During my 5 years as a sleep professional, I’ve gotten used to people asking me what the “secret” is to getting a baby to sleep through the night.
A question I get a lot when working with families, I've been working through your suggestions for about a week now, but I'm having a really hard time keeping my baby awake through her feed at the bedtime routine. What can I do?"
I get asked often, “Is a swaddle a prop? Is it useful? Where do you stand on a swaddle?” Swaddling a newborn can be an excellent tool. It mimics the feeling of confinement that they experienced in the womb. It can be very comforting to a lot of newborns. I used a swaddle bag with my Son, now you get a Groswaddle which is fab. . It took away the worry of 'doing it wrong', 'overheating', 'too tight', 'hip dysplasia or dislocation' or any of the worries brought out in the 2011 Study by the National Resource Center on Child and Health Safety (NRC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) about swaddles.
Swaddles can be very helpful for a newborn in getting them calm, of course you should use your common sense and any guidelines on how to swaddle safely or use a swaddle bag safely.
This week I wanted to talk a bit about the bedtime routine, and the number one thing to consider as your baby grows when creating a bedtime routine.
Lots of parents who use dummy's feel a twinge of guilt the first time they stick a pacifier in their baby’s mouth. However, dealing with a screaming infant in the grocery line or on a long car trip will make most parents try just about anything they can think of to calm the child down! I found them so helpful in those early days - but when does it start to impact things?
So, perhaps that’s a bit of a misleading title.
I’m not suggesting that you can remove yourself from baby’s bedtime routine altogether. Even if you could somehow say to your child, “Alright. It’s almost bedtime. Go have a bath, brush your teeth, get into your PJs, read yourself a story and tuck yourself in. Mommy will be out here watching The Bachelor with a glass of wine if you need me.”
Even if we could pull that off, I don’t know a single mother that would actually enjoy removing themselves from the routine. (Well, maybe once a week.)
Truth be told, I love putting my kids to bed. Watching them play in the bath, getting them
dressed in their warm, fuzzy pyjamas, cuddling and reading stories, I wouldn’t trade that for all the wine and trash TV in the world.
But the issue that I see with most parents whose babies won’t sleep through the night takes place after their little one gets into bed.