By the time our daughter was 8 weeks old she was sleeping a solid 6 hours straight overnight. That might not sound like a lot, but it’s amazing when you consider how often newborns wake to feed. Now, it wasn’t every night but on average it happened 6 nights a week. This is how we got our newborn to sleep through the night.
Keep in mind that every baby is different. What worked for us may not work for you.
While I was pregnant I read a ton of books on how to get your newborn to sleep through the night. For us, it was a waste of time and money. All we needed was mom.
My mom and sister helped us out a great deal those first few weeks. My mom also gave us the insider scoop on how to get her to sleep. She said it worked for my sister, brother and I so it might just work for our daughter.
Here are the 3 rules we followed to get her to sleep through the night:
1. Keep a schedule of feedings, and prolong them little by little.
During the day, if she was eating every 2 hours, we would try to extend it. If at 2 hours she cried for food, we would give her more attention, try to comfort her, anything to get to the 2 hour 5 minute mark. The next feeding we would try for 2 hours and 10 minutes and so on. The extension didn’t work every time, but slowly we saw her eating just a little more each time and going just a little longer in between. We also noticed her sleeping a little longer at night.
2. Only extend feedings during the day.
We all need our sleep and no one can blame you if you get up, feed them and put them back to sleep at 3 am so you can do the same. We left the nights alone.
3. Show them that night time is sleep time.
This probably sounds strange, but it felt after the first few weeks that my daughter to distinguish between day and night. Maybe it wasn’t that simple. At night when she would wake we would make her bottle and then go to her. We would change her and feed her. Never turning on more lights (she had a few nightlights so we could see) and I would sing but not talk to her. We would never take her out of her room at night, just sit with her in the rocker in her room and feed her. Then put her straight back to bed. Keeping things calm and dim seemed to really help.
Those 3 things worked magically well when trying to get our newborn to sleep through the night. She’s now almost 7 months old and she sleeps on average 10 hours a night, but many times it’s closer to 11 or 12 hours.
How did you get your newborn to sleep through the night? Or what are you struggling with? We’d love to know!