HOW I GOT MY BABY SLEEPING
If you, like us have tried everything in your power to get your baby sleeping and it not worked, this post could be just what you're looking for. Now, I'm not saying I'm guaranteeing that your baby is going to suddenly become a 7pm to 7am sleeper, but this is how I got my baby sleeping.
Going against the grain, I refused to conform to the suggestions of controlled crying, sleep programmes 300 pages long (who has the time to read that with a baby, especially one that doesn't sleep?) and anything that might involve using earplugs to drown out the sound of an inconsolable child at 2am.
Our journey may have taken a little longer to get there, but now I know what works for us, and seemingly other mums that have tried our routine, I'd even go as far as to say that I think it would have worked had I tried it a while back.
Firstly my (unprofessional) theory, is that clearly your baby is waking for a reason. Knox, had multiple reasons for waking, so as simple as it sounds, all we had to do, is eliminate the problems for our major sleeping problem to be solved.
Tip One: Ask yourself why your baby could be waking?
See your doctor. Sometimes, you have to keep going back. Don't take no for an answer.
For us, Knox was continually dropping on the percentile, struggling to eat good portions of food, and always seemed irritable. But wouldn't you be if you never slept. After many consultations with various dieticians, paediatricians and sleep consultants (who all said he was fine, just advanced), we finally found that Knox was low in Iron. Just days after getting the Iron supplements, Knox began sleeping deeper & longer.
Resolve the problems within your control.
Now, I'm not sure about you, but Knox always seemed ravenous when waking in the night. Its all good and well being advised to lose the night feeds, but I had always ignored this, as Knox just wasn't taking enough food in the day. To cut a long story short, one of my adult friends with sleep problems, had seen a dietician who said they had to eat more carbs at night. This instantly gave me the idea of introducing porridge before bed. This worked wonders for us.
In addition to the evening supper, I reassessed Knox's PJ & bed set-up. Knox hates covers and restrictive sleeping bags, so I tried leaving the heating a little higher (sorry Andy). This too seemed to work. For us 19 degrees is his optimum temperature. I'll link some of our sleepsuit suggestions at the bottom of the blog, the wrong PJs and he's up all night!
Tip Two: Relax and do it your way.
With so many milestones and hurdles to overcome on a daily basis, I became overwhelmed with the thought of my husband going away and Knox still not sleeping through regularly. Single parenting for three months, made me decide to just do what I want, as long as Knox and I both survived each day. Taking the pressure off really helped. Knox goes to bed a little later than most, but either I or Andy (before he went to Korea) would spend a good hour upstairs with Knox winding down before he went to bed and this really helped. One thing we noticed, is that when Andy put Knox to bed, he always slept better than when it was me, so you could try swapping the person on 'night duty'. Thankfully, Knox goes to sleep when he's tired, with no fight and even points to his bedroom when he's ready. This unconventional method has become our routine, and I haven't shared timings for a reason. You just need to work out what suits your lifestyle and roll with it.
Tip Three: Be there when they want you.
In my opinion there is a very fine line in leaving a baby to see if they settle and going in to see them when they wake up. Mainly because they're often dreaming. I'm all for waiting to see if Knox will go back to sleep but, I never leave it too long, as this is a recipe for disaster. I often get out of bed and hide outside his door before going in. My theory, is that Knox will sleep longer having the comfort of knowing I'll be right in if he needs me, and in many ways this has worked. I'm usually pretty spot on at telling if he's in pain or hungry at night, and I can always predict what type of night we will have depending on his mood before bed.
So, there you have it. The simple yet effective ways we got Knox to sleep. If I'm away and Knox is with his grandparents, our unconventional routine stays the same...I think.
Knox's Sleepsuit Combinations:
If he has a fleece outer suit on, I'll put some separate PJs underneath with no socks. I'm pretty slow at washing, so we have three options of the fleece suits and 12 PJ options. Sounds excessive, but I can still never find a matching set.
Next Fleece Sleepsuit RRP From £9 (AF link)
Next Fleece Sleepsuit RRP from £9 (AF Link)
Next Star/Stripe PJs RRP From £22 (AF Link)
We also have an AMAZING sleeping bag suit with legs. This was revolutionary for us, the arms also are a MUST to keep them toasty. As he doesn't wear the boots with the suit, I put a lightweight sleepsuit underneath with feet included.
Animal Character Sleepsutis RRP From £16 (AF Link)