Today, I was asked for advice on baby sleep.
I felt surprised and honored, because I do not think I am very “successful” with baby sleep, which is usually defined as baby-falling-asleep-on-his-own-and-parents-get plenty-of-freetime-to-rest/sleep/[insert any other fun activity].
My method is to wait it out*, doing what the baby needs (rocking, nursing, singing, etc) and knowing (and hoping) that it will get better soon. I know that he will eventually learn to sleep independently as he gets older though, so I am not too worried.
My husband was the one relaying the questions to me. The mommy wants to know what we did to get baby to fall asleep at 6 months. They tried CIO, but could not go through with it. (I don’t blame her.) Their 6-month-old is very sensitive to movement, and it takes them about 3 hours before they can place him in his crib.
After answering some of their questions, I thought I’d put together the list of ideas I suggested and share it with other mamas too. These are tried and true tools that I gathered from experience and from input by other mamas in the WIO community.
1. Nurse, nurse, nurse
This was the first thing I said. LOL I am still doing this. Works the best, but if you are not nursing, then keep reading. (Same can probably apply with the bottle though, but it may depend on the baby.)
2. Take a seat and bring a book
While your little one is dozing off to dreamland, lean back, relax and start reading. Under a weak book light of course. Or off your phone. I have a dimmer app so my phone brightness goes much lower than the default setting at the lowest level. Helps a ton!
3. Baby Carrier
I found out that they have to keep walking and rocking the whole time, until he is in such deep sleep that they can put him down. So, the first thing I suggested was the carrier. This will give you hands free to read (see #2) while walking around in the dark.
4. Yoga Ball
Since baby needs movement, you can get a little bit of rest while keep it moving on a yoga ball. It saves your back from all the carrying/walking/rocking. It may take a few tries for the baby to take to this method, but I say it is definitely worth a try.
5. Patting that little bum
It is possible to transition the baby to another form of soothing, so I suggested patting him while slowly decreasing the amount of rocking. This will hopefully lead to mommy and daddy getting a little rest with less movement. Hopefully, they will get to a point where they can sit down and read a book or quietly catch up on some TV episodes (key: wireless headphones).
Keep in mind that babies go through many developing phases throughout the first years, so sleep improvements will not be linear. There are many phases where he will need more rocking/sleep help. But, never despair, because “this too shall pass”!
Share with me: What do YOU do for your 6-month-old? Add your advice for other struggling mamas!
*For more on Wait It Out, visit Nursable.