Baby Settler Blog

The Truth Behind the “Trick” to Getting Your Baby to Sleep
Hillary Sadler | October 9, 2020
“When will I get to sleep again?”

It’s one of the most common fears many new moms and dads have (for both their newborn AND themselves). It’s a legit concern – evidence-based research backs that sleep IS a priority! And you’re not alone if you are or have asked yourself this question. 

After years of working with women during pregnancy, labor, and in the postpartum period, I’ve found most MaMas are looking for that one magic answer to get their baby sleeping through the night. You’ve likely seen plenty of people claiming to know the “trick”, “secret”, or “resolution” to getting your little one to do so. Can I share a Truth with you? There isn’t one.

There isn’t a magical trick out there. The truth is, each baby is unique. Your baby’s needs aren’t the same as my baby’s needs. I’ve got good news though: the key to helping your little one extend their nighttime sleep is actually learning the “WHY” behind the information overload, suggestions, quick tricks and tips out there. This looks less like “just stick to a schedule!” and more like taking the time to be properly informed about infant sleep cycles, realistic expectations about naturally extending sleep time, and implementing the right steps to a good foundation for sleep. (Hear this: it will help you BOTH get that restorative sleep you crave!) You can access Essential Truths: A Free Guide to Birth, Babies, and Breastfeeding here.
Many parents think “sleep training” is some kind of developmental milestone you have to walk through with your baby. It doesn’t have to be. Gaining understanding on each of these topics and incorporating some foundational practices from day one will help your baby to naturally extend their sleep from 5-6 hours, to 6-8 hours, then 10-12 hours. The “cry it out” method might sound like an easy way to go about sleep training for now, but it doesn’t set you up for success in the long run.

It’s hard to feel confident in your ability to figure out what your non-verbal baby needs when no one has taken the time to help you understand the “why” behind their recommendations and helpful suggestions. In the interim, here are some ways that are proven to work:

  • Feeding on cue (whether breast or bottle)
  • Learning how to hit “reset” when your baby gets overstimulated 
  • Following a routine (not the same as a schedule – more below!)
  • Limiting your baby’s wake windows
  • Structuring naps
  • Learning how to properly soothe your baby

I said it before and I’ll say it again, I would encourage you to know more about the “WHY” behind the answer to getting your baby to sleep. Many factors come into play when it comes to your baby and sleep. A well meaning friend might have even shared a “fool proof schedule” with you. But the truth is, you don’t want to live trapped by your baby’s schedule. Your baby is constantly changing! Babies go through growth spurts, developmental leaps, teething, illness, you name it. You also go on vacations, visit your neighbors, stay with your parents… you need to have the “know how” to not have to refer to your book, app, or manual every time something happens outside of your “schedule”. When you know the “why” you can have a routine you are confident in rather than a schedule you hope your life can stick to. 

I shared a few tips above but I share a lot more, including the “why” in my Babies Made Simple course. In the Babies course you’ll get access to the “why” behind the common suggestions and the “know how” to feel confident in your ability to support your baby with a routine that gets all of you the extended nighttime sleep you crave.

You’ve Got This Mama!

Hillary

 

P.S. Are you an expecting or new postpartum MaMa? I’ve got something special for you! I personally really struggled during the postpartum days with my first. I wasn’t a nurse yet then, and to be honest I wasn’t really prepared. I’d done all the “Birth Prep”, but I had NO IDEA what the postpartum period was actually going to be like! As a mom, and as a nurse working with mothers and babies, I can confidently say this: You need a postpartum PLAN. It’s more important than your Birth Plan. And your OB provider probably won’t share this info with you. So it’s my gift to you! Click here to get the postpartum plan I’ve put together!

It’s what I personally used for my 2nd and 3rd babies where I saw a drastic change for the better. You’ll also get access to a template to make your own custom plan that works perfectly for you.

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