Friday, January 20, 2012

Hip + Urban Mom: Getting Your Baby To Sleep

When my husband and I had our son just over a year ago, we quickly had to adjust to the lack of sleep.
  
Fortunately, we managed to get him to sleep through the night two months after he was born. It took a lot of work and some small tricks to get the baby to fall asleep and to stay asleep.

 Like most parents we did the whole walking and rocking thing, but that can be a bit of a bad habit to get into because babies can get used to that treatment. We didn’t want to be one of the horror stories that we heard about - babies that would need hours of walking before falling asleep.

The other issue with walking is that his crib is not as warm as my body and doesn’t rock, so as soon as we would put him down he would be awake again. My sister was the one who first suggested using a heating pad in his bed before we put him down so that there would be less of a temperature change. This worked really well.  

My mother also suggested getting him used to his crib when he was awake so that he would learn that his crib is a happy and safe place to be. I did this by putting him in his crib while I got his bath ready, or had a quick chore to attend to.

When he got a little older and didn’t need to be fed or changed as often, we started to experiment with the ten minute rule. This meant that if the baby woke up and cried or cried as soon as we put him in the crib, we would wait ten minutes before we went to comfort him. This sounds a bit like torture to new parents (us included) but we were glad once we started to see results. The ten minute rule works on the basis that the baby will cry consistently for ten minutes if there was an actual issue. If it was inconsistent or lasted for less than ten minutes it was just a matter of wanting attention. We did make sure that our son had been fed recently and was changed right before bed so that we could cut down on the possible issues that could bother him.

This was probably the best parenting trick that we've used to date. Ferberizing a baby works in a similar way to the ten minute rule. It’s when you let your child cry themselves to sleep. This is to try and allow your child to learn to self sooth, whether it be by sucking their thumb or using a pacifier or just getting their energy out through the crying.

Our son is now over a year old and sleeps from 8pm to 7am without crying during the night. So my husband and I have our evenings back to work on being a couple and better parents.


How do you get your baby to sleep? Any tricks to share with fellow hip + urban moms?

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