No time for a video? Here are some highlights:
- You can't MAKE your baby sleep and that's OK. You can HELP and support, but that's it.
- Babies can't read and don't know they are "supposed" to be sleeping at/for a given time. Books give averages, but there is a wide range of normal.
- It's NORMAL for babies to wake up a lot, and actually reduces SIDS risk in infants.
- The books I read scared me into thinking that my child needed more sleep than he was getting because he needed to process new information. Some kids need less sleep than others, so as long as your child is happy, they're probably just fine.
- Things that interrupt sleep: teething, illness, developmental and mobility milestones (especially crawling and walking), full moons (wish I was kidding).
- Co-sleeping, bed-sharing, and nursing side-lying were the only way I got any sleep. My son happily moved into his own room at 20 months and is still nursing.
- Starting my night in the guest room and having my husband help the baby back to sleep, or having my husband give him a bottle of pumped milk after 3am also helped me catch up on sleep.
- Seriously, take a nap with the baby, or have a friend come play with the baby for an hour or two while you sleep. People want to help you.
- Wear your baby so they can nap on the go, or at least you have two hands to get things done.
- Change your mindset from "My child SHOULD be sleeping right now" to asking if your child NEEDS to be sleeping right now. They need to build up enough sleep pressure to help them stay asleep.
- My son dropped to 1 nap by his 1st birthday, and stopped napping around his 2nd. He still naps occasionally during growth spurts and developmental leaps, but he sleeps WORSE at night if he has a nap.
Some resources I mention in the video:
- Frequently Asked Questions about Co-Sleeping from Dr. James McKenna
- Safe Co-Sleeping Guidelines from Dr. James McKenna
- Normal Infant Sleep, Part 1 from Evolutionary Parenting
- What Every Sleep Deprived Mother Really Needs to Know from Pinky McKay
- 36 amazing topical webinar recordings on infant and toddler sleep from Isis Parenting - these saved me as a new mom
These books helped me understand baby sleep, or came highly recommended:
- The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night by Elizabeth Pantley
- The No-Cry Nap Solution: Guaranteed Gentle Ways to Solve All Your Naptime Problems by Elizabeth Pantley
- The Sleep Lady®'s Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy