Jen Warman: New Freakin' Mummy


6 Ways To Get Your Newborn To Sleep At Night


newborn, sleep, babies, sleeping through the night, good night's sleep, new mom, zombie mom, sleep habits, white noise, swaddling, co-sleeping

This title caught your attention, didn't it?

You're probably reading this with 3 hours of broken sleep under your belt and eyelids so heavy it feels like they're full of cement. 

You're frantically drinking your eighth cup of coffee while shushing your newborn hoping that I'll get to the point, stop rambling, and offer you the magical sleep advice you're so desperately looking for.

I totally understand. I've been there, and I still sort of am there.

My first baby was not a good sleeper. In fact, he's two, and he's still not a good sleeper. At this point, I've tried everything. Seriously. Look at the various sleeping arrangements we've been through over the past two years! It's ridiculous! (click here to see illustration).

And now that our second baby is here, we are going through the newborn sleep phase all over again, except this time I also have a toddler to deal with through the night. The good news, though, is that my two-month-old baby is actually a better sleeper than her two-year-old brother! 

Praise the Gods (all of them), I HAVE A BABY WHO SLEEPS!!! (And yes, I'm irrationally afraid that I just jinxed myself saying that out loud.)

So, what is different this time, you ask? How the heck am I getting my eight-week-old baby to sleep so well at night (only waking once or twice to feed)?

Well, I can't guarantee it will work for you, but this is what has worked for me:

1) GET A BABY WHO SLEEPS. Unfortunately, I truly believe that you either have a baby who sleeps or you don't. I think it's mostly genetic. All the sleep doulas in the world are shaking their baby whispering fists at me right now, because they want to charge you $1500 to come to your house and "sleep train" your baby. But I'm sorry, I think that's a load of crap for the most part. I had a serious talk with my daughter in utero and begged her to have good sleep habits. Really, though, I think I just got lucky this time around...

2) CO-SLEEP. There is a lot of literature out there about co-sleeping, and I fully believe in all of the benefits. Make your bed safe for co-sleeping, and enjoy the comfort of knowing that your little one is deriving comfort from smelling you and hearing you breathe right next to them. I seriously love sleeping next to my baby . . . until they get to the rolling phase when you end up eating their feet, but then again, they do have cute little feet.

3) SWADDLE. I didn't do this with my son because I was terrible at swaddling. I couldn't figure it out, and I assumed he didn't like it. With my daughter, I've discovered these velcro swaddle wraps that are super easy to use and they are honestly a lifesaver. I know there is some controversy about arms-in swaddling, but I choose to ignore it, because my eight-week-old baby is sleeping and there seems to be controversy about everything these days! So suck it. I'm swaddling, and we love it. 

4) BREASTFEED LYING DOWN. Since I co-sleep, this is easy. I can feed my baby throughout the night while lying on my side, therefore, I don't need to fully "wake up" to feed her. This is amazing and relaxing for both of us. Go-go-gadget boob. 

5) CHANGE DIAPERS IN BED. I'm all about minimizing how much I fully "wake up" in the night. I'm lazy. I don't want to move an inch more than I have to. So, I have a little table beside my bed (it's actually Maeve's co-sleeper that she doesn't sleep in) and this is where I keep my stash of diapers, wipes, and cloths. When I need to change her, I do it in bed and my feet never touch the floor. Sure, I run the risk of her peeing in my bed, but so far, so good (again, I probably just jinxed myself). Our change table is actually collecting dust! (Note to self: I need to dust.)

6) WHITE NOISE. I think we all sleep better with a little white noise to help muffle sounds that could potentially wake us. We have a white noise machine in my son's room (again, despite the controversy). Just use common sense and don't blast it at full volume right beside their heads. 

And there you have it! 

I hope this helps and I hope you get some sleep soon. Just know that you're not alone, and there are many many moms out there walking around feeling like they're on acid, because they're so f-ing tired. Trust me, I know. I'm one of them (less so these days, thank goodness).

Sending you a giant hug and even more gigantic cup of coffee!

You can read more about how elated I was when I first got a good night's sleep with my son, or check out one of my many stories about my crappy sleeping toddler.