I thought I had it all figured out. I had one baby- a two month old who I had successfully gotten to "sleep through the night." We swaddled, we laid him down awake for naps- and night time- and out he went just like a light. It was everything my baby books advised me to do, and it was wonderful. Babywise- yes I was truly Babywise. We were awesome. We knew it all.
Then Zion was born, and I knew what my plan was this time around. I did everything that I had told everyone else would "definitely work!" One small issue: it didn't. She would get up crying, the pathetic sobs coming from her bedroom, threatening to wake Isaiah up multiple times a night. So.... into our bedroom she came. I nursed her, she went back to sleep. The cycle went on and on, night after night.
With our third child, Evie, I was hopeful but I had been burned by the 'sleep experts' before. When she refused the swaddle I knew it was a bad sign. Things only got worse. Not only would she wake up at night, but Zion was still up too! Turning one year old, and up three or four times a night.
So with all that being said, here are my super-helpful tips for getting your baby to sleep through the night:
1. Swaddle, swaddle, swaddle. From day one.
2. Never mind, don't swaddle. They feel 'too constricted' and need to move their legs.
3. Lay them down awake, that way they learn how to self sooth.
4. Oh wait, nurse/bottle feed them to sleep before laying them down so you know they're really in a deep sleep.
5. Keep baby in your room, so you can keep a watchful eye out.
6. Forget it, put baby in her own room- she can smell you, you know.
7. Let him 'cry it out.'
8. If you want to prevent emotionally harming your baby and turning him into a teenager who wears trench coats and resents you, answer your babies every cry. Or else.
9. Fewer naps during the day. She's doing too much day sleeping.
10. You know what, actually, she's not sleeping enough during the day. That's the problem. More daytime naps!
11. Put her to bed later, maybe she just isn't tired yet.
12. Earlier bed time. She's overtired.
13. His sleep cycles are out of whack. You should wake him up fifteen minutes before the times when he typically wakes at night in order to create new sleep cycles. ***
14. Someone actually suggested I do #13. ***
Moral of the story: Some babies sleep and some don't. Coffee helps. This night time thing will get easier. Maybe my most important tip of all- you are not alone! We Mom's and Dad's, we're all going through it. Sleep is overrated. (Keep telling yourself that and keep sipping that coffee, too.)