One of the biggest hurdles parents face is getting a full night’s rest. Infants and even toddlers can make sleep a challenge, but these tips and tricks to get your baby to sleep through the night are lifesavers!
Each child is different. Each parent is different. Each family is different, so realizing that there is no one-size-fits-approach to getting your child to sleep through the night is half of the battle. It will take trial and error, but with time and sticking to the technique you are trying, your baby will learn to sleep through the night.
As always, consult a pediatrician for the best options for your specific issues. Never be afraid to get a second opinion, either!
There are several ways to co-sleep, but the most effective method of sharing a room with your child is by sleeping in his or her room in separate beds, according to all three of the pediatricians I personally surveyed. While this was not their first choice in getting a child to sleep through the night on their own, it does work for some families. All 3 docs agreed, that getting your child to sleep in his or her room – with or without you – is key. It will be tempting to bring little Junior into your comfortable bed to sleep, but you’ll be significantly better in the long room to make a temporary bed in your child’s room. Start by placing the temporary bed as far away from your child as he or she is comfortable with. It might start side-by-side, but it’s important to begin moving the bed father away over the course of sharing their room. This eases the detachment as you return to sleeping in your room.
Cry It Out aka The CIO Method
It may seem barbaric and extremely hard, but letting your child cry it out is a popular pick for pediatricians. I personally used this method for all 3 of my children. It’s not easy, but it worked the fastest and was the most effective. It’s also the most difficult technique on several levels. We are naturally hard-wired to answer the cry of a baby, and trying to fight that response isn’t easy. The best way to ensure those long nights of learning to self-soothe is to put baby down with a full belly, still awake, and plenty of hugs. Some parents make the mistake of rocking their little cherub to sleep or holding them as they peacefully drift away to the Land of Nod. Feed your tot, give them plenty of love, and then put them down to sleep still awake from an early age. This way, they learn and understand from the start to self-soothe.
Tell baby you are just across the hall sleeping and will be with them in the morning and, after the lovely hugs and kisses, go to your own room –crying or no crying. When the wailing begins – don’t give in. Invest in visual monitors to ensure your tot is safe, but don’t be tempted intervene. If you must intervene in a concern of safety, enter the room, don’t say anything, fix the possible safety concern, and exit the room. If baby drops his or her favorite toy or blanket, don’t be tempted to get roped into the game of fetch. If baby tosses their snuggle item, they have to try and cope without it knowing you will not be lured into a game.
Babies, generally speaking, are programmed to be creatures of habit. Kids need structure and prefer schedules. I, personally, feel like kids’ schedule gives them a feeling of control and sense of security in knowing what comes next. Even babies get the rhythm of life faster than you might expect. Set a time table that works for you and your family’s needs. Start your infant and newborn with a 7-7 schedule for bedtime. Set alarms to feed and change them every 3 or 4 hours for weeks 3 and 4. Yes, wake them up to get the schedule right.
It seems crazy, but Helen Moon, Elton John and David Furnish’s Hollywood nanny, is the authority on this method and even sold a book called ‘Cherish’ detailing the technique. When baby hits week 5, cut out one feeding, so you’ll get a 6 hour block of sleep. For example, put baby to baby at 7p.m., nurse at 10 p.m., and then wait until 4 a.m. for another feeding. As time progresses eliminate another feeding, until baby is sleeping through the night.
What worked for you? Share your tips and tricks for getting your baby to sleep through the night in the comment section below.