Now of course, most newborn babies share this but we were very very sleep deprived and during one of my many hours awake, pacing the room with Miss M in the sling, I did a lot of reading on the subject of baby sleep.
The common theme seemed to be trying to create a sleep environment for the baby that was as comforting and similar to the womb as possible and these are a few things we adopted to make this happen.
Set a Routine and Stick to it
We came up with a sleep routine. This gave us basic guidelines of when to get the baby up, when to feed, play, put down for naps and sleep.
As a brand new mum with no clue on when to do when (apart from to feed on demand), this really helped me and luckily, Miss M apparently loves routines and she took to it very quickly.
The key is consistency – when you find something that works, stick to it.
At bedtime, if we missed cleaning her teeth or reading books, she would let us know about it – she expects certain things now!
A midwife told me not to tip toe around the baby – in the womb they are used to a lot of the mum’s internal noises and they’re as loud as a vacuum cleaner!
So I downloaded a white noise app on my iPhone and turned this on at night as I was laying her down to sleep – we even left this on all night next to the cot so when she woke up, it seemed to lull her back to sleep.
I’ll be honest, it was weird for us at first as we were in the same room but we quickly adopted to it too and I almost depended on it for my own sleep!
I also used the white noise when we went for walks at nap time so I was consistent that white noise = sleep time.
I alternated between traditional white noise and a chugging train sound. You can imagine the weird looks I got from little old ladies in the street when I pushed my past them and it sounded like a train had blasted by! It all added to the fun though.
It even worked to turn the white noise on occasionally when Miss M was upset and crying – it seemed to really help calm her down – e.g. in the car.
This is wrapping up the baby veeeeery snuggly (think Burrito Baby).
There are excellent videos on You Tube to show you how to swaddle using large muslin cloths. Swaddling is only done until babies can roll over though as far as I know – I think it’s because if they’re swaddled up they won’t be able to roll back and you don’t want them to roll on their front and get stuck.
A friend recommended that because Miss M was used to being on me most of the day, she probably found my ‘smell’ comforting and at night in her cot she might have missed this – even though for the first 4 months the cot was next to my bed.
So at night time I would often lie her on a top I’d worn so she could smell me 🙂
During the time I was breastfeeding I rarely worse perfume and would recommend that you don’t lie your baby next to anything very strong smelling – it’s your natural scent they like.
Keep the Room Very Dark at Night
Even now at 18 months’ old, Miss M will wake up if the room gets too light at night.
If you already have black out blinds or curtains in your nursery, that’s great!
For daytime naps, I pull the blind too but I don’t worry about it being pitch black then so she knows the difference between day and night. At night time I really found having the room as dark as possible helped.
I think this works for me as an adult too!
Hope you’re having a lovely, restful day!