baby week! first priority... sleep!

One of the most common questions was about sleep, not necessarily how to get more of it (I think that we all understand there is a few years or so of little or no sleep) but more about helping your baby sleep better.

I got more information from my family and friends than I found in any book. My sister came to visit a week into the arrival of our son and within one day with us she had popped a pacifier in his mouth and put him sleep on his stomach (aarrghh!)!! As a new mom I just about hit the roof! This was followed by "my most well adjusted daughter was the only one who used a pacifier" was my sisters reasoning and then came "all my kids slept on their stomach, they just sleep better that way". She also shared the fact that all three of her baby girls slept through the night as soon as they came home from the hospital! WHAT!!?? I thought as my son wanted to eat every two hours... how could this be!? Now that I am older and have thought about it a bit I have realized, she probably doesn't REMEMBER getting up in the night, every night (multiple times) because you loose part of your memory with child birth (this is not a FACT but I am sure that it's true!) just like you loose the memory of how difficult and painful childbirth is and all you remember is the absolute beauty and wonder of it all! I also know that her babies didn't sleep with her (it was a different time and that was not very common) and their rooms were down the hall and so she probably didn't hear them! What I am trying to say is that you get over it, in the way that you do and though it seems that you won't you will not even remember why or how you did it!

All of this said I would love to offer a bit of tips for the new parent on how to deal with a few things. I think that the most common comment was when you have been co-sleeping how do you get your baby into their own bed. I can say that I have a few don'ts (because I have done them!) first, don't sleep with them in their bed to get them to go to sleep, once they understand that this is their own bed you can do this but if you do this in the beginning you are in trouble and you will need to do it every night! Secondly, don't get caught up in tapes of music or sounds this just becomes habit forming and you will have a new problem later on. I think that the best way to warm your child up to their room is to spend time in the room and keep talking about the "big boy" bed or "big girl" bed, what child does not want to be "big". My husband is particularly good and talking any kid into this kind of thing but it really works. This is obviously if you are able to talk to your baby, when they are almost two years old or so.

Dr. Michel Cohen suggests that if you are trying to get your toddler out of your bed (I'm not laughing... we did this too!) you explain to them, honestly and fully how it goes, "you have your bed and they have their bed..." etc... there will be protesting and it will most likely not go smoothly but you will find your way through it, in your own language. Our solution is that we have a sippy cup of 'milk' (another topic) ready for them in our room in the morning and we all share the bed in the morning, for me, this makes getting up in the morning easier and more 'fun' (can I really call it that??...) AND I don't need a irritating alarm clock!

Good luck and remember, sleeping is one of the biggest issues and if you look at it in a practical way and take your time you will find all the answers. (and just a bit of a disclaimer... I do not recommend that you put your baby to sleep on their tummy)