New moms always ask how to get a baby to sleep, and to sleep well. I am referring to newborns and infants, you know how sometimes it feels like they wake every.single.hour? While there is no magic formula for every baby, we found one that worked for us. It does involve some very specific products that were worth every penny in terms of the sleep I got in return! Some I bought, others I got for review but would buy in an instant if it meant getting more sleep. Aside from the 'miracle products', there are also a few tips I have that got our babies sleeping better and more soundly.
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NewbornsFirst, lets get one thing straight. Some newborns need to eat every two hours, some every hour, some will go for three hours, but it is rare. Just think of how tiny the newborn digestive system is! No wonder they need to eat that often, food is in and out instantly. So if you're looking for tips to make a newborn sleep longer, I can't help much - but if your newborn wakes from startling themselves mid-sleep, you're in the right place. If you have a newborn that sleeps for long stretches regularly, you've got a rare gem, enjoy!
The SwaddleMy first hated being swaddled, my second baby loved it. So I can relate on both ends of the spectrum. But guess what, I did find something that worked for both of them - yes, even the baby that hated being swaddled. When I was desperate with Baby E, I read reviews of the Woombie online, caved in and bought one. It was the best $27 I ever spent for a baby! Even though she wanted nothing to do with traditional swaddling, she loved the Woombie. She could still move in her sleep, but no longer woke herself up with her flailing arms. The only thing I regretted is not having it from birth, she was already 3 months when I got one. Fast forward to Baby T, I was ready and armed with an organic newborn Woombie. Best.move.ever. He slept better than Baby E from day one, for much longer stretches of time. I actually remember him as a newborn, whereas my first was a blur. So whether your baby loves or hates to be swaddled, the Woombie is worth a try.
There is another swaddling product I absolutely love, especially for winter babies as both of mine were. The Baby Ota Swaddle that I reviewed with Baby T. Not only did it help him sleep better, it was especially helpful with a newborn to move him from place to place without waking him. At night he would sleep in it for four hour stretches, bingo! It's really genius and I'm not surprised my parents and grandparents swaddled us in a similar manner, it just makes life easier.
Of course you could always try traditional swaddling, hated by Baby E, loved by Baby T. With the latter we used some plain large flannel swaddling blankets like these. They worked, but I found the Woombie much easier for diaper changes and for staying swaddled through the night.