Everyone seems to have an opinion on getting babies to sleep through the night! It's really no surprise that babies are nocturnal creatures since they learn their sleeping patterns in the womb....they fall asleep when you are moving i.e. walking around during the day, rocking them from side to side (have you ever wondered why pregnant girls develop a distinctive walk...it's not pregnant-waddling but human-rocking) and they wake up when you keep still i.e. sleep like a stone at night. So, my advice for having a baby who pops out with the correct day/night body-clock it to start working night shifts, attend all night raves or sleep in a hammock when pregnant!
Other advice comes from the infamous Gina Ford, who recommends a military schedule....which means that you have to sacrifice any life until your baby is fully regimented and give up any thoughts of a holiday (where the baby sleeps) for the first 4 years. (Her funny solution for not being able to leave the house, for fear that you cannot put the baby to sleep in exactly the same position every 3 hours, is for everyone to come and visit you.....so, besides going stir crazy from cabin-fever, none of your maternity colleagues would also be able to do Gina Ford or you would all be stuck at home....I guess there's always Facebook chat!) When discussing her views with the aforementioned maternity colleagues, we were appalled at Gina's rule that there should be no eye contact during the night-time feeds..not because we thought it too cruel, but because it suggested that we should be making eye contact during the day....this is when we catch up on email!!!)
Then, there's the Baby Whisperer (not my BW, a different one), who supposedly suggests a gentler approach, but it is essentially still Gina Ford just disguised in pink!
At the opposite side, are lackadaisical parents, who's approach is: anything-goes-let-the-baby-dictate. You can spot these types from their haggard, aged-5-years-in-5-weeks appearance.
We are trying for something in the middle! Implementing our own routine that takes suggestions from them all but hopefully works for us. This is our approach:
1. Work with the routine that Limi has already naturally fallen into.
2. Still encourage her to fall asleep with noise around (at least during the day). This is setting her up for future back-packing adventures...
3. Create a night-time routine that can hopefully travel: bath, feed, sleep soundtrack and sleepy giraffe's watering-hole sounds..all of which can be packed up and transported! Will lead into bedtime story-telling/reading later on.
4. Still let her sleep in a variety of 'beds', from her cot, to the pram bassinet...hopefully allowing for easy transition to the travel cot and later on, to being able to sleep on long-haul flights (something that I wish that I had been trained for from a baby!)
5. Not get too stressed out by the whole thing......she's still very small....and very cute when she wants to chat at 3am!
Anyway, that's the plan! Any recommendations to the above are most welcome. Leave comments below!