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“ What are your best tips for getting sleep with newborn babies and what are some ways to get them to sleep through the night? ”

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Sonia / View Profile

When I was pregnant with my first son, I read loads of those pregnancy and baby magazines that were all packed from cover-to-cover, and full of images of mums and dads and their precious babies living in beautiful, bright, tidy and organised homes.

In all the movies I watched, and even the TV commercials for baby food and nappies, the homes always looked so perfectly kept, albeit with maybe a few toys scattered on the designer couch and the pristine floor.

I think those images somehow, subconsciously, set the bar, and fed me some kind of an ideal standard that I felt compelled to meet. 

It didn't help that I was already an anal-retentive neat freak. Nope! That didn't help at all.

After my little boy was born, I practically busted my guts trying to keep the perfect home. 

You know - fresh flowers, and a well-stocked pantry to meet the endless guests that poppedinto meet the baby. I spent way too much money on Febreze and toilet cleaner, because I didn't want to be like the mum on the TV commercial with the embarrassingly dirty bathroom.

When my baby slept during the day, I cleaned and cooked.

When he didn't sleep at night, I cried… and then I cried some more because I Read more

When I was pregnant with my first son, I read loads of those pregnancy and baby magazines that were all packed from cover-to-cover, and full of images of mums and dads and their precious babies living in beautiful, bright, tidy and organised homes.

In all the movies I watched, and even the TV commercials for baby food and nappies, the homes always looked so perfectly kept, albeit with maybe a few toys scattered on the designer couch and the pristine floor.

I think those images somehow, subconsciously, set the bar, and fed me some kind of an ideal standard that I felt compelled to meet. 

It didn't help that I was already an anal-retentive neat freak. Nope! That didn't help at all.

After my little boy was born, I practically busted my guts trying to keep the perfect home. 

You know - fresh flowers, and a well-stocked pantry to meet the endless guests that poppedinto meet the baby. I spent way too much money on Febreze and toilet cleaner, because I didn't want to be like the mum on the TV commercial with the embarrassingly dirty bathroom.

When my baby slept during the day, I cleaned and cooked.

When he didn't sleep at night, I cried… and then I cried some more because I was so damn
exhausted.

Eventually, I woke up (pardon the really bad pun) and realised that sleep was far more important than a tidy house, and I figured if our guests wanted a spotless bathroom, and something to eat when they visited us, then they could grab a bottle of Toilet Duck® and a couple of finger buns on their way to our house.

When my baby slept, so did I. As soon as his eyelashes fluttered closed, I turned on the baby monitor and dived into bed.

Now that’s all fine and dandy when you only have one baby, right? But what do you do when you have a baby and a toddler or even more children? Well, for starters, you hang on to nap time like your life depends on it, and you learn to sleep sitting up. 

I am not even kidding.

You cannot be fussy about how you sleep and, trust me, with practice you can 'learn' to find the kitchen bench a comfortable place to rest your weary head.

If someone offers to come and help or look after the babies, whilst you get some rest, then you get that person to your house IMMEDIATELY - before they change their mind!

Seriously, you graciously accept any offer of help, and you sleep when you can for however long you can, and then you keep nap time going with the toddler for as long as humanly possible... and bribes are TOTALLY acceptable.

As for ways of getting your baby to sleep through the night, well I am no expert, and nor do I have the words ‘baby whisperer’ written after my name on some fancy business card. But I can tell you that, for us, we found having a routine seemed to help.

Sticking to a nightly routine of a bath, a feed, and then some quiet cuddle time before bed definitely seemed to set the scene for a good night’s sleep for our babies. 

Of course, there really is no magical formula that guarantees to result in the perfect sleeper and, despite all your best efforts, sometimes your baby just doesn't want to sleep.

To use a dummy or not use a dummy, wrap or don't wrap, set feeding or feeding on demand? There is so much information out there it’s no wonder we get confused?

My advice is to do what works for you and your baby. Happy mum, happy baby - and all that.

The most important thing, as far as I am concerned, is that YOU are as well rested as you can possibly be, so that you can cope with those nights when your baby doesn't sleep.

I have a completely non-scientifically-based theory, that babies can sense a mum who is desperate for sleep, and they will test our limits … bless those precious little buggers.

If you are really in a sleep pickle, there is help out there. I had a friend who used Tresillian to help her and her baby develop a good sleep routine, and she absolutely swears by it. So don't be afraid to ask for some help if you need it.

 

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Mums Helping Mums - Contributors

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Sonia

Sonia is a proud Mama of three beautiful boys, a domestic goddess, perfectionist and overall crafty individual. Being a true Gemini, Sonia has the personality for any occasion with all instances expressed in her blog Life Love and Hiccups. The blog is her outlet to share fabulously flawed attempts at being the unstoppable mother and wife. Sonia’s often-hilarious hiccups in life are posted with her audience throughout social platforms, in an attempt to make the audience feel good, relaxed and at home. Sonia shares her crafting adventures, love of cushions, life with boys and other random stuff along the way.
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Sarah / View Profile

Sleep deprivation is awful, and there is a reason why it is used as a form of torture.  My three older children were an absolute breeze and all were sleeping through the night by the time they were three months old.  I did not realise how lucky I was until I had my fourth baby.  She thought sleep was for wimps and at almost 4 years old still wakes up several times a night.  We tried every trick in the book to get her to sleep longer than a few hours at a time.  Well, almost every trick!  I decided that the old wives’ tale of some brandy in a bottle probably should stay untested.  I will say that, after months of chronic sleep deprivation, you’re prepared to try just about anything! 

