Welcome back to another week of the “Share Your Story” series. Last week we had Rosie from A Rosie World sharing her story on juggling parenting life when one of you travels for work. This week I have the very lovely Kelly-Anne from Mimi Rose and Me sharing her story on how she successfully got her little lady to sleep through the night! (I hope there’s some tips on getting them to lie-in in here!!)
Mimi Rose and Me
I’m so excited to be guest posting for the lovely Jo today. With that I’d like to introduce myself, my name is Kelly-Anne and I blog over at Mimi Rose and Me, where I share all the adventures about my life with my beautiful family who are always following the fun. I will blog about almost anything that I need to voice my opinion on, along with general ramblings, food related posts, best beauty buys and even parenting tips. But I will say that this is a continuous learning curve and one that I will probably continue to do so from here on out. Anyway I think I have rambled on enough, so let’s get back to my post.
Getting Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night
If you have or are struggling to get your baby into a routine or just want to make life with a new-born a little easier, then you have come to the right place. Why don’t you go and stick the kettle on, stay a while because I am going to share all my secrets in how I got my daughter into a routine at six weeks old.
After what seemed like forever we were finally holding our daughter and immediately fell in love, we were so happy that we had become a family of three. Those first few days as new parents was so overwhelming. The emotions that you go through in those early days are tough, feeling sheer exhaustion one minute to feeling total elation the next. Our daughter came into the world and turned our life upside down and right side up again. We didn’t mind of course, but this little person will depend on us. I do feel as a first time parent it can take some time to adjust to your new life, but I think one thing that many new parents forget is that your baby is probably experiencing the same feelings as you. But I can assure you that this does eventually change, all the adjustments you make soon become normality.
But in the midst of normality there is one thing that I am afraid for some, doesn’t become easier. And that’s sleep. Some of us will be lucky and get a great little sleeper who sleeps through before they can walk, whilst others get a night owl who is awake for the best part of two years! I’m afraid it does happen. Now if you are one of those parents who have a little night owl, I feel for you, I really do. But I am also very sorry to say, not in a smug way, but my little one started to sleep through at six weeks old. But I’m not here to tell you that we were fortunate enough to have her sleeping through straight away. It was hard graft, that’s for sure. I can wholeheartedly say that both my husband and I worked so hard with our daughter and believe that establishing a routine as soon as you can helped her sleep through. Being the good person I am I want to share all my secrets with you. I have written a complete guide for you to use in order to establish a routine with your little one, and one that actually works. So if you want to sleep again, then please read on…
Why should you get your baby into a routine?
Before I share all my secrets with you, there’s one thing that we should all consider. Why should you get your baby into a routine? Apart from the most obvious – to get sleep. There are actually so many benefits in getting your baby into a routine as soon as possible. Let’s just sit here and think what we are like when an alarm doesn’t go off, if you’re like me, you will feel completely off sync all day. I know that if my alarm doesn’t go off, I feel cheated by that blasted alarm. It’s not my fault that I am late to a meeting, or an appointment or to a very important coffee date with a friend. By getting your baby into a routine as soon as you are able to will give your baby a sense of security and even give your baby some comfort. When you’ve established the routine they know what to expect.
It will also come in handy when it comes to leaving your precious bundle of joy with your family or friends, they are able to help soothe the baby with the help of the established routine. They will know the difference from night and day and providing the don’t get too excited before bedtime will sleep through the night and be refreshed through the day. Even when it comes to traveling or holidays try to keep the routine in place, as some babies are unable to cope with different places and different people outside the comfort of their own home. With my daughter, she wouldn’t take to travel cots or different rooms too well. But I do have to say that with the help of the routine she began to feel at ease when we were away, unless separation anxiety rears its ugly head, but that’s a whole different post.
When should you start introducing your routine?
Like with most things, time is all you need. The early days of parenthood can be tough and you are just getting to know on another. You are trying to figure out what works best for you and trying to establish a routine on day two will just create an extra pressure that no new parent needs. It will not work. The early days is a time to figure out what it’s like to be a parent, being in complete awe of them and trying to catch up on sleep. Sleep deprivation is awful. For us we started to think about a routine in between 3 and 6 weeks old, anytime before that could be too much for the both of you.
What You Need to do Next!
Teaching your little one the difference between night and day…
With this one you can try to start this straight away. When your baby wakes up change their clothes. keep their feeds and nappy changes lively and fun. During the night, try to make all nappy changes and feeds quiet, feed with just a nightlight and give no eye contact WHATSOEVER, even though it will be hard to not want to stare at those beautiful blue eyes. Resist the temptation, you will understand why soon enough. It would also be an idea to purchase some black out curtains so when it comes to their night-time, no light comes through. I do have to say that this is one purchase for my new-born that wasn’t a waste.
Introduce a bedtime routine…
A good bedtime routine is the perfect end to the day for both you and your new-born. We all know how it feels to wind down, have a hot bubble bath, a cup of tea and read a book. So it will be the perfect end to the day for your baby. You could start introducing this in between 3 to 6 weeks old. This is the routine that we live by today and it’s never failed us, yet. Try introducing a bed time routine by using the four B’s
Understanding your baby’s cues…
This something that comes with time. So try to watch out for certain behaviours that will help you understand your baby and when they are tired, hungry or wet before they become too upset. At first it was so hard to understand my daughter’s different cries, but it did get easier. You could also set cues for your daily activities so your baby can learn and understand what to expect. So, for instance, putting a bib or muslin on will show then that it’s now mealtime. As I mentioned earlier behaviours such a dimming the lighting in the room, or getting your baby in their pyjamas will let them know that it’s bedtime and soon enough it will come naturally.
Growth spurts changes the routine…
I hate growth spurts with a passion just when I thought I was actually getting somewhere with a routine, dare I say, nailing it she would have a bloody growth spurt and we would have to start again. But this is not the case for every baby you may be lucky parents and if you are consistent and you may slip back into the routine with growth spurts. With my daughter during her growth spurts we would always try several changes but to stay within the margins that we set out in her routine.
Your baby will not always understand what you want them to do…
Remember they do not know what you want them to do but they will sense your mood straight away. So if you are becoming stressed your baby will too. So take a breath, relax and take a minute. Each baby is different and it won’t always run smoothly and there will be a few bumps along the way…but I think it makes it fun, right? Okay not so fun when you don’t sleep but the extra cuddles and kisses at night will make up for it. You will soon miss them when they are a little older! I know I do.
So there you have it everyone, my complete guide in getting your baby into a routine. It’s going to be hard work, lots of late nights and you will have no form of social life for some time, but soon enough your baby will sink into a routine that fits both you, your baby and your lifestyle.
Thank you Kelly-Anne for sharing your tips. Routine is so important for the little people and you’re right they aren’t little for long!
If you would like to more parenting tips, or make up suggestions then head over to Mimi Rose, you will not be disappointed!