Sleep becomes a billion time more precious when you have kids. Not just because you need it to be refreshed and alert to be patient enough to take care of them, but because it comes at such a premium! The reason for this, as you will have probably worked out by now is that from the ages of 0-6 whether your kids will sleep through the night, every night is more of a gamble than a guarantee. In fact, sometimes it can feel like they are deliberately trying to rob you of a good night’s rest, hence the term sleep thieves! However there are some strategies that you can try that can help get them off to sleep and stay asleep for longer, and the best of them are listed below for you to read. That is if you can keep your eyes open long enough to do so!
One strategy that is easier to provide for baby in the modern world is white noise. White noise is said to mimic the sounds in the womb, thus a calming baby and allow them to relax off to sleep nicely. It also has the additional benefit of canceling out any other noise. Something that if you have other kids that are waking in the night or even a creak door to baby’s room, can be super useful.
There are specialized white noise machines that you can buy for this purpose including the Wave Premium Sleep and the Marpac Hushh. Although there are plenty of tracks available online as well. You can even get white noise rainstorms, and rolling ocean sounds on music subscription services, as many adults listen to them as well. Something that means if you already have access to a site like Spotify you can get these for free.
Opinion on essential oils is often divided. Some folks think that it must be a placebo effect, while others believe they are so strong that they can’t possibly use for babies and infants. Neither is true, however, and there are many happy parents with babies sleeping through the night out there to provide it.
Of course, before we get into the types of oils to use it is important to deal with some safety facts. Essential oils are usually quite strong that means they are never suitable to apply directly to babies skin. Instead, combine them with a carrier oil and use a good quality diffuser that is placed well out of the way in the child room, so they can’t get to it.
You will want one that has an automatic cut off when uses up all the water. Check out things like this Got Oil Supplies essential oil diffuser guide to find the one that will work the best for you. There are even some plushy one designed especially for babies on the list, I believe.
Once you have the way that you will get the aroma out into the room sorted, then it’s a good idea to know which oils are best to use. Ylang Ylang, Marjoram, and Roman chamomile are all good choices, just ensure that are pure therapeutic grade. There are also specialist blends on the market like Tisserand Sweet Dreams and Sleep Tight Baby Oil By Simply Argan that would make an excellent choice for this purpose.
Balance naps and feeds
Lastly, a strategy that can really work wonders with even the most stubborn sleep thief is to get the balance of feeds and naps right through the day and the night. The idea here is that baby should be fed when they wake, not just before they go off to sleep.
This means they can go longer without a feed, and that they don’t start to associate sleep and feeling together. Something that can make it easier for them to drift off when they are actually tired.
Unconventional advice says to feed Baby when they wake. Picture here
To work with this routine successfully, it is important that you keep to it through the day as well as the night, breaking up the daylight hours with naps and feed, so they don’t get overtired and cranky. The reason for this is that this can trigger a reaction of not being able to sleep despite your baby being exhausted, and this usually results in them crying for long periods. Something that is not fun for baby and will definitely stop you getting any decent sleep at all.
Its also a great idea to remember that in the first few months, napping along with baby can work really well. I know it’s not quite the same as getting a solid 9 hours in one block, but an hour nap here and there can really add up during the day, and help to keep you refreshed enough to make everything a little more doable.