baby week - a bit more on sleep and your baby

I think that the decision is not hard to make when it comes to co-sleeping or not, even if you think that you won't at some point your little baby will end up in bed with you (unless you or your spouse are a terribly hard sleeper). It's just a nice way to live and I can't imagine it any other way. There are a few traps that you may find yourself getting into so watch out and think things through a bit so that you know the obstacles that may come up and so that you know how you want to answer them when they do. I would suggest Dr. Michel Cohens book "The New Basics" it's the most comprehensive book on parenting without being overwhelming (because having is a baby is overwhelming enough!). It is arranged by 'issue' in alphabetical order so yes, there is a chapter called "sleep"!

Dr. Michel Cohen is pretty funny in his book when he explains that "In observing family dynamics, I was puzzled as to why some babies would sleep through the night and others wouldn't. I learned that the parents who were a little less responsive to late-night fussing always had kids who were good sleepers, while the jumpy folks had kids who would wake up repeatedly at night until it became unbearable." I think that you will find that after a few nights there will be a rhythm between you and your husband and your baby and you will figure it out together. Make sure you get your spouse involved in the nighttime activities, it will bring him closer to the baby and although you may want to handle it all yourself it's good for him to do things too. Make some bottles so that he can feed the baby from time to time and if your baby wants nothing to do with a bottle just give it to your husband and let them figure it out, it will be frustrating at first but in the end its good for everyone. He will feel more involved and your baby will get the feel for a bottle which may come in handy from time to time!

When it comes time to move the baby into his/her crib or bed it's a good idea to create a rhythm, play for a bit at night, take a bath, sing songs, put your baby into her/his crib when she is still awake, say good night and voila! In the beginning it will never go like this but keep up the ritual, whatever it may be, and eventually they will get into the rhythm with you.

Good Luck and see you in the morning!


Anonymous said...

Something tricky, though ~ the first nights at home coincide with the "milk coming in," so if you're opting to breastfeed 100%, then there's not enough milk to prepare that nighttime bottle for dad to use. I know some people use a small amount of formula at night to lay the foundation for sleeping through the night while giving the milk supply time to get going.

nonchalant mom said...

thank you for your very good comment. In my opinion it is most important in the first few days as your milk is getting going that you breastfeed 100% this is both for you and your baby, until you know what your milk flow is going to be like you should breastfeed. First of all, to get your milk pumping and so that you do not get engorged (super painful!!!) and secondly so that you and your baby get into a rhythm. Leave the pumping for extra milk for a few weeks down the road. Maybe I should have been more clear but the time for daddy to help is a bit later on if you are breastfeeding. (I can feel another blog coming on!!).. thanks again for the comment.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Cohen's plan makes the plan for transitioning baby to his own bed seem easy! :-) With my older son that definitely did not work...after cosleeping for over a year and a half we tried this and it only resulted in major crying and being as we are not fans of cry it out this did not work for us. So now he is 3 1/2 and we still need to be there with him as he goes to sleep! Fingers crossed that we have better luck with our six month old (who also cosleeps)! :-)

Karen Bannan said...

LOL. My husband and I fall into the less responsive category, and we have two great sleepers! I just posted about tips to help moms and dads get their babies to sleep. Feel free to take a look!

As for co-sleeping: I have read enough studies that say co-sleeping (as in sleeping in the same bed) is not a good idea. However, I'd think that having an actual co-sleeper attached to the bed would probably be good for someone who was nursing or who felt very strongly about sharing a room with their child.