Do you get advice from everyone? A common question is, “How is your baby sleeping?” but that is the WRONG question. The right question is, “How are YOU sleeping?”
Babies don’t have to sleep well to be healthy and normal. But a mom who isn’t sleeping enough isn’t healthy or feels normal.
Many mom’s can cope just fine with a baby who wakes to feed frequently throughout the night and recognizes that it’s temporary and normal. If you don’t have a problem with how often your baby is waking, than it is NOT a problem. Don’t compare your baby to other babies. The range of normal for babies under 6 months old is so broad that there is no normal.
If you are not coping well with a baby who wakes frequently, then maybe there is something you can do about it. Maybe changing your expectations is all you can do temporarily or maybe there are some coping strategies you can incorporate. The baby brain is quickly developing and under 4 months is not the time to sleep train. But finding better ways to read their body language may help. Or changing your room environment may help. Or trying for more naps more frequently during the day may help. Or feeding your baby more frequently during the day may help. Or trying motion sleep, or co-sleeping. All great coping strategies.
There are many books to help with sleep. There are many sleep trainers and sleep coaches to help with sleep including me. There are many Facebook groups to help with sleep including my own Sleep Sisters Get Quiet Nights. If working with a sleep trainer or sleep coach, ask about their method. If they won’t tell you, don’t hire them. The general idea of the methods they use shouldn’t be a secret. You don’t want to get stuck with a cry it out or a modified cry it out if you wanted a gentle method. Gentle methods are responsive and feel good and safe when you get all the details. A sleep plan should also cover your daytime needs so you have a calm (not overtired) baby at bedtime.
I feel sad when a mom comes to me after having a bad experience with another sleep trainer. The method should feel good with your parental intuition. You have that intuition for a reason. Please follow it.
Let me know if you need my help.
Tracy Spackman Gentle Sleep Coach GetQuietNights.com