My sweet baby girl, who is 9 weeks old, is a great sleeper for the most part. Last night she slept in her crib from 9 pm straight till 5 am with no wake ups. And she’s napping in her crib now and has been for over an hour.
I’m seriously in shock over how well this baby sleeps.
My son, on the other hand, was a terrible horrible sleeper. He would only sleep on me for first six months of his life. Not next to me, but on me. For all his naps and night sleep. It was less than ideal. The moment I would try to lay him down, even make the slightest movement towards the crib, he would wake up and scream.
Trust me when I say that we tried everything. Swaddling, white noise, blackout curtains, bouncing to 100, no bouncing at all, rocking for exactly 7 minutes, 10 minutes, 2 minutes, hands on his chest once he’s in the crib (though he was already screaming by that point)….I even prayed and I am not religious.
In the end it was just easier and better for all of us to just let him sleep on me.
Until the day he decided that he wouldn’t sleep on me anymore. And then we were fucked because he just wouldn’t sleep. We had to let him cry. And it was awful. And it took a long time – four months in fact – of letting him cry every single night just so he would go to sleep. By 10 months he was going to sleep without crying and sleeping through the night – though getting him to sleep through was not our goal, I just needed to be able to put him down.
(As an aside, at two years old he’s a wonderful sleeper now, so I’ll take it!)
Flash forward to our second baby. This baby girl is a DREAM. SHE SLEEPS!!!!!
So how did we do it? Here’s the secret….. we didn’t.
I would love to say that I am super mom and used my super mom powers to get this one to sleep, but the truth is we tried all the things with her that we did with our son.
I really think she is just a better sleeper.
OK, I guess there were a few things that we’ve done. They are:
- swaddling – I am more adamant about the swaddle than I was with my son. But she has also taken to it better than he did.
- using white noise right from the start – we didn’t introduce white noise till about 3 months in, not sure if doing it right from the start makes a difference, but we did it
- letting her fuss – I think this is a big one, we’re definitely not as nervous with her, I don’t jump at every sound so she has a chance to settle back on her own. I don’t let her cry, but I don’t pick her up if I think she’ll fall back asleep. I also don’t have a choice sometimes if I”m with my son I can’t get to her right away
- believing in her – I really do believe that she has the ability to fall asleep on her own and get herself back to sleep. With my son I thought I had to help him – though in retrospect I really did need to help him, he would scream otherwise. I give her more opportunities to fall asleep without my help.
So yeah, there were some things that we did, but honestly, she’s just a calmer baby. And I am extremely grateful for that!!!
If you have a baby who doesn’t sleep well, my advice is to do whatever you need to do to maximize sleep. And at the six month mark, if they’re still not sleeping well, sleep train them. If they’re not sleeping it’s not only affecting your ability to be a calm, patient parent (at least it was affecting mine and contributing to my anxiety and depression) but it’s not good for your baby. My son was frantic and once he started sleeping he was a lot calmer.
And if you have a baby who does sleep well, count yourself lucky! I know I do!!