If you don’t know already, I had a really rough road with my now 3 year old daughter Evalee in the sleep department…By the time she was 9 months old she was waking every hour and a half to nurse, day or night.
I was exhausted.
But, now I am a “seasoned” mom armed with more experience and knowledge and hopefully can avoid that same state of exhaustion with our new little boy Jeremiah.
Shortly before Jeremiah was born, maybe a month or so, I pulled all of my parenting books off the shelf to give myself a little refresher on various tips and tricks when dealing with newborn quarks.
Naturally, one of these books was the No Cry Sleep Solution, one of my favorite parenting books of all time.
I was able to skip or skim the first 3 chapters where she gets into safety issues, basic infant sleep facts and creating sleep logs and dove right into chapter 4 where she provides techniques for newborns.
There are a number of topics Pantley addresses in this chapter but I wanted to focus on these main points:
- Biology of Newborn Sleep
- Sleeping Through The Night
- Where Baby Wants To Sleep
- Waking For Night Feedings
Biology of Newborn Sleep
She explains in more detail the biology of newborn sleep and how it essentially revolves around their stomach.
When they are hungry they are awake and they eat, when they are full they sleep.
Newborn babies wake often because they need to eat often. As a general rule, babies need to eat every 2 to 4 hours. And, sometimes they may need to eat every 1 to 2 hours if they are going through a growth spurt.
And, lucky me, I have a 10 pound plus baby boy that seems to be hungry ALL THE TIME!
So far, Jeremiah has yet to go more than 2 or 3 hours without eating. There has been a few 4 hour stretches at night which I see as very promising and a sign of better nights to come.
Sleeping Through The Night
She also defines “sleeping through the night”. To expect a newborn to sleep more that 4 to 5 hours at a stretch is simple setting yourself up for disappointment and frustration.
If you little one sleeps for a 4 to 5 hour stint through out the night you are doing great and this qualifies at this stage of life as sleeping through the night.
Jeremiah has done this a handful of times so far and he is 6 weeks old this coming Friday, but for the most part he sleeps 2 – 3 hours at a time a night. He is just a big boy that needs to eat. Fortunately, he nurses and goes right back to sleep.
We have had only 3 nights where he is awake for a long stretch of time at night, which is amazing at this stage.
Where Baby Wants To Sleep
Next she talks about where baby wants to sleep…in our arms. And who could blame them?
But this can get you into trouble. If the only place you allow your baby to sleep is in your arms then guess where your baby will want to sleep 6 months from now? Yup, in your arms.
So, I have been trying to find a happy medium with this step. Jeremiah loves his contact time. He is proving to be a “high touch” baby which is not a problem for me at all.
I have a Sleepy Baby Wrap that is very comfortable for me to wear and is his favorite place to be during the day. So we have a little routine where his first nap after we get up for the day is in the wrap. And being that he sleep quite sound I am able to get things done around the house like laundry and dishes.
Then, when his next sleepy time comes he is much more willing to go down in either his bouncy seat, swing or hammock. But, there is a catch. I need to be in the room. The little bugger knows when I am not right there with him!
So, what I do is write! At this very moment Jeremiah is sleeping in his hammock and I am writing this post. His sleep time has become my blogging time. It works out pretty good.
This way I get something done and he is learning to sleep somewhere other than connected to mommy in some way.
Waking For Night Feedings
This is an area I struggle with and I can only assume I am not the only one.
Of course the advice is to avoid feeding unless you KNOW your baby is hungry…but who wants to listen to a crying baby when you can silence him/her with the breast of bottle?
Pantley suggests you try to avoid feeding your baby automatically when they wake in the night, sometimes a little rocking, shushing or alternative soothing in general is all it will take for your little one to fall back to sleep.
But if your newborn baby puts up a real fuss and has not eaten recently then, by all means, feed them.
My approach with Jeremiah has been to bounce him a bit in his hammock if I hear him start to stir, if he settles, great. But if he starts to suck on his fist or root into his blanket then I know he needs to eat.
Overall, we have had more good nights than bad and I am doing my best to keep up the good habits to make the next phase easier on all of us. I know that if I continue to follow Pantley’s advice in the newborn months we will reap the rewards around month 4 or so when Jeremiah’s sleep abilities mature.
I will be sure to make another post when that time comes.
Are you a mom with a No Cry Sleep Solution experience to share or are you a new mom looking for advice? Be sure to leave your feedback or question in the comment section below.