The question we get most often with a newborn is “does he sleep well?”
**If you are currently the parent of a newborn you may not want to read further. Proceed at your own peril.
Simon is a fabulous nighttime sleeper! We are so very thankful. In fact, right after praying for a healthy baby we prayed for a good sleeper. God does answer prayer! I do not do well without a lot of sleep – so him sleeping well is the only thing that gives me a shot at being a decent parent during the day.
The first two weeks with Simon were good, but he did get up a lot during the night. Then, at two weeks he moved to a consistent schedule of waking for food about midnight and again at 4ish. Then, at 5 weeks, he dropped the 4am feed – so yes, he’s been sleeping through the night since 5 weeks.
Even more surprising to me than his ability to sleep through is his amazing consistency. When he work at 4 it was only once – and always right around 4. Since his first night of sleeping through he has NEVER woke in between going down after his midnight feed and 7ish. Once he slept through he has ALWAYS slept through.
So, how did this happen? First of all we’re blessed with a naturally good sleeper. We have ‘broken’ lots of the ‘rules’ of starting good sleep habits – but we have helped with a few principles.
- In the early days we always woke him to feed at least every 3 hours. While a long daytime nap would have been great we would set our alarm, then wake him to eat. I’m convinced this got him to only one nighttime feed pretty quickly.
- We encourage feeding during the day. One of the principles in the books we’ve read that makes total sense is that if baby gets plenty of calories during the day he needs fewer at night. We always encourage him to finish his evening feeds – so he doesn’t wake up with an empty tummy.
- We swaddle him. This keeps his arms from flailing about. When he naps during the day his arms flap about like crazy – so I’m convinced the consistent swaddling helps keep him from waking himself up at night.
- We don’t use a baby monitor. Simon is a really noisy baby. He ‘talks’ all day and makes all sorts of noise at night. We only kept him in our room for a few nights – we weren’t getting ANY sleep – so we put him in his cot in his room at an early stage. Steve put the monitor in our room and I took it out after one night. If he really needs us he is quite capable of letting us know without the monitor. If you hear the fusses it is hard to resist going to check, but time has shown that Simon almost always can settle himself back down.
All this is super, but as well as he sleeps at night he is not great during the day. He sleeps quite a bit, if you add it all up, but they are short little catnaps – and usually start in my arms. After grandma and grandpa visits are done I’ll work on setting him down for more regular ‘naps’ in his cot or in his basket. BUT I am not complaining – I get a solid night.
**Parents of newborns who aren’t sleeping through the night, you have our sympathy…but please don’t hurt us – we told you not to read any further.