Thursday, January 02, 2014

Sleep Question

Of all the things I write about on my blog, I am pretty sure that the thing I get the most comments/questions on is babies and sleep. Seems it's an important subject to most new parents. And I can see why!

(By the way, I really enjoy questions and try to answer every one. So please keep them coming!)

The other day, I touched on Hannah's sleep in this post. 

That post received the following question/s:

Loved this post! I am working on getting my first child (who is four months old) to sleep thru the night and just had a few questions about what works for you. I realize each kid is different, but any info is helpful! Wondering what time Hannah usually goes down for the night and how much she drinks before bedtime? Also does she take a pacifier to bed? Do you have to pop it back in at all? What do you do once your kids are rolling? My son is rolling so we can't swaddle anymore! Does she get dirty diapers at night? That seems to wake my son up during the night. I guess there isn't much I can do about this though :) Thanks for any feedback, It is much appreciated.

I include my response below:

Firstly I did a series of posts called MY SLEEP BIBLE which details how JB and I have had success with getting all of our kids to sleep through the night by 10-12 weeks old:

Keep in mind that my kids (due to breast feeding issues) have almost all been bottle fed by 3-4 months old. That usually makes for easier sleeping through the night.

I also always preqrequisite sleep discussions by saying that I do not believe it is important for a baby to sleep through the night even though some research indicates it is healthier. I think whether a child wakes up and feeds or whether they sleep through the night, they will have the same chance at getting into medical school. (That's a joke by the way.)

But I do think that if want your baby to sleep through the night for your own sanity, then it is important to your family for that reason only.

So, some information to answer this reader's question:

Hannah usually takes 6-8 ounces before bedtime. She usually goes to sleep between 7-8pm and then wakes up around 6am. Recently, she's been getting up a bit earlier (4:30 or 5) so we are going to try and hold her out an extra hour in the evening. We do this hold out by letting her snooze on us for a few minutes or extending awake time by giving her a bath during this time or even letting her cry a bit while we hold her or she plays on the floor.

When our kids started rolling over, we stopped swaddling. Or, we just swaddled their bottom half to help them fall asleep and then let them bust out of it. Four months is an early roller!

Two of my kids used pacifiers and two did not. We did not put them back in. We gave them a pacifier to go to sleep but then let them have it fall out. However, sometimes, depending on the kid and the season they were in, we'd go in and 'reset' the baby we called it. We'd give them their pacifier, give a little rub, and encourage them to go back to sleep.

The trick to them falling asleep and staying asleep through the night is you not feeding them when they wake up. Four months is still a tad early for this, but your child is now at/getting to the age where they can go 12 hours without eating. Try to hold them as late as you can at night before putting them down!

In addition, if you want your child to sleep through the night, they must know that they do not need mom to fall asleep. This requires you to put them to bed awake after a good feed. Putting them to bed while they are asleep will instill that they need mom to sleep. This will also usually mean having to listen to them cry for a period of time.

My kids traditionally don't get dirty diapers at night. But if it does happen, we change, and immediately put back to sleep without any feeds. This can be tricky though and would definitely complicate things.

Take a look at MY SLEEP BIBLE and feel free to ask any additional questions on those posts that you might have. Hope this helps!

P.S. And again, I do not write this to say that this has to be done. If you are happy with your family situation, by all means, keep at it!

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