Getting Baby to Sleep

You’re exhausted, moody and can’t think straight. Sound familiar?

Most parents suffer from sleep deprivation at some point. Even those who are lucky enough to have babies who are good sleepers eventually have to deal with getting their toddlers to stay in bed. 

To make matters worse, there is so much conflicting information as to how and when we should get our babies to sleep through the night. So how do you know what's best for your baby? 

Here are a few tips:

Listen to your instincts. Remember you know your baby best. Take all advice you get (including this one) as what it is:  simple advice. Never let it replace your own personal judgment. You know your baby best and only YOU know what’s really right for him. If it feels right to rock your baby to sleep, then do it. If it feels right to bring your baby into bed with you then do it. 

Stop the guilt. Don’t take it personally. A lot of us suddenly feel instant guilt when our baby cries. Are we doing the right thing? Does she need feeding? Is his diaper wet? And on and on…

Remember your baby could be crying for a number of reasons and some are out of your control. Did you know that babies are born with the crying reflex but not the laughing reflex? Well they are… it’s instinctive for babies to cry. We’re going back to primitive times. Babies cry to have their needs met. Sometimes those needs are just to simply cry it out for a bit while feeling the warmth and comfort of their most loved person … you! 

Become an expert. Go online or to the library and read a few books on baby sleep and sleep patterns. Arm yourself with all the knowledge that you can so that when others come your way offering advice you can politely say you know exactly what you’re doing. 

When reading advice, don’t go for the latest books or fads. Go to the library and look for actual baby sleep research. Then sit down and make a list of what you’re feeling. What do you feel is right for you and your family? This could be more important than any book you may find on the subject of baby sleep. Speak to your spouse and make sure you agree on what method you’ll use. 

Whatever you decide, the main thing to remember is that sleepless nights are part of having a baby. Do what feels best for you and remember that this is a normal phase of your baby’s development and will soon end.