How to Get Your Baby to Sleep like a Baby

Congratulations on your new baby! Such a sweet little bundle of joy, it’s just heavenly isn’t it? At first any whimper will make you leap right out of bed in the middle of the night to attend to every need. In a few weeks though, you’re frigging tired. You need this little sweet pea to sleep on some kind of consistent basis so you can function. Let’s face it, coffee ain’t cutting it. The whole “sleep when the baby sleeps”, is crap. Especially if you have other kids, or a husband, or a job, etc. You feel like a zombie and need some sleep, like yesterday. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

Side note: this is not to be used in place of solid medical advice from your child’s pediatrician based off your child’s specific health needs or medical conditions.

I was Tired Once too

I am no sleep expert but I am the mother of five beautiful children, four of whom all slept through the night by 10 weeks old. This includes a set of twins, which happened to be the last pregnancy. Don’t get me started, thats a story for another time.

Notice how only four of my five slept through the night early on? Well its simple as to why, my first didn’t sleep well at all. In fact, she didn’t sleep through the night until she was about six months old, maybe a year. I can’t remember, it was a blur. Like many older siblings, she is the reason for the following sleep routine plan. I was not going to go sleepless for that long ever again. So from my second child on I started doing this routine at the suggestion of a more experienced mother. Thank God for her because it works!

For the first month or so every baby slept on my chest. I slept sitting up in a recliner or propped up on the couch. These snuggles are not only the sweetest moments that you will every have canoodling with that little angel, but remember how they were JUST inside your warm, safe, quiet, womb? They do and the outside world can be a pretty big adjustment. Ever step out of a sauna into a room that is 30 degrees cooler? It won’t take long before you need to warm up. Plus by sleeping on your chest, your baby can smell you, hear you breathe, maybe even faintly hear your heartbeat. Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, this sleeping situation will help your baby feel safe while transitioning to the outside world. Which will help YOU get some sleep.

Set a Nightly Routine

Consistency is key, vital in fact, for this part of the routine in order for it to work.

Start wherever you are but begin to establish a nightly routine. If you are consistently getting two hours of sleep out of the baby from 11pm to 1am. Start there. Every night at the same time, without fail, you need to make the following happen. Give the baby a nice warm bath. Don’t forget that they just came out of a nine month warm soak! This will be relaxing for the baby.  Give baby a little rub down to keep their skin soft. I think I used a bedtime lavender infused lotion but you can use any type of moisturizing lotion or cream after the bath. Next get baby all snuggled up in their jammies, swaddle them  and feed them. Whether it is bottle or breast doesn’t matter. Let them get a full belly. Think about it, wouldn’t you be sleepy after all that?

Now once baby begins to nod off, put them in their crib with whatever type of sleep aids, room darkening curtains, etc., you plan on using consistently to help them stay asleep. I had a small fan that provided white noise but wasn’t pointed at the baby.

Set the Tone for the Night

Once baby has nodded off into Sleepyville, then no more bright lights, no more loud voices in the nursery. Everything is about sleep from here until morning. Baby needs to eat again? No worries, feed them, burp them, and then back to the crib. Low/no lights, low voices, with little to no talking, all business. I only changed poop-y diapers at night, just wet waited until morning. As your baby gets older and grows then it will also be able to sleep longer, so now you have established a nighttime routine that leads to them in their cribs. As their length of sleep progresses, then so will yours!

Need to Change the Bedtime Start Time?

Once you get this going consistently for at least a week or two then you can gradually start moving bedtime forward by 30 minutes. 11pm was super late for us so we kept inching the ritual forward until we hit the bedtime that worked for us. Once the pattern is established and your baby knows what to expect, then you will have more control or the bedtime itself. As they start sleeping longer it will be easier too. First the routine is about establishing the ritual so the baby knows what to expect then you can play with the timing.

Deep breath and relax! You got this whole parenting thing!

Have more questions? Join our community at http://www.asleepbynine.com/jenny

Reiki – My First Experience

Chances are you have heard of Reiki, but do you really know what it is? Have you ever tried Reiki? Well I decided to give it a shot after seeing a post about a group session online. It read “Refocus, Recharge, and Refresh”, ummm yes please, I definitely need that!!

