How do your babies sleep and where do they sleep?
Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012) Married to awesome SAH DH.
I know it's still way too early but I am interested in your experiences and opinions about baby's sleep habbits. Olivia is exactly three weeks old today. She sleeps in our bed and almost exclusively falls asleep at my breast. We figured since she is so little and that's what she needs (she cries if I just put her down or take her off the breast) we just follow her cue and I am enjoying it too - most of the times My husband and I had been reading about attachment parenting in The Baby Book and very much relate to it. I do want Olivia to be able to fall asleep by herself eventually though and I do want her to have a night time routine where she has an early bed time for herself. I had thought you slowly start this at 6-8 weeks or even later 3-4 months. Now I have been getting different information that if young babies are getting used to being rocked or held as a newborn they will always want it and not be able to fall asleep by themselves. I don't know. Friends I have who have done the same thing with their firstborn and who then had a second child who just couldn't get that much attention naturally and developed better sleep habbits than the firstborns. There is no way I would let Olivia "cry it out" at this age plus I had always thought you can't spoil a newborn you just read their cues and Olivia definitely wants to be held especially in the evening hours.
How do your babies sleep and where do they sleep?
I really liked the way The Happiest Baby on the Block explained it...as neanderthals we very likely didn't come out of the womb until TWELVE months, but as our brains grew, our bodies began to expel babies younger...so emotionally and physcially we are not really ready to be BORN like other babies in the animal kingom, who can crawl and even walk a few hours after birth.
In fact, keeping your babies swaddled up, surrounded by comforting noises (your heartbeat, white noise) and close to the bossom, is exactly what they need to develop the coping skills they will need to sleep better later. The more a baby is held and cuddled as an infant the more developed their emotional and intellectual sides of their brains become and there for the better they will be at coping with these things later.
DS was a co-sleeper, a night nurser, we swaddled him, he sucked a pacifier, and we played white noise and propped him on his side until he was big enough to tummy sleep...by 10 months he had all the coping skills he needed to fall asleep and fall BACK to sleep if he woke up in the middle of the night without any of those things. He needed to be rocked or swung to sleep until he was about 3 months old, then just patting/burping was fine. Sometimes even at two he needed to nurse til drowziness, and he still needs stories and singing to fall asleep at night at nearly 5, and if he has a bad dream he needs a grown up to hold him until he goes back down, but don't we all need that? I do!
If those friends think a kid under 5 will ever just be sent to bed and be all see ya later, I think they have unrealistic expectations of kids...and it's a little sad to miss out on that special time. But generally, I think co-sleeping, swaddling and rocking to sleep help kids be BETTER sleepers, not worse. They will not always need to be rocked to sleep...or maybe they will and they will grow up to buy a house boat or be a sailor. Who knows? It's not that big a deal to rock a toddler in a rocking chair to help them get drowzy, is it?
My dd nurses to sleep, and at night we swaddle, turn on the static, nurse while rocking and then she goes down tilted to one side. She's the best sleeper I know...consistently sleeps from 9/10pm-4/5am then nurses for a wee bit and goes back down in the basinette right next to my side of the bed (we would co-sleep but DH is a VERY heavy sleeper, comatose like and he has nearly squashed her twice, so now she sleeps in a safer place by still in arms reach) for another 2-3 hours. She falls asleep in the carrier or the stroller or the car seat (any moving seat really), and when awake is the happiest darned baby ever...now most of that is just cause I got lucky with a happy baby that likes to sleep, but it is also because I follow her cues and do everything to help her sleep as well as she possibly can (for someone with such a teeny tiny tummy).
You are definitely doing the right thing by following her cues and your instincts. That other information you have heard is just bad advice, IMO.
FWIW, I wasn't able to dictate the schedule to my child until we started day care at 14 months, but we had a pretty decent routine going by the age of 4 months (not including teething moments), and we were able to manipulate that slightly with blackout curtains and nap adjustments....but NOT in the first few weeks!
A doula who married a cop & became a mama to 3 boys: G 12/22/00, my rainbow baby B 2/2/07 and L 2/10/10 my CBA2V baby, waiting for my little caboose late February 2013 & always remembering my two angels 2006 & 2012.
DD is up every 2 hours, sometimes 3 or 4 on me if I wake up to pat her when she starts stirring.
