How to get the Baby to Sleep through the Night

Can you imagine how much money your book would make if you knew the answer to this?! Until then, here are a few well-kept secrets to get your baby to sleep through the night.

“The Milkshake”

A baby spoon full of rice cereal (or just formula for a breastfed baby) in a bedtime bottle at four weeks. Yes, it’s that simple. I have four children, and it worked all four times for me. I breastfed all four, so the only bottle they got was what my husband called ‘the milkshake’ before bed!

Formula for a Nurser?!

A pediatrician recommended I give my first child a bottle of formula before bed at four weeks, and I remember looking at her like she was crazy! What- me- the nurturing, nursing goddess whose first baby had never even SEEN a bottle?! No way!
But then she asked me if I would like to get a good night’s sleep, or if it might be nice if the baby would at least TAKE a bottle- once in awhile- so I could go to the grocery store without panicking, for example. Wow- the grocery store. I was sold.

Tummy Sleeping?! Gasp!

I know, I should have my mom license revoked. But when I figured out by accident (baby playing on her stomach to strengthen her neck muscles took very peaceful nap) that she slept better that way, I asked my pediatrician, who had been a pediatrician for 30 years, what he thought about the stomach sleeping. He said it was his job to recommend what the Academy of Pediatrics did (back sleeping), but that for the first 25 years he was a pediatrician and for all of his own kids, babies had slept pretty darned well on their tummy. But don’t tell anyone he told me…

My mom- a mother of 6 confirmed that Yep, we all slept on our stomachs and slept through the night by a month old.

Plus, I hate to say it- but the funny-shaped head thing of the back sleeping babies and now they even have helmets for it? No thanks. My kids all had perfectly shaped heads, no bald spots, and a good night’s sleep!

The Three Night Rule
If all else fails there is the old-school ‘ignoring the baby.’ Hugely controversial. But my mom told me if they were fed, dry and tired and were waking up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason, I should let them cry. (You can make up all sorts of rules about if it’s been 15 minutes you can pick them up, etc) She said it would only take three nights, but that babies are pretty smart and after three nights they’d figure out you weren’t coming and simply go back to sleep. Worked for me!

As new parents, we need the sleep. Mom and baby both win when both have had a good night’s sleep.