Sep 4, 2009

Sleep Suggestions #2

Continued from yesterdays post...

Here are some tips that are supposed to help your baby sleep longer:

(1) Bedtime routine - huge supporter of this. Our routine is bath-boob-bed. We go upstairs at 8-9ish, no lights, no tv, just quiet. After a bath, Jane gets a massage and then her boob. Usually she falls asleep on the boob or I'll rock her to sleep... apparently big no-nos when it comes to creating good sleeping habits - pick your battles. I'll deal with the consequences of those actions when I'm not a zombie, thank you very much. I think the most important thing about the bedtime routine is that it establishes the difference between day and nighttime sleeping.

(2) Choose a well-lit area for your baby's naps - In line with a bedtime routine, I think it makes sense to have a separate sleeping area for daytime naps and nighttime sleeps. This way, once again, baby knows that nighttime means longtime! :p

(3) Increase daytime feeds - I tried this and - what the heck?!?! How the heck am I supposed to make her eat more than she wants? I tried this for a day with two results - (1) she was pissed at me when I tried to feed her and she wasn't hungry and (2) she didn't sleep any better that night. So I gave up!

(4) Ensure baby empties your boob - This is an important one. The milk at the "end" of your boob (hindmilk) is fattier and thicker than your foremilk. My hindmilk is like cream and my foremilk is like watered-down skim milk. When baby drinks the hindmilk, it keeps them fuller longer and, thus, asleep longer.

(5) Keep the evening calm - duh. See my routine re: no lights, no tv, etc. If you are overstimulating your babe in the evening and during nighttime feeds, you're not helping your cause - you're just extending the time it takes you to get them to/back to sleep.

(6) Feed baby in a darkened room at night - I did this without knowing it was a known tip (obviously, I'm a genius :p). Just use your common sense. Do you get tired in a bright room with the tv on? Scratch that, did you get tired in a bright room with the tv on pre-baby?

(7) Avoid nighttime diaper changes (unless necessary - i.e. poop) - it took me 8 weeks to figure this one out on my own. In the beginning, I was changing Jane's diaper every time she woke up at night and, never fail, she would fully wake up vs. the "I'm hungry and my eyes are barely open" wake up. It was taking me an hour to feed and get her back to sleep because of this. Now, I don't change her unless she poops her diaper and she doesn't poop her diaper until she wakes up in the morning. It takes me 15 mins to feed her and put her back down - which sounds better to you?

A lot of the above tips are common sense but sometimes our Mommy Brain prevents us from catching on right away.

Hopefully this tips will help you get a few extra minutes sleep or will confirm that you're on the right track for getting there eventually!

Jen :)

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1 comment:

Angelene said...

Hey - good suggestions!!

We've also discovered that putting Abby back into a cold bed after a feed makes her wake up again, so now when I get ready for a feed I put a warm water bottle in her spot and wrap her blankets all around it.

Once she's ready to hit the hay again her bed is all nice and cozy and she does not startle or wake at all. Spoiled already!