Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Newborn Sleep Tips

*disclaimer: this post is sponsored and was written ~3 weeks ago and we've had a few bumpy nights since then but I still stand solidly by my claim that Theo is our best sleeper thus far and I'm still 98% clueless. 

Newborns are the absolute sweetest ...
until it's time to sleep and that is the last thing on their sweet little minds alllllllllllll night long. Julia screamed almost the entirety of her first night in the hospital which set the miserable stage for her the first several painful and virtually sleepless weeks of her life. Sebastian was better but not by much and Theo is by far our best newborn sleeper. What are we doing differently? Maybe nothing and I don't even have a full two weeks of life with our third newborn under my belt so take my advice with a grain of dubious. However, I've found these three little things to be very helpful in the "get-Theo-to-wake-up-fewer-than-four-times-a-night" arena. So far ... so okay. All appendages (and eyes) very much crossed. Does this mean he's never woken up 35 minutes after I've "put him down for the night"? Absolutely not ... but he hasn't screamed all night or really at all ... yet. Luck? Probably ... but it doesn't hurt to at least try the following ...

1. Swaddle: I'm sure you're well aware that babies want to feel like they are nestled safely back in the bell even after they've been cruelly ejected into the big and scary world. Swaddling is the most effective way to do just that. I'd swaddle my kids until they were 12 years of age if they'd let me. It's that wonderful.

2. Cluster Feed: I was super skeptical of this with Julia and Sebastian but after a few evenings of crazy marathon nursing sessions with Theo followed by 4+ hour long stretches of sleep ... I was sold.

3. Gas Drops: I don't know where on earth I was hiding with Julia's infancy but I didn't discover these gems until we had Sebastian and holy magic. They worked wonders and helped him immensely. The best drops (no dyes, alcohol, or saccharin for the baby belly or the mom to fret over) I've found are the St. Joseph Infants' Gas Relief Drops. They work quickly and are safe to use at every feeding. Get some or risk being stranded circa 3 in the am sans drops .... it won't be pretty, I promise.

I'm well aware that by penning this post, Theo will probably be a wreck all night tonight. I'll let you know tomorrow ... I never don't.

And, as always, I'm always all eyes when it comes to child rearing advice ... so lay it on me ... you who have gone valiantly before me. What is your #1 Tip for a new mom? Answer this question in the comment section below for a chance to win 3 packages of St. Joseph Infants' Gas Relief Drops.

Also, you can follow this link to print a $3.00 coupon.

Giveaway Rules:
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  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.

This giveaway runs from 2/6-2/28.

Be sure to visit the sponsor's brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!


  1. Relax and focus on getting everyone in the house as much sleep as possible.

  2. My grandmother swears by swaddling then laying babies on their left side across your lap for a few minutes to relieve gas pains. I showed it to my SIL when my nephew was born and sure enough he tooted regularly and now she swears by it! The reflux is a nightmare I know, I had it as a newborn and STILL suffer 30 years later. Good luck! :o)

  3. Honestly, our video monitor and white noise machine have been LIFESAVERS in the sleep department. With my first, we had a regular monitor and every time we heard him make a peep we RAN into the room and, surprise surprise, he was wide awake!

    Then with out 2nd, our monitor bit the dust and we splurged for a video monitor about 6 months in. Lo and behold, we found out that that crying we RAN into the room for so as not to let our child think we hated her by making her cry? Yeah, she was crying in her sleep. When left alone, she would go back to sleep within a minute or so, never once opening her eyes.

    So now with the latest (twins), we've been leaving them alone the first couple of times they fuss as long as their eyes are closed, and they're the best sleepers yet! Obviously I'm begging for internet karma to kick me in the butt by sharing this news, but at a little over 2 months they were sleeping 6-10 hours straight, which is absolutely magical and amazing when there are TWO babies who wanted to nurse all night long before! The white noise machine blocks out the sounds from the big brother & sister, the camera keeps us from making those first-time parent mistakes we were making, and the swaddling plus swings keeps them sleeping!

  4. ^^^ this

    Babies make all kinds of random noises IN THEIR SLEEP. I am definitely against letting them cry it out, but if there's a random howl or a little fussing, give the little booger a chance to calm down on his or her own before you swoop in and really wake them up.

    Also, swaddling.

    We never used gas drops though.

