I spend hours everyday discussing sleep and all that surrounds sleep for small humans most days.
For some new parents it becomes an obsession just like when you thought that expensive MIMCO wallet would complete you and make you so much happier.
Having a two week old baby would make many new parents sell that MIMCO purse for a full nights sleep.
But alas sleep like most things comes and goes……
It is easy for many people to say ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’.
As true as that statement is sometimes that pile of dishes is really annoying you and the thought of having something done brings you much joy- so just do them.
SO back to sleep and babies!
Why do babies just stop sleeping at that 2-3 week mark??
Do they suddenly hate their bed, swaddle, air flow from the air con, light in the hallway or you…?
The simple answer is that they realise you come and go!
Yep newborns really aren’t that clever- they actually didn’t realise until week 2-3 that you came and went and put them in a bed.
So NO it is not the bed, swaddle, air con, food you ate, being cuddled too much- it is that THEY changed.
So how can we change them back I hear you say!
The easiest way to look at this common problem is to trick them 🙂
Yep make them think you never left!
The simple principles of this is-
1-When you cuddle them you hold them tight (like a firm wrap or swaddle)
2- When they lay on your chest they hear your heart beat (mimic this with a pat, rock over a bump, noise like a heart beat)
3- Motion – rock them especially if they are a bit cranky this will confuse them so they have to shut there eyes!
4- Suck- some babies have spent months sucking a thumb or find great comfort in sucking. So to get them off your boob you might replace you with a dummy.
Each little human is different and they will find some things more effective than others.
Eg- if your human doesn’t like sucking for comfort a dummy won’t work. Or if they hate motion rocking the pram will make things worse.
So try not to use a perfect formula and see what works for your human.
the other key point is this takes TIME!
Yep it will take repeating the same thing a least 10 times for the baby to even realise you are repeating something.
So be patient realise you are teaching you baby what there bed is as all they have ever known is you (inside your belly).
This can be a struggle time for new parents but realise it is a normal change and most often unsettled periods at 2-3 weeks are because your small human is tired. As you can remember from pregnancy being tired can affect everything you do. Your baby needs sleep to grow, learn, digest and be happy. SO don’t feel mean by helping them to learn to sleep in their bed you are actually teaching them that they are safe and you will come back and tend to what ever they need when they need it-but everyone will function better with a bit of sleep.
My final point on all of this is- there is no perfect solution for sleep and settling. It takes time and adjustment. The structured sleep and settling routines can drive you up the wall and ruin your confidence. You new little baby is so new to this world they need time to adjust and realise what is happening. So don’t try for this perfect routine someone told you about as it probably won’t work. We don’t encourage strong routines for the first six months as there are many changes and there isn’t a one size fits all approach. Be kind to yourself and think one day this will pass- and you will sleep again for longer than 3 hours