“I’m tired, I’m losing my mind, and my baby still won’t sleep!” If these words have crossed your mind, then you’re in the right place. I’ve been there. It sucked. But here is what I learned about baby sleep in the first three months.
Genny was 10 weeks old when I nearly lost it. Worries about not eating enough and her erratic sleeping patterns sent me on a crazed search for answers. Unfortunately it’s not quite as simple as “crying it out” or rocking the baby to sleep every single time. Neither of those are realistic, or healthy, for baby sleep in the first three months. Genny also wouldn’t have it. After some research, and trial-and-error, I did find some answers that allowed me to see the “nightlight”.
5 Things I learned about baby sleep in the first three months
1. Nothing is going to magically work overnight. Sorry, but that’s just the truth. It’s going to take consistency and support. Have your spouse help you out, call your mom, or have a friend come over and bring some wine. Take lots of deep breaths, and take short breaks from the baby if you find yourself getting too stressed out. It takes time to learn about baby sleep in the first three months.
2. Establishing routines helps prepare the baby for sleep. The routines don’t have to be extensive. For Genny, it was putting on her pjs, reading a book, filling her diffuser, and laying her down in her crib with her Lamby. Some people are very specific about the order and setting of the routine, but pick something that is doable for you to replicate every night with ease. Do this every single night leading up to bedtime and a modified version for naps during the day.
3. Using white noise provides a consistent environment. My family has always used box fans, and I still can’t even sleep without one! White noise buffers the sound around where baby is sleeping creates a peaceful sleeping environment.
4. Don’t be afraid of luvies and pacifiers. Don’t worry about sleep–props. Erica Komisar said in her book that smart babies take pacifiers to self–sooth. My little never took a pacifier, but when she was about 4 months old she found her fingers and has been sucking away at them ever since. She also attached to her Lamby – naming him “Baa” – and hasn’t slept a night without him in over a year.
5. Make sure the room isn’t too bright. Babies cry at night because they feel unsafe when mama isn’t around and not because they are afraid of the dark specifically. The darkness will help promote the release of melatonin and encourage a good night sleep.
What else you should know
Don’t start intensive sleep training (i.e. cry-it-out) until your baby is at least 3 months old. It isn’t healthy to push your tiny baby into a sleep routine before she is developmentally ready. The above steps still apply to 0-3 month olds, but these little ones need to be reassured that mama will meet all their needs and make them feel safe when they will not sleep.
This may sound like an exhausting process, but the reward far outweighs the price! Your baby will learn self-coping strategies while you are providing emotional support for the transition. Go, mama!
For more support on babies and sleeping, see my Pinterest board (Parenting Pins).
How do you get your baby to sleep? Share with me by commenting below!
Love, Emily XOXO