When I first had my son, he would wake up in the middle of the night, only once. I wouldn’t even have to get out of bed, because he slept in a cradle next to me. I would pull him into bed, stick him on a boob and he would be out cold again within seconds. You’re not supposed to let your child sleep in bed with you, but if it works it works.
When I stopped breastfeeding, my son would not fall asleep without a bottle in his mouth. No, you’re not supposed to prop a baby up with a bottle, but if it works it works. If you are going to try this, make sure it is necessary and follow a few important guidelines.
If your baby is already falling asleep while eating, but whenever you set them down they wake up, then try this:
Lay your baby in a car seat. Cover them with a blanket. They will probably be fussy while you do this, but they are still sleepy so it’s ok.
Using a pillow or another blanket, prop the bottle at a 45 degree angle or higher, so the baby is not getting any air.
Be sure there is no more than and 1 and ½ ounces left, or the baby will wake up from being gassy.
If necessary, rock the car seat to mimic a car ride. Once baby is asleep or bottle is gone, quickly switch with a pacifier.
The car seat is another wonderful thing, because some babies just won’t sleep flat on their back unless they are curled up in bed with you. It’s much easier to break a child out of sleeping in a car seat than it is to break a child out of sleeping in bed with you.
The point is that regardless of what the doctors say, you need to trust your instinct and follow what you know works. If you are comfortable with it, then do it.
If your baby is teething, it will not get drunk if you rub some whiskey on the gums to numb it!
With the risk of SID (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) some parents can overwhelm themselves with fear and paranoia. I wouldn’t suggest putting a baby to sleep on their stomach. But then again, my baby isn’t more comfortable on his stomach.
When you first have a baby, you may notice how in tune you are with your baby’s needs or desires. When they cry, you know why they are crying. If you don’t recognize this intuitive connection, then don’t feel bad… but follow the advice your doctor gives you. My advice all comes from the same point, that you can trust the instinct that tells you what your baby needs!
If your baby is not falling asleep while you feed him at night:
You may be letting him nap too much during the day. A baby does need a certain amount of sleep, but if they sleep too much during naps, they will not get the majority of their sleep when you need yours – at night.
You may need to establish a different routine. Give your baby a bath every night, then play with them for a half hour or more, then give them a bottle. (It does not need to be in a certain order.)
The key is to get your baby to exert all his energy, and then when the baby is wearing out, give them a pacifier or a bottle to relax them even more!
Feeding at bed time is always helpful, because baby will sleep much better if they have a full belly. For that reason, I also go against the doctors and recommend using a small amount of cereal in the bed time bottle. (Never do this before the baby is 3 1/2 months old!)
Teaching your children to sleep all night is a very frustrating process. Hopefully, one of the parents (usually the mommy) does not work, so (s)he can stay home and take care of the baby during the day. If this is the case, it is very exhausting and you are not being selfish for needing to sleep. There is nothing wrong with needing your baby to sleep through the night.
If you have to, nap when your baby naps throughout the day. If you are a stay at home parent, then your schedule can match your baby’s schedule. It is not necessary or recommended to make your schedule fit your baby’s. It is much better to set a schedule for your baby.
Play with your baby often through out the day. Spend time with them, but also give them time alone to play without you. Allow them to use their own imagination or curiosity with toys in a safe setting.
It is not possible to ‘spoil’ a baby!
As I am challenging the popular belief, I first must be more specific. It is possible to spoil a baby by giving them too much attention. Do not hold a baby more than they need to be held! When a baby cries because they want to be held, you should never let them cry it out. They need to learn to trust that you are going to be there for them, to comfort them.
It is neglectful to let your baby cry because he “just wants to be held”. Love is a need, not a want. Your baby will cry much more if you don’t hold him when he wants to be held.
At the same time, you should not hold your baby more than your baby needs to be held! This can be exhausting for you, because you are giving more attention than is necessary. This will also increase the baby’s need to be held, or loved, because as you decrease your attention, the baby will feel abandoned.
Letting your baby watch TV :
Young babies like bright colors. If it keeps them happy and content, a little TV is okay. Put on some bright cartoons with soothing voices and your baby will either laugh or fall asleep… either way they will be content. Don’t over do it!!!
No matter what age your child is, too much TV is a problem. Shutting the TV off will quickly improve short term memory, attention span, and focus. ( Warning : this may lead to an improvement of grades in school age children!)
Here are some final tips to incorporate into a bed time routine.
1.) Read to them. The sound of your voice can relax them to sleep. Read children’s books, magazines, cereal boxes, whatever you can find.
2.) Go for a drive. Usually it only takes one trip around the block and you can leave the baby right in the car seat.
3.) As a last resort, occasionally let your baby sleep with you in your bed. The key word is occasionally, and this should really be used as a last resort.
4.) Pile a lot of play time into one sitting. Pass the baby around between both parents (if only one parent is present; that is okay too.) Play airplane, flying baby, upside down baby, tummy time, silly faces, peek a boo, etc. Get baby laughing and happy for about an hour before making a bed time bottle. It is very important for baby to release any extra energy before falling asleep if you don’t want a baby who wants to play at 4 in the morning when you want to sleep.
5.) Put on some music, hold the baby close against you so they can rest their head comfortably one your shoulder, and dance with them. Be sure to make long circling motions, and a lot of rocking sideways. This movement calms even the fussiest baby.