Sleep. What a topic! There is so much information out there on what to do, what not to do.
One of the FAVORITE things that Motherhood has taught me is NOT TO JUDGE!
Oh I was the perfect parent... before I had kids!! There was so much I was never going to do, things I was absolutely going to do... You get it!
Or if you're not a Mom yet, you totally don't get it, and you won't until you are a Mom. So let me tell you - don't judge!! But that's a whole different blog post for a different day.
But the reason I brought that up is because you need to choose what YOU want and what is going to work for YOU and YOUR FAMILY!!
I personally don't like bed-sharing, it's not even my favorite to have them in the same room with me when they get older. (I have the newborn sleep by my bed for at least the first 6 months). Don't get me wrong I love cuddling and I love having a "sleepover" occasionally with my toddler but overall, I like them in their own bed. ;) Some people choose to safely bed-share, there is such a thing. I'm too much of a worrier and I don't sleep well when they're in my bed. So that's my point. You'll hear A LOT about sleeping from everyone. Everyone has their own thoughts and opinions, especially when it comes to parenting...
Do what works for YOU! You might not know until your baby is here! But it is good to have some ideas so you can see what will work best.
So let's talk sleep!
Everyone tells you enjoy sleeping now because when baby's here you'll never sleep right? It doesn't have to be that way. Sometimes it is, but the routines, habits, and the thoughts you establish make all the difference.
When I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to be able to just lay my baby down when it was time for sleep and walk out of the room. I didn't want to rock him to sleep, nurse him to sleep, bounce him to sleep, etc. If you want to do those things, then do them!! Everyone is different. I love laying my baby down and walking out of the room. That works really well for me! :) Choose what works best for you.
1. Pick a Routine
From the moment you get home from the hospital is when you want to start doing your routine with sleep. (If you're already home or baby's older - start now!) Your baby will learn VERY quickly what to expect and they get used to things very quickly. The earlier you begin, the better it will be and the less bad habits you'll have to break.
2. Be Consistent
Do the same thing every time. Whatever that is, keep it the same. For me with a newborn, I prep the room (close the blinds), swaddle them, lay them down, give them a binky and I walk out of the room. When they're older it's pretty much the same thing. Close the blinds, turn on the white noise, lay them down, binkie, blankie. I love using a binky with sleep because most babies love sucking when they go to sleep and it can be a signal that it's bedtime. If your baby is fine without a binkie don't use one, but they do come in handy at times. ;)
3. Positive Thoughts
The thing that made (and still does) a HUGE difference for me is my thoughts. I don't let it bother me when they won't go to bed when I want them to because they're not tired, when they wake up in the middle of the night, etc. because I prepared myself for those things to happen. Just know that they are and choose to be happy! :) Enjoy being with them. Enjoy the peace and quiet (when they stop crying ;). Enjoy holding them, rocking them, feeding them. They won't always need you in the middle of the night.
Don't set your expectation for your baby to go to bed at 7pm and wake up at 7am. Wouldn't that be nice? Sometimes it will happen, but every night? Not a chance. So be prepared! Do you wake up in the night? I rarely do, but sometimes it happens. Do you wake up because your hot/cold, have to use the bathroom, or because you're hungry? So will babies and kids! So again, enjoy that time with them. It really won't last long... My oldest would wake up in the middle of the night and ask for a yogurt... so that's what I gave him! Also, be aware of how much sleep they're getting. Once they're past 1 years old, if they're sleeping 12-14 hours at night, they probably won't be napping during the day. So if you'd like them to adjust how many hours they get at night.
Start from the moment you get home from the hospital & won't have to "sleep train" your baby! You will have already taught them how to fall asleep and stay asleep all on their own. Way to go Momma.
We got this!
Thanks for reading!
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