Yes! Sleeping through the night for a baby and yourself is 100% possible.
You need to think of sleep training as not teaching your baby how to fall asleep but how to help them wind down from the day's events and relax into their tired senses. According to Nate Chomilo, MD, "Babies learn to sleep through the night as part of their development - and every baby is different."
Here are a few tips to help you with sleep training:
Take Care of Your Needs
As a momma with a newborn, a mother's needs sometimes become forgotten, and the baby's needs are a number one priority. But to provide your little one with the patience, love, and attention needed for sleep training, you should be your best self as well.
- Get on the same page as your partner and enlist each other's help
- Take turns with the middle of the night feedings if possible
- Let the other one rest and get sleep when they can
Sleep deprivation is linked to postpartum depression for both parents. If you need help from each other or other family members, ask for it! Channeling a team effort can help fulfill everyone's needs.
White Noise is Good Noise
Outside noise is a sensory trigger, but white noise can help babies, adults, and even pets calm down and relax. A continuous, low rumbling noise helps create a soothing and comfortable environment while also blocking out the hustle and bustle outside the bedroom. It can help you baby fall asleep faster and even stay asleep longer.
If your babe doesn't do well with white noise, you can also try a number of different sounds: rain, ocean waves, nature sounds, etc. This is part of the process to finding what your baby prefers. The Baby List has compiled a list of the 9 best sound and white machines of 2021.
While sound machines serve as a good sleep aid, it's also important to note that pediatricians recommend noise machines be at least 7 feet away from where the baby is sleeping. It is also helpful to try and use it at the lowest volume possible for your baby. The volume level should never be loud enough to overshadow a baby's cry.
Circadian Rhythms are Your Friend
Our biological clock can tell the difference between night and day, and for infants and toddlers, this lets them know when it's nap time. Keep in mind that a baby's age plays a part in how or when sleep training will be successful.
Circadian rhythms for newborns typically start to develop around the 6-8 week mark, which also helps them sleep longer as they get older. You can use a free app like Huckleberry to help you track and predict the baby's next nap time and sleeping pattern.
Try a Swaddle or Sleep Bag
Swaddles can help with sleep by preventing a baby's sudden movements aka the startle reflex. These reflexes are jerking movements that can wake the baby up. Using swaddles keeps them safe, cozy, and snug, which is very similar to being in the womb.
Sleep bags are great for helping babies to sleep safely compared to loose blankets. They also provide a warm and cozy feeling of security, and can work similar to swaddling. The difference with sleep bags, is that they also help babies to maintain their body temperature without overheating.
It's best to choose a sleep bag based on the TOG (thermal overall grade). Lauren Olsen, Infant & Toddler Sleep Consultant, shares "This measurement tells you approximately how many blankets a sleeping bag is equivalent to." When deciding on the best TOG rating to use, consider the clothes baby is wearing, and the temperature in baby’s bedroom.
Natalie Willes, The Baby Sleep Trainer, also recommends arm-free sleep sacks. Excess fabric with sleeves can prevent babies from moving around freely and could potentially have dire consequences.
You can check out sleeveless Baby Sleep Bags in the Glitter & Spice shop. Our baby sleep bags are available in 3 sizes, 2 TOGs, and several different designs.
While sleeping through the night seems like an impossible feat, we hope these tips will help you develop a routine to help you and your babe sleep through the night. A positive and patient attitude also goes a long way in helping you get through the struggle of figuring out what works and what doesn't.
Don't lose hope. We believe in you and will be cheering you on through this sleep training journey. Good luck, mommas!