How To Help Your Baby Sleep Through The Night.
If you are a new mom, sleep is one of your major concerns right now and I want you to know that you are not alone. Majority of babies who sleep through the night in the first few weeks are minute and are exceptions compared to the babies who do not which is normal.
I will like to share my story to encourage you that sleep is not linear and it gets better.
Since birth, my baby never slept through the night. Instead, he wakes up every hour in the first few weeks and then moves every 2 hours. I later learnt that this was due to the fact that he is exclusively breastfeeding and so once it is time to move to another sleep cycle, he needs to breastfeed as that is how he knows how to sleep.
I wasn’t getting enough sleep at night and even during the day. I then started looking for solutions because it was really getting to me and almost driving me insane. Also note that due to the pandemic, our parents and family couldn’t visit so it was just my husband and I.
My husband works from home and I school from home due to the pandemic and so we just needed him to sleep to the night so that we are all happy and less cranky and more happy during the day, in the middle of a pandemic.
Lots of baby sleep experts advise waiting till the baby is 5 months old, and so, patiently, we waited. At the turn of the month, I bought a sleep training course, shared it with my husband and I was so determined to get this through.
I made sure his wake windows and naps were on point consistently few days before we started sleep training as a tired baby cant sleep and an under tired baby wont sleep..
First day of sleep training came, we followed through with our bedtime routine, one that was not so full of activity so that he is not simulated and then laid him down, kissed him good night and closed the door.
Nothing prepared me for the cries that ensured on the first day. Oh, my heart broke into tiny pieces as he cried. I broke into tears. I couldn’t take it. I kept hoping that he would stop crying. It was so new to him.
I went in after a few minutes to reassure him that all is well but it’s time to sleep, kiss him good night, and lay him back. This continued until he finally slept minutes later.
We continued the next day as we were supposed to until he was able to sleep independently.
However, I don’t know what happened but we started rocking him to sleep along the line, days later. I guess the cries were too much for us to bear and so we rocked him to sleep. Oh well, this wasn’t too much to handle after all, I thought.
Weeks later, I resumed lectures and as then realized we have to go back to sleep training if I was ever going to have time to study at night as we were back to even nursing him to sleep and he was still waking up every 2 hours. I was not getting enough sleep too as I always woke up tired. Haha.
He was already 7 months old at this point and so it should be easier, I thought. Oh was I mistaken.
First day came and he cried when he was laid in his crib after our night routine when the door was shut. However, he didn’t cry as much as the first time but my heart still broke. He slept after a few check ins and all went well.
Second day came and then the third and fourth. We were moving on well as the minutes of crying were reducing and our son was learning how to sleep on his own. Proud mama moment.
On the fifth day, he started running fever when he woke up and we had to take him to the clinic. His doctor said it was cold and prescribed ibuprofen. We couldn’t continue with sleep training as he needed lots of hugs and cuddles.
This is the first time he was getting ill since he was born and I guess it was all new to him. Thankfully, he became better in a few days but I continued breastfeeding him to sleep for 2 weeks as he recovers fully.
Then we decided to try again. By now, he was close to clocking 8 months. So grown and now mobile, our baby boy.
First day of this new round, he cried when he was placed in his crib to sleep but finally slept after a few check-ins. This continued until on the second and third day. The cries intensified on the third day especially but we kept reassuring him that all is well but he needs to sleep now.
On the sixth day, he cried for just one minute and then slept. Woke up two minutes later, cried for a few seconds and went back to sleep. He slept up until past 3am in the morning which is very rare.
This is to say that baby sleep is not linear and it definitely gets better with age as they wont be so tiny and dependent for long.
Lots of hugs to you, new mama.
Hang in there.
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Love and light.