I attended a Women’s Spiritual Summit the week before that had taught me so much about myself and the healing power of energy. I felt compelled to learn more!

At the summit the week before we learned about the different Chakras, the areas of your body and your life that they represent and influence. We also did some meditation, a few freeing exercises that allowed us to free ourselves from negative memories or burdens, among other empowering activities. We all left feeling lighter and enlightened, so when I saw the invitation to a Reiki session I figured, “why not!?”. I felt like I had just jumped on the spiritual train, heading east!

To be bluntly honest, I had NO idea what it was or what to expect. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

I really had no idea what I was going to experience or any clue on even what to expect. Also, I would imagine that every Reiki experience itself is different, as is every Reiki master so don’t expect your first time to be just like mine.

When we all arrived, we were seated on yoga mats lined up along the floor. There were several candles all around the space, and we did some general introductions like you would anticipate in any group session. Then we were told to lay down on our mats. I wish I had brought a pillow, you’re welcome for that piece of information.

I laid down on my back and the instructors turned off the lights. It was almost solely candlelight now. Calming music was put on softly, we were instructed to calm our minds, listen to our bodies if we needed to change positions, and to just quietly, peacefully, thoughtfully relax our minds and bodies.

My Mind Wouldn’t Shut Up

If you know me at all then you know that my mind (and mouth) are almost always moving. Crazy thing was that it wasn’t the usual endless chatter that my mind produces and my mouth obediently spits out into the world. This was a different kind of chatter. It was a reflective type of chatter. I reviewed recent events, mindset shifts, and trying moments that had occurred in the past months. Things that had led me to now be lying on my back in a dark gym with nine other people wondering how the hell we got so far off track. Although my mind never stopped talking, she processed a lot of things during this reflective quiet. The meditation had taken away all the external influences that normally bombard her and she was able to truly reflect on how we came to be at this place in my life.

I Felt My Body Open Up

When I first laid down on the mat I had to put my knees up because it was killing my back. After several minutes of quiet meditation though I felt guided to straighten out my legs. I imagined roots extending from my feet pulling me firmly into the ground. Remember I have never done anything like this before so I was just following what felt right and guess what, my back didn’t hurt at all. Slowly, I felt my body becoming lighter, less tense, and less stressed. I began to relax in my hands, my feet, my face. I began to think of the things I wanted to invite into my life. The healing I wanted for my body and my mind began to seem more clear, intentional, and possible.

Enter the Reiki Master

I was laying there for quite some time and felt quite relaxed but I was wondering when it was actually going to start. I was in the middle of the room so I didn’t realize that they actually had started already. The Reiki masters went one by one to each person as they lay on the floor in their meditative states. Silently working with each of them. I didn’t know that was happening until they arrived at the people next to me.

Now it was my turn.

The Reiki master positioned herself at the top of my head. She placed her hands on my crown. I could feel the warmth of her touch but I didn’t feel anything in particular at that moment. She then worked through each chakra area applying the energy to each. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be feeling something. Then one chakra in particular gave me a very distinct response, it made me think very direct thoughts about the influence and power that chakra possessed. Its instruction was all very clear when she touched it. I had no doubt what it wanted me to know.

Post Reiki Vibrations

Given the little bit of knowledge I had gained the week before I already knew which chakras were my problem areas and which were more aligned. What I became aware of after the Reiki master moved away from me was that I felt and even “saw” vibrational planes (think rings of Saturn) surrounding my strongest chakras. It was an experience difficult to describe.

We were then told to start wiggling our fingers and toes to bring ourselves back to the present. I opened my eyes and felt very relaxed. I hadn’t realized just how deep in meditation I had become, since my mind was constantly churning until it came time to awaken.

Curious?

Everyone’s experience, and I imagine every session is different. As other’s in the group reflected on the experiences they had just felt, no two were the same. I walked away with a calm peaceful feeling and slept like a rock that night. If you are curious at all about trying Reiki then I highly recommend you give it a chance. If nothing else you get an hour of peaceful reflection, but I’m pretty sure that you will get more than that out of it.

 

Interested in learning more? Contact Reiki Master Georgina at http://www.bkiss.me/georgina.html