I have a friend whose baby slept through the night – 7pm to 7am – from the time he was 6 weeks old. And he was all happy all the time during the day. I hated her.
Ok, I didn’t, but I was a wee bit jealous seeing as how I have had three babies and none of them slept more than about 1.5 hours at a time for the first three months and did A LOT of crying and not sleeping during the days too.
I had to come up with a lot of strategies to not lose my mind and to make sure my babies got some sleep.
Obviously every baby is different but I thought I would share some of what I did :
1) Baby wear.
This was more difficult to do with twins (although I did it and still do it a lot when they are fussy). I have many types of carriers. I really liked my long stretchywrap when they were little, and as they got older I really liked my mei teis. I have a Kozy and a more structured carrier that I found easier to use to get babies up onto my back on my own called a Beco. I HIGHLY recommend just putting your baby on and bouncing around the house (or go for a walk) when they won’t sleep. SO effective!
2. White noise
White noise reminds babies of being in the womb. It calms them, it seemingly drugs them into a state of calm. It was my saviour.
Some people use the kitchen fan, some the bathroom fan, some the vacuum – I used my hairdryer. For about a year both times, my hairdryer lived on the floor in the nursery set on cold. In really trying moments it would be run on full blast and babies almost always calmed right down, often falling asleep. For us, only REALLY powerful hairdryers worked so it can’t be a cheapo low voltage one.
We still have a white noise machine going almost constantly in my daughter’s room. Graco makes a great one that is also a nightlight and you can plug an MP3 player into for other uses.
3. The car
Do you get drowsy in the car? I know that if I’m not driving I almost always start to pass out on long car rides. I think my parents programmed me for it, and I’m FINE with that. I have attempted to do the same with my kids 🙂
When my babies wouldn’t sleep I often would say “fine, let’s go for a drive!” – with Kiernan it was often one of the few ways I could get a decent length nap. Not eco-friendly, I know, but driving up and down the highway for an hour sometimes gave me the break we both so desperately needed.
With the twins, I explored back country roads and my husband and I are still known, on occasion, to take a REALLY fussy baby for a drive at night to get them to sleep when nothing else will work.
Oh, and also a lot of this:
What do you do to get through the fussy crying periods?