« Parenting

Getting sleep with a baby

by Nikki Montgomery

A question people ask me all the time, because I have 3 month old twins is, "Are you getting ANY sleep?" Most parents hate my answer. "Yes!" We put our older daughter Mia down around 8 and then I feed the twins and put them to bed around 8:30 or 9:00. They sleep until we wake them up to get ready in the morning. This past weekend they slept from 9pm Saturday to 8am Sunday. 

So many parents struggle with their baby waking up in the middle of the night sometimes as long as a year! That's just crazy! There is no reason for a baby to be waking up in the middle of the night after 6 months of age. If your baby is 3 or 4 months old and still waking up to eat in the middle of the night that is okay, but at 6 months they don't need a late night bottle. 

You need sleep and there are ways to get it. First I'm going to share my own tips that worked for our three kids then I'll share advice from a pediatrician. 

Develop a routine and make sure to stick to it every night no matter how late bedtime becomes or where they're sleeping. Our kids go to sleep and stay asleep even at Nana and Papa's house and they're amazed at how easy it is to put them down. Our routines started the day we put them in the crib the first time and we still go through the routine with our 2 year old daughter. PJs and diapers, tuck her in, nightlight, sound machine (it shines a picture on the ceiling too), prayers and a story. Then we say goodnight I love you and leave the room. With our twins we've learned that they sleep so much better when they are swaddled, equivalent of tucking them in I guess. They are growing out of their Halo swaddlers so I had to go out and buy a different brand that run larger. With the twins we add a feeding in there. We almost always put them down awake. They always fall asleep on their own. When our older daughter would rarely wake up in the middle of the night we would go in and look at her to make sure she hadn't spit up or had a blowout all over her crib. She'd see us there and as long as everything was okay she would go back to sleep. Because we always responded to her cries even if we didn't pick her up when she saw our faces she knew she was safe and could go back to sleep.

This probably won't work on every baby so here's another method that makes me a little uncomfortable, but a pediatrician recommended it so it must be okay. Let them cry. When they wake up crying just ignore it and let them cry and settle themselves down and put themselves back to sleep.

Another thing to try is putting your baby down earlier. It may sound silly, like they'll just wake up earlier if I put them to bed earlier, but that's really not true. I don't know why it works, but it does.

Some parents choose to co-sleep with their children. This makes it harder to break that late night habit of waking up to nurse. There are lots of reasons I disagree with co-sleeping SIDS and this being tops.

You can get different advice from every mom you talk to, but the best person to discuss sleeping problems with is your pediatrician. Ministry Health Care has lots of them that would be happy to answer your questions. To find one click the image below.

Brought to you by: