Don’t expect your 3 week old to be ready for the long stretch of sleep at 7pm. Don’t expect to find the right combination of nursing/rocking/noise/lighting in the first week. It’s all trial and error and that’s ok!
Routine, routine, routine! We follow Moms On Call and love it. Our son started taking consistent, happy naps by 3 weeks old and slept through the night by 2 months, with long stretches by 5 weeks.
Buy a Snoo.
Get the rock and play bassinet, especially at the beginning. It was a literal sleep-saver. (Second that — CK)
Trust your gut – If you really think they need you, go in. If you think they are ok, give them a minute before going in. They will likely fall back to sleep. Our son woke in the night for a feeding well past many of our friends, but I truly believed he was hungry so I fed him. There came a time, though, when I knew in my gut he could make it through the night, so we weaned out that feeding, and he did great. And I did great at letting him cry for a bit because I truly believed it was the best thing. So trust your gut despite what others around you are doing. Your baby is different and has different needs. The book, “12 Hours Sleep By 12 Weeks” has a lot of helpful information, but I really liked its suggestions for weaning night feedings.
White noise & a super dark room. Some of the white noise machines aren’t loud enough, but we have had success with Dohm.
Don’t rush in and keep in mind that any sleep regression will probably (hopefully) resolve itself in a few days time if you are consistent with routine.
Oh man. This is tough. After my daughter I thought we had a good system & that every baby must respond well to Harvey Karp’s 5 S’s…….but then I had my son. I think looking back on it, my tip is to give yourself grace & know that tomorrow is always a clean slate. There is no silver bullet when it comes to baby sleep. Every baby is different, and when you are in the thick of it, it is so hard to just embrace that.
Obsessively adhering to BabyWise like a crazy person… the first few weeks are hard, but set us up for success, and now we have great sleeping habits (my daughter is almost 2.5)
A fan in the room for white noise and air circulation.
In the newborn stage we used the love to dream arms up swaddled. My son hated the traditional swaddle and this product changed my life because he finally slept for 5+ hours at a time.
Le Pause! (From Beinging Up Bébé!)
It doesn’t matter what the routine is, but just that you have one and that it’s consistent! Something unique that you only do at bedtime that gives baby the cue that “hey it’s time for bed”. Our 3 month old could literally be wide awake and smiling when we begin the bedtime routine (even though we know he’s tired) and by the time we are almost finishing it he’s yawning, rubbing his eyes and ready for bed. And it’s simple! We do a lotion massage when he gets a fresh diaper for the night, put on his owlet sock and swaddle up sleep sack, turn off the lights, turn on white noise, feed a bottle, then he’s put down in his crib (awake!) and puts himself to sleep usually within 15 min with no crying! Solidifying that routine changed our LIVES! It allows us to look forward to bedtime knowing our baby will enjoy it, it will be easy, and once he’s down my husband and I have time to do whatever we want for the remainder of the evening!
Raffi!!! The music of raffi is our secret weapon. It calms her, keeps her attention, and doesn’t drive us crazy :) we have it downloaded on a USB in the car f or long trips and set up on a YouTube playlist which plays at naptime and bedtime. His album plays then it rolls right Into Mozart which helps her stay asleep for hours.
Do your research and do what’s best for you, your baby, and your family. There are so many hot topics when it comes to sleep and there is no “one size fits all” solution. Make sure you know what is and isn’t safe and everything else is less important. Also- you can do everything “right” and still have a baby that doesn’t nap or doesn’t sleep through the night!! It’s not you, it’s your baby. Just be consistent and they will get it when they get it.
Start putting your babe down for at least one nap a day in their crib as early as possible!
Night and sleep is such a vulnerable time, let them have whatever they need in order to fall asleep, there are no bad sleep associations.
It’s all a phase! Baby will learn to sleep on his/her own eventually so don’t sweat it too much and enjoy the snuggles!