Newborns love to be warm, have a dry nappy and a full tummy, and be swaddled nice and snug.  Add all of these into a night-time routine – feed, warm bath and bed, and cross every single digit that it works.  Be kind to yourself and sleep when your baby sleeps - no matter what time of the day or night it is.

Sleep deprivation is awful, and there is a reason why it is used as a form of torture.  My three older children were an absolute breeze and all were sleeping through the night by the time they were three months old.  I did not realise how lucky I was until I had my fourth baby.  She thought sleep was for wimps and at almost 4 years old still wakes up several times a night.  We tried every trick in the book to get her to sleep longer than a few hours at a time.  Well, almost every trick!  I decided that the old wives’ tale of some brandy in a bottle probably should stay untested.  I will say that, after months of chronic sleep deprivation, you’re prepared to try just about anything! 

Newborns love to be warm, have a dry nappy and a full tummy, and be swaddled nice and snug.  Add all of these into a night-time routine – feed, warm bath and bed, and cross every single digit that it works.  Be kind to yourself and sleep when your baby sleeps - no matter what time of the day or night it is.

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Mums Helping Mums - Contributors

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Sarah

Sarah is a passionate, fit, family-orientated, loving Mum of four kids and a ‘hippy’ husband. She is on the journey to move more, eat better and live a life well loved! As a Registered Midwife and Nurse, when it comes to writing about health matters Sarah gracefully separates fact from fiction while combining personal experience with university qualifications. Sarah sets the standards high with her understanding of nutrition with the additional help from her sidekick Hubby, Brad. Move Fuel Love showcases Sarah's passion for fitness, family and zest for life.
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Kelly / View Profile

I’ve never known sleep deprivation like when I became a mother!  The first three months were especially exhausting when I was on call around the clock: feeding, burping and changing.

I wish I could share the ultimate tip for sleep, but in my experience of mothering four babies, there IS no best way!  My eldest was very fussy, my second was relaxed, number three was somewhere in the middle, and my fourth was easy to settle (but was still getting up at night for a feed at twelve months).  

It can be easy to get caught up with what everyone else is doing and saying.  “Baby Sophie started sleeping through at six weeks!”  It’s important to filter all the ‘advice’ with what you know about yourself and your baby.  It can take time to establish sleep patterns, especially during those first twelve weeks.

I do have a few tips that helped me get much needed rest:

Swaddling – It’s the biggest tip to help young babies sleep in my experience.  I used to feed, change, sing/talk to, and then wrap my newborn babies for sleep.  I put them down in their cot and stayed close with my hand on their chest until they relaxed.  I suggest hunting for larger muslin wraps me Read more

I’ve never known sleep deprivation like when I became a mother!  The first three months were especially exhausting when I was on call around the clock: feeding, burping and changing.

I wish I could share the ultimate tip for sleep, but in my experience of mothering four babies, there IS no best way!  My eldest was very fussy, my second was relaxed, number three was somewhere in the middle, and my fourth was easy to settle (but was still getting up at night for a feed at twelve months).  

It can be easy to get caught up with what everyone else is doing and saying.  “Baby Sophie started sleeping through at six weeks!”  It’s important to filter all the ‘advice’ with what you know about yourself and your baby.  It can take time to establish sleep patterns, especially during those first twelve weeks.

I do have a few tips that helped me get much needed rest:

Swaddling – It’s the biggest tip to help young babies sleep in my experience.  I used to feed, change, sing/talk to, and then wrap my newborn babies for sleep.  I put them down in their cot and stayed close with my hand on their chest until they relaxed.  I suggest hunting for larger muslin wraps measuring at least 140cm (the standard swaddling wraps tend to be 120cm wide).  Vanchi®, Cuski® and The Owl Barn do a larger wrap. 

Carry them – Invest in a good baby carrier wrap.  This doesn’t necessarily help YOU get any more sleep, but it can help you be more productive during the day if you have a fussy baby.

Sleep during the day when you can – If baby sleeps, try and get some sleep too.

Sleep near them at night – I kept my newborn in a bassinette near my bed for at least the first twelve weeks.  This made breastfeeding through the night easier.

Get help - Don’t hesitate to get help if you need it.  I can’t stress this enough!  My first baby and I were both sleep-deprived at the six week mark.  I was sick and didn’t know what to do! 

Fortunately, my pediatrician taught me settling strategies - including swaddling, and establishing a (very) general feed/wake/sleep schedule.  This was AMAZING, and helped us both get more sleep. 

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Mums Helping Mums - Contributors

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Kelly

Kelly is an inspiration for all Mums who see the joy in life and motherhood in a fast-paced world. She loves every moment in life from little to big, is inspired by all and creates beautiful masterpieces along the way. Kelly believes in creating a happy childhood for her children, it’s like gifting them little memory anchors that can be drawn throughout their entire life. Be a Fun Mum is Kelly's blog where she showcases insight into being the absolute best mum she can be.