I don't think newborns who are rocked to sleep will therefore be unable to sleep on their own later down the road. That said, if you have a newborn who does sleep on their own, or you can encourage that - why not? That way you can have a bit more independence when they are sleeping to shower, cook, clean, relax, whatever. I know I'm grateful #2 seems to do this fairly well, because I have a toddler to look after!
For what it's worth, since this is your first? Spoil that baby rotten . You only get a first baby once, and you'll never forget those snuggles. My baby boy was spoiled and he's a fantastic sleeper. We just started a pretty consistent routine at 7 weeks old or so, and I followed his sleepy cues very carefully. But I held him all the time, and coslept quite a bit.
Lizbiz, wife to my man who makes me smile, and mom to one bouncy boy (08/07), one sassy girl (12/09), and one sweet new boy (08/12).
Now, obviously not every baby is that way, but it just showed me that during the first few weeks (or months even) babies need to feel close to you. Eventually they will be ready to sleep more on their own and in longer stretches. I don't plan on trying to influence her sleep habits until shes a couple of months old--and even then I won't be moving her out of our room until her heart problems are resolved. DH and I are way to paranoid to put her in another room at this point.
student momma to two great girls
My son has been known to fall asleep in the crib, which I think is pretty amazing. I set him in there for safe keeping while I run to the bathroom sometimes, and I have come back occasionally to find him asleep. Also, he often wakes up during the transfer from arms/bed to crib and while he usually starts fussing within a few minutes to be picked up, sometimes he puts himself back to sleep.
My son now is totally different. He will fall asleep on me, but most of the time when he gets sleepy he gets really grumpy and wants to be put down. He falls asleep after being put down awake most of the time. I can't even believe a baby would do that after having my daughter. So, I figure that sort of advice is for babies like him, not for babies who need a little more cuddles.
I've done this for 5 children now, Matthew is the 6th. We parented vastly different with our first two and began to learn differently with our third. Anyway, what I've found is that the baby will start to sleep longer in their sleep space starting around 6wk (though still not "through the night" and that isn't even a goal I try to accomplish, it's just something that eventually happens). My babies have been around 7-9months before they sleep in their bed through the night. Though, I would still rock/nurse them to sleep at that age.
Somewhere around one my babies didn't want to nurse to sleep, but would still be rocked to sleep and then put to bed. Then, between 2 and 3yo they refuse to be rocked and just want to lay down in their beds to go to sleep. :`( Sad days those are.
I don't think you're spoiling the baby, nor ruining their sleep habits for life by co-sleeping, nursing to sleep, rocking to sleep. Yes, you are setting up a different routine than what people see as acceptable - and they'll often let you know that, too!!! But, if it works for your family and is what you and your SO are comfortable with - who cares about other people's opinions of it?
Follow your baby's cues, follow your parenting instincts and only glean from books what will work within those. You'll only have this child as a little baby for a short time, before you know it they'll be going off to college - and I promise they won't still be co-sleeping, nursing to sleep nor needing you to rock them then!
Lilith is a bit of a different sleeper then the last two so far. She will fall asleep with the booby but will quickly let go for her burp and then go back down on her own if she's ready if not she'll go down after being held for minutes. This is very new as the others slept with booby in mouth for the first year or so or they wouldn't sleep. I'm really hoping she continues to be a better sleeper then the others. but if she doesn't that's okay too
Israel, mom to DD, Ivy, 4-27-06 :and DS, Kai, 12-29-07 and DD, Lilith 2-1-10 and always remembering Alice fullterm stillborn 08/31/11 (unexplained placental abruption)
A friend of mine loaned me a book that has quite some information about sleeping habbits for babies. Mostly it refers to a hormone that newborns start producing at 6 weeks past the estimated due date. The date is fix even for premature born babies it is at that time line. The hormone is helping the babies with digestion and sleeping patterns. The book is called: Healthy Sleep Habbits Happy Child, Marc Weissbluth. M.D. It refers at different ages in different chapters.
Now that he's older, I play with him after he eats; when he starts to get fussy or yawns I swaddle him up, sing him a lullaby, and walk around til he falls asleep, then put him down. It works well for us, occasionally he'll sleep long enough for me to spend some nice 1 on 1 time with my 4 year old, and it helps me to have a general plan for what to expect. He now goes to bed around 8:30pm and sleeps one 5-hour stretch, then 3, then 2, which is really nice! He just started that a week ago though; he'd been more like every 2-3 hours around the clock before that (counting from the beginning of one feed to the next). He's 3 months 1 wek birth age; 7 weeks adjusted for being preemie.