How to Put Your Baby to Sleep

Infant sleep is a hot topic for new parents… and understandably so. I’ve always been an eight-hour-a-night gal. No all-nighters for me in college… not even with no-doze, coffee, etc. So it was with much delight that I celebrated my firstborn’s sleeping through the night at seven weeks! Good girl!

On a friend’s recommendation, I bought On Becoming Baby Wise. It’s tauted on Amazon as “The Classic Sleep Reference Guide Used by 1,000,000 parents.” But it wasn’t that plug that sold me as much as the fact that I trusted my friend’s opinion and… being Practical… it was a pretty THIN book.

The basic message of the Baby Wise method is… (drum-roll, please!): PDF… a.k.a. Parent-Directed Feeding. It’s a system that balances structure and flexibility so that Mommy provides love, security AND a routine… based on feeding at regular intervals and thus, helping baby’s body to develop his/her own internal clock.

The book starts off with a lot of statistics… of mother’s using the PDF method, 88% breast-feed. Of these mommies, 80% of them breast-feed exclusively, 70% still breast-feeding at six months. But the critical piece of info for me was, “The average breast-fed PDF baby sleeps continuously through night seven to eight hours between weeks seven and nine.” YES! Glorious sleep!

As an expectant mom, I was quite anxious about how this was all going to play out. I was bound and determined that she would fall into that category. Did you hear that, sweet angel girl… seven to nine weeks! Luckily for me and my sweet , she was of the inclination to agree.

I remember going to a party on New Year’s Eve, exactly seven weeks after she was born! And waking up the next day at 7 am.

So make that 999,999 other parents and ME! I can recommend Baby Wise and sleep through the night myself!

Now I will add a caveat… this is not a solo mission you are on, my friend. Baby has something to say about the matter!

After comparing baby sleep notes with my playgroup colleagues, I noticed something: every single mom SWORE by a different sleep method! One friend was actually a patient of the famed Dr. Marc Weissbluth, author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. His book did not fit my criteria, i.e., it was THICKER!

But she swore up, down and sideways that THIS was the way to go. I stuck to my guns… until, well… baby #2!

My second… let’s just say that he has always had his own agenda. His agenda did NOT include following the Baby Wise method. His method was more along the lines of… I will sleep happily as long as I am on your chest otherwise, all bets are off… for six months!

Oh yes, this is when crazy things happen. These are called the long dark nights of the soul! Then we also realized that he had chronic eczema and he was basically crawling out of his skin. Soooooo sorry about that, buddy!

But we made it! And now we have another super angel who contentedly falls asleep on his own and rarely wakes up in the night. It is possible.

The lesson here, my friend is that every family and every baby is different. What works well for one may not for another. Co-sleeping worked great for my dear friend but was NOT going to work for me. The Furber method worked for another girlfriend, but NOT for me. Baby Wise worked for my first baby, but NOT for the second.

So how is one to know what will work and what won’t. You don’t. You just have to try them all. ALL? You say… that’s like thousands of pages of reading material! You’re right, it is. But I found a better way.

I found Chris Towley of Baby Sleep Solutions. I listened to his audio program on infant sleep and I thought, “Has this man been eavesdropping on my mommy playgroups?!” Maybe so, which proves that it’s mommies that have the real answers to all dilemmas in the known universe including, “How the h__ do I get my baby to sleep through the night!”

Briefly, I love that fact that it’s an audio program. So you can download it to your iPod or MP3 player IMMEDIATELY. Listen to it while you are folding laundry or strolling around the neighborhood or making dinner. Forget the thousands of pages of books, my dear! It’s 34 minutes of distilled pure, useful advice.

And you can do it NOW… you know, let’s get this sleep party started! Not tomorrow night, TONIGHT!

Chris’ “method” is a much better articulated version of my own idea: there is NOT one-size-fits-all solution! His audio program gives you a laundry list of quick tips as well as comprehensive methods for infant sleep that you can use alone or in combination, based on the temperament of your baby and your own mommy-sense.

That’s why I whole-heartedly recommend his Baby Sleep Solution program, because he allows YOU to listen to your intuition to determine what your baby needs. After all, YOU are Mommy! You know what your baby needs. As a mommy, I know that I need… SLEEP!

Comments

  1. The picture under “how to put your baby to sleep” shows a baby sleeing on his side; which is unsafe! Babies need to be placed on their backs only – for every period of sleep. Babies placed on their sides have a 2 x greater risk of SIDS.
    This is extremely important information for every new parent! Having worked with bereaved families for over 12 years, I must say it is imperative for parents to follow the easy risk reduction recommendations, in order to ensure that every baby survives and thrives! The ABC”s of safe sleep are that babies must sleep alone, on their backs, in their cribs! These recommendations are endorsed by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

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  2. i used bolsters that velcroed to a blanket and did side-sleep my little ones and my doctor was fine with it. it actually helps their digestion if you side sleep babies on their left side as this is the side the stomach is on and it aids digestions / prevents irritation of the digestive enzymes coming out to irritate…

    i have to say, working with colicy babies as a PT and infant massage instructor, i even know of some docs that have approved tummy sleeping for certain infants with the use of a SIDS monitor to make sure they are breathing… lots of ways… important to know the facts but then to be able to work with your circumstances, child, doctor… etc. thanks for the info on the sleep ABC’s.

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