Today, I want to talk about something that affects everyone as new parents- SLEEP. The holy grail of parenting and something I took for granted before having children. If you have kids, you’ve most definitely gone weeks and maybe even months thinking “Will I ever sleep again?!”
I’m here to tell you…. you can and you will sleep again! It just took some time and a lot of effort to get there.
Now, some of these things may not work for your schedule or your parenting style, but these are things that we implemented that worked wonders for us and I can proudly say that I am the mother of a 10 month old who is a ROCKSTAR sleeper!
- Establish a routine: Babies thrive on routine! They love to know what they are doing from one minute to the next. Our routine looks like this → Pick up from daycare around 5pm, play time, dinner around 6:30pm, play time, bath at 7:30pm, bottle and bedtime at 8pm. BOOM! My husband and I can then have some alone time before we too fold ourselves into bed.
- Self-Settle: This is something I learned about babies when our son was in the newborn stage and it turned out to be super important. Babies need to learn to self-settle… What does that mean? Well, it basically means that babies need to learn how to fall asleep on their own. However they go to sleep is the way they will expect to go back to sleep when they wake in the middle of the night… because they will wake in the middle of the night! If you are rocking/feeding/patting to sleep initially, that is how they will need to go back to sleep once they wake up. I can’t tell you how many times I will wake in the middle of the night to use the restroom, check our baby monitor and see Paxton’s eyes wide or him moving around. But the beauty- he knows how to go to sleep so that’s exactly what he does with no assistance from us.
- Pitch Black & White Noise: This is also something I learned early on. Babies like noise. Notice how when they are newborns they can sleep any and everywhere? This is where the white noise machine comes into play. We keep ours on Ocean sounds so it’s nice and soothing during the night. It also drowns out the noise from the rest of the house. And on the pitch black… I’m throwing it out there- our son is NOSEY. If he can see something going on, he wants to be a part of it. We are moving away from the complete darkness now just because he is almost one, but trust me, when they are infants, it’s a must! When we walk into a dark room with his Ocean sounds playing, he instantly knows it’s sleep time.
- Same Page: However you decide to go about “sleep training”, it is OH. SO. IMPORTANT. for you and your partner to be on the same page. Being exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally is only exacerbated if y’all cannot agree on what to do. He wants to try “cry it out” but you are more hands on. Que the 3 am arguments! Y’all are a team against this tiny, crying sleep monster and you need to stick together.
- Consistency: Whatever course you decide on, just be consistent. Don’t you hate it when you are expecting a certain thing everyday and then it gets changed up on you?! Babies hate it too and they certainly notice it. They will only learn what you want from them if you are consistent in your implementation of it.
Don’t get me wrong- there will be times when your routine is thrown off and there will be instances that make sleep harder (illnesses, teething, etc) but sleeping with a baby is not hopeless. Trust in the process and remember… they are only this little for a short while ♥