HOW I GOT MY BABY TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT
This blog post contains matters that are not recommended for newborns or infants under 6 months old, but please don’t judge. We are aware of all the recommendations, but decided not to follow some of them – they are only recommendations at the end of the day. Nonetheless, our son’s well-being is the most important thing for us – so please bear in mind that all parents do whatever they feel best for their children.
In the first 7 weeks, Archie slept with me in the bedroom. We didn’t have a moses basket for him, so we co-slept. I made sure he has plenty of space around and there are no pillows or blankets near him. This was just easier for me as he was feeding every 1-2 hours at night while I was weak and recovering, so moving him from his cot to the bed to feed and back in his cot would have been too exhausting for me when he was feeding so often – I needed to rest too.
As he was being very noisy in his sleep at night and I couldn’t relax, my partner and I decided to move him to sleep on his own in his nursery room. I know this is not recommended until he is 6 months old, but we took all the necessary precautions. We had a baby monitor, a fan, white noise on, a swaddle blanket and absolutely nothing else but a mattress and fitted bedsheets in his crib – no bed bumpers, toys, pillows or blankets.
At 7 weeks, I started spacing out his feeding times to 2-3 hours, instead of 1-2 hours. Of course, if he would go through a growth spurt or if he was very hungry, I would feed him whenever he wanted. I never limit time on the breast either – when it’s feeding time, he can eat as much as he wants. We also started a bedtime routine for him, which we start at the same time every day. It consists of bath time, massage and lotions, swaddling, feeding, and if he is still fully awake, we read some bedtime stories and then in his crib he goes. I try to put him in his crib when he’s not fully asleep, just so he can manage to fall asleep by himself. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but that’s okay. I never let him cry it out though!
Since I’ve started to feed him on a schedule whilst following a bedtime routine, he stopped throwing up so much and he started sleeping for longer stretches at night. From the first night, he slept for 5 hours, woke up to eat once, and back to sleep for another 4-5 hours.
The only change we made was that when he was 13 weeks we started putting him to sleep earlier, at 8pm instead of 10.30pm. We also try to not let him sleep for longer than 4 hours in total during the day, but we never let him stay awake for longer than 2 hours as he then becomes overtired and overstimulated and it takes a long time and a lot of crying to make him fall asleep.
Our son is now over 15 weeks old and weighs 7.4 kg! That’s pretty much the weight of a 5-month-old. He is very active, growing well and sleeping well. He feeds around 6-7 times in the course of 24 hours and he now sleeps between 6-8 hours, feeds once, and sleeps again for a total of 10-11 hours during the night.
This is just what worked for us and still does – my partner and I have recovered our bedroom, we all sleep well and it’s much easier to care for our son during the day when us, as parents, are well-rested.