Sunday, September 8, 2013

Getting The Kids To Sleep...Through The Night!

My son never slept through the night until he was about year old which wasn't until a month before his sister was born! Imagine being 7-9 months pregnant not only waking up to constantly pee but to also try to get your almost child back to sleep. Those was the absolute worst sleep I ever had...ever. 

My daughter was on/off sleeping through the night since she was born. She would go a week waking up once a night and then another week not waking at all. Both were/are breastfed and co-slept with me until about 6 months. 

My husband and I tried so many different things to get them to sleep all night, none worked until we came across a DVD and book called "The Happiest Baby On The Block." It saved my sleep and the children's haha.

I'm going to explain what the Five S's are and how each worked for our children. 

Swaddling: This gives them the tight, warm feeling that they experience while in the womb. There are different kinds of pre-made swaddlers or you can just use a regular blanket. 

  • Swaddling worked well for my daughter but not for my son. All infants are different and that is okay, just try the different S's until you find the one or the group that works well with your child. 
Side/Stomach Position: "The infant is placed on their left side to assist in digestion, or on their stomach to provide reassuring support" -Dr. Karp 

  • With both of my kiddos they slept on their stomachs. I know, I know..."But you can't have an infant sleep on their stomach!". Well, mine did and they loved it. They are perfectly fine. If they woke up crying at night I'd feed them and then placed them on their side on one of my arms. With their head on the palm of my hand and then their body resting along one of my arms, we then continued with two more the the S's that follow. 

Shushing Sounds: The sound imitates the swooshing of the blood flow that newborns hear inside their mother's womb.
  • This technique was the one that always seemed to work with both children. Loudly shushing into one of their ears instantly got them to stop crying and relaxed. I was really amazed at how well it worked the first few times. Like I said above, I did this while I have them in the side position on my arm.
Swinging: " Newborns are used to the swinging motions within their mother’s womb, so entering the gravity driven world of the outside is like a sailor adapting to land after nine months at sea." -Dr.Karp
  • Either using a swing or rocking them in your arms is a great way to "swing" your child. My son was a mommies boy when he was younger and hated the swing. So rocking him in my arms along with the shushing sounds and putting him on his side is what worked best to get him to sleep. My daughter was a swing girl. I placed her in the swing on her side and did the shushing noise and it worked pretty much instantly when she was fussy. 
Sucking :  “Sucking has its effects deep within the nervous system and triggers the calming reflex and releases natural chemicals within the brain.” -Dr.Karp
  • A pacifier or finger will do good. For the longest time my daughter breastfed to fall asleep, which isn't a good thing. She became dependent on me at night to feed her every time she woke up or right before bed. So once she hit about a month old we tried to phase in the pacifier, which she hated. The "sucking" attempt did no good for us. 

You have to remember that all kids are different. What worked for me may not work for your children. Try one of the S's at a time or try a different group of them together until you find what suits your child. I highly recommend the DVD and/or book, it saved me so many times. 

If you have questions or comments regarding the Five S's or Dr.Karp please feel free to ask here or send me an email in the contact form to the right. 

*Young Mom's Home was not paid to talk about or suggest the Happiest Baby On The Block. This is my own opinion.  

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