After a few weeks of inconsistent sleep, I was desperate for help & advice on how to help my baby sleep because I needed to sleep! This led to a lot of middle-of-the-night amazon purchases for anything that I thought might help her, as well as scouring Pinterest for hours at a time for any tip we could try. In hindsight, I found the following things to be most impactful:
1. Consistent wake up time
When I went back to work, Kenley started going to a private sitter each day. Since my husband & I both leave the house at 6am each morning, this means she consistently is woken up at 5:30-5:45 each morning. Within a week of her going to the sitter I noticed she was sleeping for longer stretches at night.
While I was on maternity leave, we didn’t follow any type of schedule, and at the time I thought that was best. I believed you shouldn’t wake a sleeping baby, and that she would give me signs when she was sleepy/ready for a nap. I still believe those things to a certain extent, but I think establishing a routine is important because then babies know what/when to expect.
2. Use sleep cues
I have two sleep cues I use with Kenley: sleep machine and lavender. When I started researching how to get my newborn to sleep better, I was overwhelmed with ideas and advice that seemed to be all over the place. I didn’t know who to listen to and nothing I was trying seemed to be helping. I think my problem was a lack of consistency, I would try something for a night or two and if I didn’t notice improvement, I would quit and try something else. At around 3 months old I decided to implement a sleep routine, I planned to do it every single night for the next two weeks and see if I saw any improvements. I wanted it to be something that was simple and could be done no matter where we were.
I spray lavender essential oil spray in Kenley’s room every night when I lay her down. I use Lavender Linen and Room Spray, Made with Pure Lavender Essential Oil, Natural Pillow Spray, Relaxing Home Fragrance, Sleep Spray, and Bathroom Spray“>this one from amazon. We have the hatch, which you can find Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise“>here, also from amazon. It’s very user friendly, when turned off and then back on it will automatically return to the previous sound, noise & light level. This was a very handy feature once I found which light/noise level combination worked best for Kenley. We currently do white noise at 23% & the color orange for the light at 8%.
Implementing these steps did not have Kenely magically sleeping through the night instantly, but the more consistent I was as time went on, I saw big improvements. I hope this helps other desperate-for-sleep mommas like I was!