After nearly 7 years of motherhood I have certainly lost out on a few hours sleep but I knew that would be the case before I signed up for the parenting journey and as difficult as it can be at times, I wouldn’t change a single moment of it. When you’re in the thick of the night feeds and the sleep deprivation your emotions are like a rollercoaster, particularly so if you have older children who need you to be up and alert in the morning so to all you first time Mums out there, make the most of sleeping when your baby does whilst you can.
Before I became a Mummy to Little Bean, I read lots of parenting books and websites to find out as much advice and information as possible from those who had already been there. One thing which shone for me was the need for routine. I didn’t particularly like the rigid routines suggested by some experts but I did understand that a form of routine would benefit both baby and me. Each new day would start when baby chose to wake up and throughout the day, feeding would be on demand and then each night I would follow the same routine outlined below.
My ‘Pearls of Widsom’ for successful #babysleep
- Follow a bedtime routine so that baby knows what to expect, they will soon understand the #babysleep triggers.
- Start with a soothing bubble bath with lavender oil. Start off bathtime with a little fun, bring out the bright bath toys, encourage baby to have a little splash. As the end of bathtime comes around, take away the toys and calm things down.
- Once out of the bath, give baby a gentle massage. I went to a Baby Massage course held at my local Children’s Centre which was free and very worthwhile. I still use baby massage on the Beans now when they are feeling stressed out or have constipation.
- Use quality nappies that are equipped to last the night through to ensure baby stays dry and comfortable. Pampers Baby-Dry have a unique combination of elements to work together providing up to 12 hours of dryness. The embossed top layer pulls liquid away quickly keeping baby’s bottom dry, the extra sleep layer performs as a barrier to prevent the liquid coming back to baby’s skin. Special micro-pearls absorb up to 30 times their weight and lock it in better than ordinary nappies.
- Once snuggled up in their pyjamas, read a bedtime story together. Even when they are newborn they will love to hear the sound of your voice and to be able to see the animation in your face, in your eyes. This will become a treasured part of the day for both of you.
- Turn the lights down low, put on some calming music and give baby their bedtime feed before laying them down to sleep.
- If they do happen to wake up in the night, try to keep everything as calm and quiet as possible. Keep the lights down low, make sure all movements are gentle and as much as possible (this is the difficult part) try not to make eye contact!
- Since I was breastfeeding, my babies often found it difficult to settle on me as they could smell my milk. Sure they would fall asleep whilst feeding but the moment I lifted them up to wind them or change their nappy (it was generally in one end and straight out of the other) they would wake up and be fractious. At this point I would pass over control to Hubby who would always be able to settle baby much quicker.
- Search #babysleep online and see what other ‘pearls of wisdom’ are being posted. What works for one Mum and baby might not work for the next so it always pays to read around and try something different. Just bear in mind that it can take up to three weeks for a baby to respond to something new so don’t swap and change too much.
DISCLAIMER: I was sent a ‘Sleep Box’ and nappies from Pampers in exchange for sharing my ‘pearls of wisdom’ but that’s easy because I love reminiscing over my baby years. They already feel so long ago.