Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sleeping Like a Baby: Newborn Sleep Tips

There isn't anything quite like slipping peacefully into dreamland ... and staying there for a full eight hours. I lovvvve my sleep and before I got pregnant would sleep deeply, long, and wouldn't wake until those precious eight hours had ticked away. I would usually wake up slowly, taking in those beautiful morning hours, and then find my way to the bathroom to get ready for the day. My, how times have changed.

The first few months of pregnancy weren't too bad at all {sleep wise}. The little baby inside me was still small enough that I could sleep on my stomach with ease. Then the second trimester set in. Tossing and turning all night got really old, really fast. I longed for the nights when I got eight hours of uninterrupted sleep. Eventually, though, at some point during the night I found the perfect spot and got enough sleep to hold me over until my afternoon nap. That was when I was pregnant.

Fast forward with me now to the first day of my son's life. I was exhausted, but also in awe at this brand new baby! Words couldn't describe how proud, happy and amazed I was. It was a great day. He slept like a champ in the hospital and the nurses would wake me when it was time to feed him. I loved it. Life was good.

Then, we went home. I don't know what happened, but our baby did NOT want to sleep. At all. Those first few nights were rough and all I wanted was two hours of sleep. Two! But there seemed to be something wrong all night and he just wanted to be held and cuddled ... How could I say no to that?!

After weeks of waking every couple of hours I thought I was going to die {ok ... it wasn't that bad. But it was pretty bad.} I was not used to this whole lack of sleep thing, and I was definitely not a fan. I started talking to everyone I knew and got their advice on teaching your baby to sleep. And oh my goodness am I glad I did! If only I had known this before our baby was born ...

The moral of the story? Don't lose hope! Though it may feel like you will never get another restful night again, you will!

Here are my top three tips to helping your baby {and you} fall fast asleep:

Establish a ROUTINE. I can't stress this enough. Babies love being on a schedule! Try to put your babe down at {relatively} the same time every night. And before wrapping them up burrito-style, have a few set activities that you do every night. {Example: Every night we give our son a bath, lotion rub down, put on jammies, read, sing, pray and say good night} This seems to clue babies in and lets them know that this is different than just nap time.

Watch the ATMOSPHERE. Who likes going to bed with the lights on and lots of noise?? Not me. Setting the mood for sleep may help out more than you think. Dim the lights and talk softly.

Try to let them FALL ASLEEP on their own. This will help out big time in the long run.


  1. Well said...I couldn't agree more! Especially with letting your baby put themselves to sleep- yes, it was hard at first because they resist (ie cry), but it is SO worth it in the end. And it will help them learn to soothe themselves when they wake up in the middle of the night too! I LOVE being able to just lay him down and he never makes a peep. Bedtime is a dream for us (really, he loves it too) and I attribute that to all of the things you mentioned!

  2. Jessie, you helped US out with that advice when Brin was born. Bedtime has become such an easy routine and we love it. She gets so excited when she hears the bath water. I loooove it. Lotion rub down, jammies, book, pray and into the crib! Usually, she falls asleep in a matter of minutes!!


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