Truth: when your baby starts sleeping through the night – even if it’s just for a six hour stretch – it’s pretty much the most blissful experience you can have as a new parent. Sure, there are other joys about being a baby mama. When your little guy intentionally smiles at you for the first time, hearing that first belly laugh, the list goes on. But I’ve realized that I’m more able to appreciate all of these things now that my baby sleeps through the night – because a well rested mama makes for a much more engaged mama. So, where were we? Oh yes. Sleeping through the night. Blissful.
Until…your child gets thrown off their schedule. In my case, this was all thanks to a lovely little virus that is currently creeping it’s way through my home. RJ got it first – and while he’s well on the mend, his schedule is all sorts of screwy right now. Last night, he was up at midnight. He was up at 2:30. He was up at 5. I could keep going, but I think I’ll stop there. Every time he woke up, he had a really hard time going back to sleep – which is rare for this little guy. Thankfully, I have a whole smattering of tricks up my sleeve to convince him that it really is nigh-nigh time and that he really does need to get some rest.
Since it’s flu and cold season and lots of other mamas might be experiencing sleepless nights with their little ones, I’m going to share these with you. Don’t worry, you can thank me later. You know – when you actually use them and finally get some sleep the next time your babe plays a trick on you like RJ did to me last night!
1. Keep lots of clean, cuddly blankets around. Sometimes, all it takes is fifteen minutes of cuddle time for RJ to fall asleep. He likes being able to touch something really soft – so I was all of his plush blankets in extra downy. This even helps him fall asleep in our normal bedtime routine.
2. Calming music is key. Whether it’s a nursery cd or a toy that plays lullabies, that soft music really helps my baby go to sleep. Right now his favorite is this Fisher Price Ocean Wonders Sea Horse. You push the belly and it plays a succession of super calming lullabies – with a sea shore background. Once through the playlist and he’s usually sound asleep!
3. Sometimes I resort to the shower. For some reason, when nothing else works the sound of the real shower helps RJ fall asleep. I keep the door to the bathroom open so that I can leave the lights off – turn them on and there’s no way he’s going to sleep – and I run the shower for ten minutes. I just sit on the floor and pat his bottom – and the sound is actually quite soothing for mama, too! Since it’s just the sound he needs to help him doze off, I just run the water cold to save on energy.
4. If he’s really fighting sleep and I know he’s exhausted, I’ll take him for a car ride. It doesn’t have to be anything super long, a mile or so generally helps him fall off to dreamland. I think it’s the bouncing that soothes him, because taking him out in the truck – which is much bouncier than my SUV – helps him fall asleep way faster!
How do YOU get baby to fall asleep when he’s fighting dreamland? Tell me in the comments!