Baby, Motherhood

How I Got My Baby to Sleep Longer

My daughter has always been a great sleeper.  Addie was really just an easy baby in general.  I used to joke that since our first newborn experience was so easy, our next baby would really throw us for a loop.  Boy, was I right.  Our second child is completely different from how our first was.  Where she could sleep for 7-8 hours straight every night almost from the start, our two-month-old Noah would wake up about every 2 hours.  It was pretty rough.

After several weeks of very little sleep, I started to feel like I was going crazy.  I was basically only making it because of my BFF coffee.  Although I did also learn some really great ways to have way more energy without even relying on my favorite caffeine fix!  (Sorry, coffee, I’ll always love you though! <3 )

After pretty much going into survival mode because of my extreme lack of sleep, I’m very happy to say that our littlest one has been sleeping much better!  In fact, last night he was asleep for 7 hours straight!  I seriously did a happy dance when I looked at the clock.

Tips for getting baby to sleep longer at night so you can get some much needed rest!

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Here is how I got him to sleep longer so I could finally get some very much needed rest:

Bedtime Routine

I believe the most important thing that helped Noah sleep longer is having a good bedtime routine and being consistent with it.  Here’s the routine we have for him, and which we also did for Addie when she was a baby:

First, I give him a bath.  He has really grown to love his bath time.  He’ll kick his little feet in the water and laugh while I wash him off and talk to him.  The playing he does tires him out and I feel like the warm water helps to relax him and get his body ready for sleep.

After his bath he gets dried off and I put some lotion on him.  If he’s not too fussy, I’ll take my time and give him a little baby massage.  He’s usually pretty fussy around this time of day, though, so I try to hurry through this step.

Once he’s all dried off and lotioned up, he gets some clean pajamas on and I nurse him.  Then I turn on his sound machine and he gets swaddled and put in his bed while he’s still awake.  Once I lay him down it doesn’t take long at all for him to fall asleep.

Swaddling

This thing is AH-MAZING for helping babies sleep better.  The reason it works is because it reminds them of the womb, where they were cozy and felt safe and comfortable.  It also helps keep them from being disturbed by their startle reflex.  Noah is especially bad about waking himself up by hitting himself in the face, or knocking his pacifier out of his mouth.

Noah was also a little colicky, and would sometimes cry for hours.  The only things that worked to soothe him was either standing up and bouncing him in the kitchen with the stove exhaust fan on, or swaddling him and giving him a pacifier.  As soon as I wrapped him up in his swaddle, he instantly calmed down and would usually fall right to sleep.  I don’t know what I would have done without it!

Sound Machine

Another wonderful thing for babies.  This also has a magical calming effect on my baby.  Having a sound machine on helps babies sleep because before they were born, they were used to their world being very noisy.  Think about it.  While a baby is in the womb they constantly hear blood flowing, your heart beating, and your breathing.  They’re not used to things being quiet.

Having white noise going while they sleep helps baby feel right at home!  Not only does the sound machine help them fall asleep, it also helps them stay asleep because it covers up noises from around the house.

All of these things together made a huge difference in my baby’s sleep.  He’s sleeping SO much better, and thankfully now so am I!

Does your child wake up a lot at night or have trouble going to sleep?

 

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12 Comments

  1. I had two babies sleep great through the night and one who was our party animal. These are great tips!

    1. Bethany

      Thank you! 🙂

  2. We got the little man a sleep sheep before he was born. It is like a sound machine and is amazing. I swear that is one of the biggest reasons that he sleeps so well!

    1. Bethany

      OMG! I just looked that up, and now I really want one! How cute!

  3. Great tips, I swear by a solid routine. Saved me a lot of headaches! Oddly enough my little one HATED being swaddled, she’d be visibly angry. To this day she sleeps sprawled out like a starfish, lol. Every kid is different!

    1. Bethany

      Aww, she was tired of being cooped up after 9 months! Lol! It’s amazing how babies already have their own unique personalities and preferences right from the start. They definitely are all completely different. 🙂

  4. I totally agree on the sound machine! It was a real game changer for us! It has helped my daughter to sleep and it helps us to worry less when the dog barks or the phone rings.

    1. Bethany

      It’s so great not having to worry about making too much noise while the baby’s sleeping. 🙂

  5. I truly think sleep comes down to how a person is wired, but these tips are definitely helpful to encourage better sleep! I have two sensitive, resistant young sleepers in my house. I will say baby 2 was a wee bit “easier”- but nothing feels particularly easy when you’re running on nearly zero shut eye between the two of them!

  6. Kathryn

    The swaddle was our best friend until our little one started rolling over. I swear by it. The noise machine too. We even got one for our own room. Great tips.

    1. Bethany

      I’m not looking forward to when he can roll over and I can’t use the swaddle anymore. 🙁 Thanks for reading!

  7. I wish my 16 month old would sleep through the night. We are really working on trying to get him to. So far he is sleeping in longer increments but still wakes throughout the night.

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