamie – I make sure to go outside every day so my baby gets her days and nights straight. I don’t know if it’s the fresh air or the light but it helps both of us sleep.
Kate – Make sure it’s cool (not cold) where they are sleeping. I always found my kids slept better in a cool room.
Heather – Try different kinds of noise. I flipped through our sound machine option and it turns out he sleeps better with ‘brown noise’ than ‘white noise’.
Christina – I don’t change diapers in the middle of the night unless it’s poop. Butter their bum up with lots of barrier cream before bed then only change them in the morning. It helps them stay half asleep for night feeds.
Sleep products people rave about
Amy – White. Noise. Machine.
Jessica – I sleep trained my baby using the information from Baby Wise. He started sleeping through the night at 4 months old.
Britt – We swear by the Magic Merlin sleep suit. It stops him from startling himself awake.
Writer Mom Life – Blackout shades and a heartbeat noise machine (shush pat is great but sometimes you need help with the shush part!)
Ashley – Love To Dream swaddles were a lifesaver for us!
Aeriel – *nervously raises hand* we tried all the sorcery for several months until we finally hit rock bottom. I love my daughter more than anything but one night we tucked her in, closed the door, and became part of the dreaded “cry it out club”. It was tough for a couple of nights, now she sleeps for 11- 12 hours and naps consistently. And she seems to still be well adjusted and is happy to see us in the morning. #dontcrucifyme #wewereallsotired
Amanda – I had to do CIO with my daughter as any form of fade out, interval checking, etc just pissed her off. The first night we did CIO she lasted 46 minutes. I turned the sound off on the monitor, invited my bro and SIL over for dinner with us, and had them all help distract me. It was absolute torture but totally worth it! She only lasted 20 minutes the next two nights and then it was fine from there!
Hailey – Did CIO with both kids (3 yrs and 1.5 years) and they both sleep and nap great! Be consistent in whatever method you use and stick with it!!!!
Kristin – Sleep training at 7 months. We’ve pretty much slept through the night since then & she’s now 27 months. Works for us!
Jodi – I went out of town for two nights BY MYSELF and left my 20-month-old home with my husband. Was great for father/daughter bonding and I slept through two nights in a row! The separation anxiety I’d expected didn’t happen either, so I’m thinking of doing it again soon…
Jess – We did sleep training. My biggest piece of advice is to know how you’re going to handle it BEFORE you try it. Have a plan figured out before you start or you’ll be inconsistent and it will never work.
Go with the flow
Sarah – Do whatever gets you through the night. I gave up trying to force my baby into a routine because it was driving all of us crazy and followed her lead. I ended up co-sleeping and nursing on demand and we all slept well.
5 Elements Birth – Avoid letting them get overtired. It’s hard to come back from that. Also, sometimes, the most compassionate thing you can do for yourself is to accept that the baby ISN’T going to sleep right now. Accepting what can’t be changed can reduce suffering #mindfulness
Allie – My 3 yo and 7 mo old Just created their own bedtimes and we went with it. 7 mo old is asleep around 8 pm and sleeps for 12 hours solid. My 3 yo is asleep between 8&9 pm and sleeps 12-14 hours solid. They both started sleeping through the night around 4 months old. I guess I just got lucky because they’ve allowed me to sleep very well.
Tracy – Figure out what is and isn’t working for your current situation. If you’re at your wit’s end then make a change. If you’re all happy with your husband getting a full night sleep on the couch while you co-sleep with the baby, then leave it. If it works for you, don’t worry about how other people think it should play out. It’s your sanity, not theirs.
Erica – Don’t feel bad about anything you have to do to make it happen. I can assure you that nobody needs to be rocked to sleep when they are 22. This too shall pass.
What would you add?
What would you add to help a new parent navigate those sleepless nights? Leave your comments below!
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