Going crazy trying to get your infant to sleep?...
I just had dinner with a friend and her 10 week old baby. He was really fussy and has not developed good sleep habits yet, and my friend and I were talking about some of the reasons that might be...that led me to write these tips down.
I have two children, and both have been great sleepers. My first slept through the night at 9 weeks, my second at 6 weeks. Some may say it's just good fortune on my part, but I think it's more than that. While trying to figure out what I'm doing different that helps them sleep (besides their own unique personality, which you can't control!) I realized that it's not just one thing. Everyone has their book to live by, but I really have gleaned information from many moms and sources, so here are my tips!.
First, read the Baby Whisperer and Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. Neither are 100% perfect systems, but have a lot of wonderful information. The key, in my opinion, is keeping your child awake after feeding and putting them down as soon as they start to act tired. This seems like an impossible task with a newborn, but you'll find that they get increasingly more alert every day. Sometimes my baby only had enough awake time for me to change their diaper, then off to sleep! Even if you aren't a "schedule" kind of family, having a basic pattern and routine to follow is essential! It not only helps your baby know what to expect, but helps parents answer that age old question when you're stumbling out of bed at 3 a.m... "why is he/she crying?!"
Second: if you are breastfeeding and your child is not sleeping enough, do a milk production check by pumping once to see how much they are getting. Some mothers, especially those who pump at work, may not be getting enough hind milk to their baby, and I believe richer milk helps them sleep better. Drinking plenty of water is also key, and making sure you're eating plenty of protein. A friend of mine had a child who slept really well, but her second child didn't sleep well at all and didn't gain weight quickly like her first. I asked what she thought was different and she said that she began eating a largely vegetarian diet in between the two. Not that being a vegetarian is bad...it's probably much healthier than the way most Americans eat, just make sure you are getting the protein the baby needs.
Third: remember that babies grow in spurts, and if they're going through a growth spurt, schedules will change. A baby who has been content to eat every 3 hours may suddenly eat every 2 hours for several days. Don't stress out, just remember it only lasts a few days!
I hope these have been helpful! Check back later for more tips!
I have successfully breastfed 2 children, using many of the Baby Whisperer guidelines, and so have several moms I know. I have only read 2 of her books & don't agree with everything she has to say, but feel her chapters on EASY & baby personalities are worth the cost of the book. Her system doesn't work if the baby sleeps with you or if you feed on demand, so if that's what someone plans to do, I agree, her advice won't work for them. But for friends who were into Babywise or something like that, Traci takes a much less stringent approach & has some good advice.
Pumping breastmilk is an inaccurate way to determine how much milk is being produced. See this site for more information on low supply: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/low-supply.html . To be confident your baby is getting enough milk, count wet/dirty diapers (more info. here: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/enough-milk.html). Also, the "Baby Whisperer" is not recommended for nursing moms (or at least the author's advice on breastfeeding should not be heeded). See here for more informaiton: http://www.kellymom.com/store/reviews/review_babywhisperer.html .