It’s that never-ending cycle many parents have come to dread. We spend over an hour (and sometimes more) putting our babies to sleep, but the minute we lay them down, their eyes flip wide open. Then it’s back to square one, all over again.
I’ve been there. In the first few weeks, I understood how much my baby needed me to put him to sleep. He’s a newborn, after all, one who had grown used to the rocking motion of the womb and had difficulty adjusting to his new environment. I even prided myself for being the only one who could successfully put him to sleep—in my arms, of course.
But after a while, I began to wonder if I could’ve done things differently. Because it seemed like my baby—who at one point had been willing to nap in different ways—now would only sleep when he was held. The more he grew, the more he relied on sleeping in arms. He had a difficult time sleeping in ways we wanted him to, such as flat on his back, in his crib, or even in his stroller.
While kids do outgrow certain habits, I also knew that some continue to linger, including sleep habits. Stories of parents rocking toddlers or sleeping with their three-year-olds made me wonder if I was setting myself up for years of sleep deprivation.
I realized this wasn’t a sustainable way to keep going. No one was getting the quality of sleep and rest they needed, even the baby. I wanted him to be able to sleep not only in my arms, but in other arrangements as well.
Perhaps you can relate. Maybe your baby only sleeps when he’s held or resting on your arm. He isn’t napping for longer than 45 minutes, and that’s if he naps. Your bedtime relies on whenever he goes to sleep, since that seems to be the only thing that does the trick.
And you’re beginning to wonder how long this will last. Because at some point, you know you’ll need to find a way to ease him out of your arms. As much as you want to comfort and hold him, you also worry you’re establishing bad habits.
The result? You feel alone holding your baby day and night—stuck, hollow and desperate. It seems you have no moment to yourself to breathe. And you’re drained both mentally and physically.
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. We have all been there. But the good news is, you now have solutions to try.
After I realized I couldn’t keep holding my baby to sleep every time, I tried different strategies to help him take to other sleep arrangements. I sought the right baby gear and tools to help make that sleep happen. I tweaked his daily schedule and changed the way I put him to sleep. And I did whatever I thought I could do to encourage him to sleep anywhere else but my arms.
These strategies not only worked with my eldest, but with his brothers as well. When my eldest was three-years-old, I gave birth to twins. I knew from the start I didn’t want to repeat many of the mistakes I made with my first baby. You can also imagine how impossible it is to hold two babies to sleep. I implemented these strategies and, even with two babies, saw a remarkable difference in how they took to sleep.
I wrote an article about these different strategies, to the delight of many parents. Several responded with success stories after trying them. Others had more questions. After answering many of them, I knew I had more to say than what could fit in a single article. I wrote and wrote until I answered their questions and addressed different scenarios… and then compiled it all into a guide.
I include all the strategies that helped me get my baby to sleep well. No, he was still too young to be sleeping 12 hours straight just yet, but I was able to lengthen his sleep into longer stretches. He was also more willing to sleep without being held, and I was establishing the habits that could help him get the sleep he (and I) needed.
With this guide, you’ll learn how to establish those habits, as well as get survival tips and gear to make it happen. It’s also straight to the point—no fluff or vague messages. If you’ve read other sleep books, you know how confusing many of them can be. I know how limited your time is right now, and that you need the exact tips to help your baby sleep better.
This newborn stage is tough, no doubt. I hope that, with this guide, you can help your baby get the sleep he needs—and not always in your arms.