Help...My Baby Has Their Days and Nights Mixed Up
Sleep during the day, party at night
While you were pregnant you heard so many stories about "mixed days and nights" and maybe you believed it, maybe you didn't. However, here you are a few weeks postpartum and your baby seems to still like being awake more at night than during the day. If this is your first baby, this is still hard, but at least you only have to take care of yourself and baby in the morning. If this is not your first child, well then, sleep depravation can be a real issue when trying to take care of yourself, a newborn, and a toddler.
How can I get my baby to sleep!?!
You can only be deprived of sleep before you start to feel overwhelmed and fatigued. New mothers do not need to struggle through sleepless nights on their own. There isn't an app for sleep, but there are postpartum doulas for that and they will help you get some extra sleep. Even just one night a week will make a huge difference.
Tip #1: Try a routine
Just as you like to do certain things every night before you go to bed, your baby might like this as well. Feed them, change them, swaddle them, sing or read to them or rock them or a combination of all three and begin to develop a routine for night time.
Tip #2: Sooth them back to sleep
It's a survival instinct that babies will wake up often or not sleep as deeply as you would. However, sometimes they just need resettled. When you hear them stir, before you pick them up (if that's not in your plan), pat them, sing to them, put on music or rock their crib. This can help them resettle and often they will go back to sleep for a little longer. As they get older they learn to stretch out their sleeping lengths.
Tip #3: Have your Postpartum Doula do the soothing
One or two nights a week, have a postpartum doula, not the same as a night nanny or night nurse, sooth, rock, change and swaddle your little one back to sleep in-between those feeds. If you are breastfeeding your night can look something like this: Doula sleeps in the same room as the baby. When the baby wakes, she re soothes baby, when that doesn't work anymore and baby is showing signs of hunger she will change baby and bring baby to you to nurse. As soon as you are done nursing, she will burp, resettle and put the baby back to sleep and repeat. In the morning she'll make you breakfast before she heads out the door. If you are bottle feeding you can choose to sleep through the entire night knowing an exceptionally trained and experienced postpartum doula is taking good care of your baby. Optimizing your sleep is the key. Getting a straight 2-3 hours of sleep will help you much more than 30-60 minute stretches.
Tip #4: Consider a Sleep Coach
If you're baby is old enough to learn how to sleep better with sleep training, you can find a method that works well for you, or hire a certified sleep coach that will come meet you and your baby, learn about your needs and habits and then create a plan that fits your baby's needs. Through the whole process, you can have an expert right there, in your home, the entire time helping you while your baby learns to sleep. When she leaves, your baby will be sleep trained!
You do not have to commit to a huge amount of support from a postpartum doula, simply having two night shifts during those early weeks can put you off to a fantastic start!
If you are at your wits end and want in person support to help your baby learn how to sleep in their crib/longer stretches/more often or more and you want to have and expert navigating it all with you, contact our Sleep Coach Referral, Tiffany with Family Bliss.