I thought this one would get your attention! Perhaps I am just the luckiest woman in the world, but I would like to think that my husband and I played some tiny role in our daughters’ sleep habits. Both slept through the night at an early age, and have been excellent nappers and sleepers ever since. My top 5 tips?
1. Be realistic: the first couple of months, let baby feed and sleep at will. Even I’m not that unreasonable. Do what you can to grab sleep in the daytime yourself, although I could never nap properly, and found it more refreshing to get something done rather than lay in bed and count down the minutes until baby was up again.
4. When baby reaches an age where he no longer requires a middle of the night feeding…I recommend letting him cry it out. (GASP!) Can you believe we even took turns with earplugs, so only one of us needed to listen and be alert for changes in sounds?
5. Babies who sleep well during the day sleep well at night. The following nap tip worked for me, although many would advise against it: Use a swing! After the three month mark, we put our girls in the swing during morning and afternoon naps, which I believe trained them to sleep for a long period at those times. Eventually we transitioned them to nap in their cribs instead, and had no issues.
If you have any of your own tips for helping baby sleep (or you would like to kindly critique mine), please, share here! I welcome your comments and ideas.
P.S. Just read an article in the March issue of Today’s Parent discussing the results of a research study which showed that parents’ beliefs about sleep training play a role in its success: if you feel guilty about it, or don’t believe that parents can control infant and sleep patterns, the technique is less likely to work for you. Interesting.