When you have a newborn in the house, you expect to be sleep deprived. I think that’s why I’ve never really found that stage to be that hard . . . or maybe I just don’t remember it very well. My baby has been a horrible sleeper since birth. Then suddenly, things just clicked and she started sleeping through the night IN HER OWN BED.
That was huge.
I knew I’d been sleep deprived but I didn’t realize just how sleep deprived I had been until I started getting more sleep. I could carry on a conversation without forgetting what I was talking about midway through. The baby weight that wouldn’t go away finally started to trickle away again. My to-do list shrunk faster than I could keep things on it.
Then we moved. Moving throws everyone’s schedule off but a baby who just learned how to sleep through the night — forget about it. She hasn’t slept through the night since.
If I thought I was sleep deprived before, it’s nothing compared to what it feels like after getting used to having a good night’s sleep again.
Here are a few tricks I’m trying to get my baby to sleep through the night again and really crossing my fingers that they work:
Have a Consistent Bedtime Routine – Babies do best with consistency, which is an area that we’ve been slacking off in lately. Create a calming bedtime routine and be consistent with it. If you give your baby a bath and nurse her in the rocking chair every night about the same time, that’s going to be her cue that it’s time to start thinking about going to bed.
Limit Nighttime Stimulation – I have a knack for being fully awake the second I wake up. In the morning, it’s great. In the middle of the night, not so much. Because of this, I probably overstimulate my baby a bit too much by moving her around too much and making too much noise. Limiting nighttime stimulation by keeping the lights off or down low and not talking will help your baby go back to sleep faster and make it slightly less exciting to wake up. I’ve heard moms who try to get their older babies back to sleep without feeding them in the middle of the night so they don’t expect that. I’m not quite there yet but I may be soon.
Give Baby a Chance to Self-Sooth – I’m horribly guilty of picking my baby up as soon as she makes any sort of noise in the middle of the night. I’ve realized that sometimes she’s just getting comfortable again before she rolls over and goes back to sleep. I’m not a fan of crying it out but if I give her 5 minutes to fall back asleep, 9 times out of 10 she’ll do it.
What’s worked for you when your baby’s sleep schedule gets thrown off?