Solutions to help baby sleep (What works for you?)
A must-have book for sleep-deprived parents is parent-educator Elizabeth Pantley’s ‘The No-cry Sleep Solution‘. I am reading it right now, in hopes of being able to gently train our baby-on-the-way to sleep better. I don’t think Pantley suggests doing much to alter a newborn’s sleep patterns; he or she usually needs to sleep, eat, pee and poop on his or her own schedule and we parents needs to just go with the flow, as tough as it is.
When it comes to older babies, though, Pantley swears by the method she has developed and used successfully with two of her own children (the two who were the worse sleepers of her four). It seems that, until recently, there were two methods for dealing with babies’ sleep cycles and awakenings during the night: the Ferber ‘cry it out’ approach, and its opposite, parents being slaves to their babies’ disruptive sleeping patterns without trying to alter them at all. Pantley’s philosophy, as explained through her book, offers tips fro training your older baby to be a better sleeper and eventually sleep through the night. One of her ideas is to allow your baby to eat or suck until he or she is sleepy but not entirely asleep, then gently remove the nipple from his/her mouth. This will teach your baby to disassociate falling asleep from breast- (or bottle-) feeding and instill the capability of being able to fall back asleep by him/herself. The book is a no-cry, compassionate and gentle guide to bringing sanity back to sleep-deprived households.
I wish I’d read it before having my first two babies, several years ago. From what I’ve been reading and learning, I recommend it to any expectant or new parent. I plan on reporting back as to how the method works for me, after my baby is born and old enough to be taught better sleep habits. (Unless, of course, I have one of those rare babies who actually sleeps starting an unbelievably early age! I wasn’t that lucky the first two times!).
Since starting to read the ‘No-Cry’ sleep book, I have been on a quest to make this next journey into baby-parenting a saner, less sleep-deprived one. I have found several products which are supposed to calm babies and help them sleep, as listed below:
Products or gift ideas to soothe baby (and bring peace to parents) include the Twilight Turtle by Cloud B. Featured on Babyscholars.com, it is the first and only plush planetarium. It attaches to baby’s crib and projects a starry night sky onto the room’s walls and ceiling. It is an educational toy which contains 8 actual constellations, to be enjoyed when baby is older.
Also from Babyscholars, is the Sleep Sheep, which attaches to baby’s crib and plays soft sounds from nature as well as the sound of a mother’s heart beat. For napping babies during outings, there is also a smaller Sleep Sheep on the Go. The company’s Lavender Lab has packets of organic lavender inside the plush dog’s head; lavender is known for its calming effects.
Sleeplullabies.com offers a parent-acclaimed collection of baby CDs. The albums are used to calm babies in hospital nurseries around the country. They include the white noise, vacuum sounds and fan sounds editions, among others. Every lullaby and nursery rhyme album incorporates soothing white noise and sounds from nature, including ocean waves and mother’s heart beat.
I am determined to have baby # 3 be less of a night time challenge than my other two kids?I do have two busy older boys to look after and I am older, myself (and more tired!). I will discuss my successes and problems with this baby’s sleep when I have something noteworthy to report. In the meantime, I’d love to hear everyone’s tips for getting their babies to sleep better. Please share!