You roll over and look at the clock. “Every 45 minutes. This child has GOT to sleep through the night!”
Been there, done that… times four.
When Lira was four months old, the longest stretch of sleep she would have is 45 minutes. That was the longest. The shortest stretch… well, let’s suffice to say that the baby did not like cold sheets.
We tried everything but as new parents, we really had no idea what we were doing.
Browsing the bookshelves in a desperate search for answers (and some much needed Zzzzzzzzs), I stumbled upon The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley. This book saved my life.
For those of you who want immediate solutions, I will boil the book down to some simple steps for you. However, you need to read this book in its entirety.
- Track your baby’s patterns closely.
- Fit naps and bedtime to what your baby wants based on the patterns you tracked.
- Create your plan based of her suggestions that fits your family and helps your child to sleep through the night.
Regardless of whether your child is four months old or four years old, this book will help you but only if you are willing to commit to do what it takes.
With each of our children, when I was finally ready to tackle the sleep problem and get it solved, it only took about one week to get the child sleeping through the night. Using the book, we chose to:
- Establish a bedtime routine that was the same (and still is) every night.
- Put the baby to bed while awake.
- Go to the baby immediately when he or she cries out.
- Resist picking the baby up.
- Say the key words, “Go night-night.”
- Roll the baby to his or her side and pat his bottom.
- Leave the room when the baby calms or needs to cry for about five minutes.
As a last resort, when we were just too exhausted to function, we would revert to rocking the baby to sleep, but our persistence would pay off.
For particularly stubborn children, we would let them cry up to eight excruciatingly long minutes… with Bill holding me by the arm. I would then pick the baby up and stand next to the crib, rocking the child in my arms until he calmed down and then put the baby back to bed and repeat.
Now, our children go to bed, put themselves to sleep and stay asleep until morning (unless the baby is teething or a child is sick or a toddler wets the bed). Unfortunately, after teaching four children to sleep, my body is programmed to wake.
This post is linked with love at the Mommy Club.