  5. My biggest piece of advice is to grab hold of Atlanta's best resource, Moms on Call ( They are 2 nurses with 20+ years of pediatric on call nursing experience and compiled a book of their most common questions. (They also do home consults if you're in the Atlanta area). Anywho- 3 pieces of their advice that were life changing (in addition to Grace's swaddle tip- they swear by a good swaddle). 1: Keep at least 3 hours between the supper and bedtime feeding. THey don't care if you nurse every 24 seconds during the day, but keeping 3 hours btw those 2 nightime feeds guarantees that baby gets enough milk at that last feed (and is hungry enough) to get a big feeding to last them through the night. This is HUGE.2: ADULT white noise machines. THey came and did a talk at my MOPS group and made fun of the sleep sheep, which of course I had. Adult sound machines and they aren't loud enough until you can hear them outside the door. This isn't as much about blocking out outside noise as it doing something to brain waves to keep them sleeping. 3: Don't let naps go longer than 2 hours. This is mostly about feeding. If baby is allowed to sleep through a feeding during the day, they WILL get those calories at night. So hard to wake a sleeping baby when you already have older awakened monsters but worth it at night.

    Sorry for the novela. I like my 2nd kid sooo much more (right now) than I did my first at this stage because of this advice.

  6. I have no idea...But I'm having my first baby in about 9 weeks and I would love to be prepared with these!

  7. I have no advice. I'm a sleepy first time mom of a 4 week old, but keep these tips coming ladies!! My girl hates to get swaddled, won't take a paci and I'm too scared to fight her on it.

  8. loving all of this advice! our daughter was a great nighttime sleeper from the day we brought her home. she was sleeping eight hours a night by two months and worked her way up to twelve by three months. we were completely clueless, though, so i don't have any tips to share. my best guess is that since she was in the NICU for her first two weeks of life, they had her on an every three hours feeding schedule from day one and we just stuck with that at home.

    i praying, praying, praying we never experience the NICU again, but i am kinda super scared about bringing home a baby without those two weeks of "parenting practice".

  9. my advice (if you want to be lazy like me): huge stack of books. tv remote. internet. giant water bottle. swaddle your baby, park yourself in bed/on the couch and nurse. :) for close to 3 months as you can get. snuggle your baby. hold them. sleep w/ them if you want. there is time later for schedules and "getting things done" and independent sleeping. Newborns are magic.

  10. I like Anne´s advice :) And Theo is so cute in that picture!!

  11. Here's what worked for me...swaddle and if the baby doesn't like their arms swaddled - swaddle the body and legs. It still provides a measure of comfort and pressure around the body. White noise machine or fan constantly running when baby is sleeping. A tummy message for gassy babies with some oil. (mine were all gassy) Start at the right hip bone go up until you reach the lower rib cage - then across to the left rib cage and then down to the left hip. It follows the intestines and helps push gas out. Also, because my babies were all gassy and we have or 4th coming in 3 weeks - I am chug 3-4 cups of a ginger, chamomile, fennel tea concoction - it tastes funny but seems to help. Oh and I cut all dairy from my diet and limit grains. We had really fussy babies and with this type of system - it seems to calm them quite a bit.

  12. I know this is a sponsored post but GAS DROPS. Seriously, I have miracle moment (true story) bout these bad boys.

    I'm going to share it, right here in the comments section. You can thank me later for this glowing endorsement.

    My little Zeph cried a lot- for days on end. To the point where I would have to call my mum and she would come and hold him while I cried and did a wee (because weeing is one of those things that is really hard to fit in with a new born). It was exhausting- on every level.

    Late one night i found myself exhausted and WAY past the end of my tether. I prayed, as you do. God, show me the answer.

    I had a vision.


    In my minds eye I saw a packet of gas drops amongst all the 'useless' baby gifts I was given (you know, the not cute ones?). I hunted that packet down, administered the drops and BAM.


    followed by 8 hours of sleep.


    Gas drops are a medical and spiritual miracle.


    xo em

  13. Halo swaddle/sleep sack. It's literally a straight jacket made out of fleece. The whole band is velcro, instead of just little sections of it like on the other swaddlers. Then full blast rain on the sound machine, coupled with a swing set on the highest level and many back up packs of batteries. Oh, and black out curtains in every room of the house, forever and ever Amen. I've actually never tried gas drops, ever. I am definitely going to stock up now!

  14. When mine were newborns, they would only sleep swaddled up and sitting up in their bucket car seats. When they got a few weeks older, we realized that they would only sleep on their tummy. We went from 30 minute between waking up and crying to 6 glorious hours of sleep. My oldest will be 16 next week and he still sleeps on his stomach. My youngest was not a problem. There was so much going on that she did not want to miss (didn't get the chance to miss) during the day that by night she eat and slept. Gas drop are still great.

    1. Jane, can you email me? Just need your email address :)

      thank you!

  15. I agree with the cluster feeding method. I never did this with my first four, but now with baby #5 in the house, I do try to load him up good and full right before bedtime (9pm), and he usually sleeps until 2am at least.

  16. Swaddling! We got the hang out it very fast when we realized how much better my daughter slept that way!

  17. Replies
    1. Erica - can you email me? thank you!!



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