I feel so bad! In the post regarding parenting advice, Paul asked a question and I missed it.
First time dad with a 6 week old daughter
here, and while we're on the subject, I *want* some advice!While she slept a
good 5.5 hours solid the previous night, last night she didn't last more than 3
at a time, with an hour or two of feeding, changing and soothing in between.
When can we expect her to start sleeping through the night?
I'm so sorry that I missed this last week. The first three months can be exhausting for parents and baby. There were extenuating circumstances when P4 was born, but Pdaddy and I had to work out a schedule where he slept from 11pm to 3am and I grabbed a few hours after that. What we ended up doing was camping out on the recliner in our living room. Before sitting down, we had water (for us), a remote for the tv, numerous burp rags, diapers, wipes, a change of clothes for baby, and blankets. For two weeks, P4 was on a fiber optic bilirubin blanket called a Wallaby Blanket. I dug up some pics (and I promise I'll get to my point and your question in a moment).
So...what choices do you have that will help you keep sane while exhausted? Really, the baby's not going to sleep through the night until her body is ready and can regulate her metabolism to meet a more lengthy gap between feeding. I would have to say that we got to the six hour mark somewhere near the 12th week on average. Since you asked for suggestions, I'll tell you the different ways we managed. Take or leave any of this advice. What works for one family (or even one baby) may be useless for another family. Is there any way you guys could take shifts? Is there some place in your house where you can sit undisturbed and dose upright? Some babies really hate that they can't feel the warmth and noises they enjoyed in the womb. For P3, the only way we got her to sleep was Kangarooing. She was a 34 weeker and picked up the habit in the NICU. But, basically, Mike and I would put her bare skin to our bare skinned chests and swaddle ourselves with blankets. In that way, we could get her to sleep for five or six hours near at around eight weeks. Also, if your wife is nursing, this method makes it very easy to pop a boob in the baby's mouth without completely waking mom and dad. If you're not a co-sleep family or feel that you can't take shifts or really any of the above, then you could try white noise. Better still, see if you can find a CD with the sounds of a human heart beat or other comforting sound. The womb is a noisy place and some babies don't adjust well to the peace and quiet that we enjoy. Another helpful method is to do exactly the same thing every night for a while. Bath, book, cuddle, sing, nurse, sleep or some combination of the above. Just do it in the same order every night so your little one picks up on the routine. I can still sing P3 to drowsiness. LOL! Of course, I suck at singing so maybe she's just trying to block it out. I love Another thing to remember - it's not uncommon for a baby to be topsy-turvy on time. Are you able to nap when she does during the day? Forget cleaning the house or answering the phone or whatever you think you need to get done for a bit. Take the nap.
I hope that helps some. If you trust me, drop me an e-mail and I'll copy some of our favorite lullabies onto a disc for you. If you don't want to do that, then I understand and highly recommend checking out
Putumayo Kids Music. Their Dreamland CD is amazing. There's an added bonus in the fact that they are extremely committed to supporting secular charities that protect children and childhood. Good luck, dad!