I’m not sure if I’ve just been extremely lucky or if getting baby to sleep through the night because of a routine has worked, but either way, having baby on a routine is good for mama and good for baby.
Starting six years ago, I did a lot of research on getting baby to sleep through the night as almost all of my sister’s babies (15 children at that point!) had slept through the night by 3 months old. I was hoping that between my research and what they were telling me, and possibly sleep just being in the genetics of the family (if that’s even possible) would help get my babies to sleep through the night.
I remember the first weeks of my first-born newborn like it was yesterday. I was exhausted, I was emotional, and I couldn’t remember things to save my life. Luckily my husband helped me remember the routine I had made for baby and helped me stick to it.
One of the hardest parts of this first baby was that she loved to suck on things and when it was nursing time, she acted as though she never had enough food. She also had jaundice which meant that her skin was yellow and she needed to be on a bilibed that provided lights to help the yellow tone go back to a normal color. Along with that, it was essential that Emily was getting enough fluids to help flush her body. It was overwhelmingly stressful as I felt as though I was not producing enough milk for nursing. I remember well the nights I stayed up, sitting on the couch, in tears that I couldn’t feed my baby. Fortunately for me, I was able to supplement with formula to help keep my baby happy.
Luckily Gerber provides supplementing options, such as the Gerber® Good Start® Stage 1 Gentle for Supplementing Infant Formula. It is designed to supplement breastmilk. It also has Comfort Proteins® that are small and easy for tiny tummies to digest and probiotics. It has helped comfort my babies when they have needed it the most.
A Routine for Baby
I can tell you that it really helps me as a mom get through the day with a baby.
First, always keep baby awake after feedings. For newborns especially, it is really hard to keep them awake after a feeding but it helps. By keeping them awake after a feeding, it helps them to sleep better later on. Singing, reading, or talking to baby is useful in keeping them awake. Depending on the age, allow them to stay awake anywhere from 30-120 minutes. The older they get, the longer they will be able to stay awake. As it is hard to give a definite amount of time to keep them awake, keep baby awake until they show signs of getting sleepy.
Second, I have always allowed baby to sleep until they woke up or for up to 2 hours. I make sure that during the day, there was still light in the room. If it is night time, I make sure it is dark. I want to make sure that there is a definite difference between a nap during the day that is short and sleeping at night when it is dark.
Third, I always keep baby awake during feedings. If baby starts falling asleep, I’ll tickle their chin or feet or sit them up until they wake up. It’s hard to wake a sleeping baby, especially one that looks so adorable in a drunken state from milk, but it’s necessary that baby finishes the feeding in one go so that you can keep your routine and know when feedings will be. Feeding multiple times during one “cycle” isn’t helpful for baby or for mama.
So the cycle as is follows:
- Baby eats
- Baby stays awake to play
- Baby naps
Important things to remember:
- Keep baby awake during feedings
- Keep baby awake during play time
- Play time ends when baby is feeling tired
- Keep it light during the day and dark at night for sleeping
To help supplement baby’s feedings, I found Gerber® Good Start® Stage 1 Gentle for Supplementing Infant Formula at Target. These samples (pictured above) were also sent to me to help keep baby happy! Find a Target Cartwheel offer for your next Gerber formula purchase here. This offer is good from September 4-17, 2016.
What has worked to help keep your baby happy?