Bringing a new baby into the house is an incredible, exciting but also terrifying occasion, even more so when you have one or two children already. It can bring up a whole lot of questions.
How are the older children going to react to this new baby? Are they going to embrace the role of being an older sibling? Will they turn into jealous clingers who need constant attention? Will their schedule fit with your newborn's naps and feeding times? Most importantly, how is this going to affect the older child's bedtime?
Trying to juggle two or three different bedtime routines can be overwhelming if you're not ready for it. Trying to find fifteen minutes to feed your newborn while at the same time trying to get your toddler out of the bath can make you lose your mind. Toddlers just know that you're in a position where you're unable to chase them down and enforce the rules, so they are more likely to take advantage of that weakness.
So here are some strategies for those of you who have two or three little people, and are struggling to find a bedtime groove.
When I was expecting my first baby, I followed along in the books about every single stage of my pregnancy, I read about what to expect when baby arrives.
I learned about anything that I thought I would need to know for that first little bit of baby’s life; I read a lot!
Of course, I didn't think much about baby sleep until I realized that my precious little bundle of joy DID NOT KNOW HOW TO SLEEP!!
So, I read more and more about nothing except baby SLEEP!
What I wasn't prepared for was the sheer amount of information out there, and how much the "experts" contradicted each other!
Even among medical professionals, the number of times I must have read one person say that one thing was an absolute must, then to have another "expert" say that the first was wrong or harmful, was mind-boggling and extremely stressful!
As most parents do though, I took that information, analyzed it, filtered everything through a combination of common sense and personal beliefs, and came up with a strategy I was comfortable with.
But one thing I was never sure about, mainly because nobody seemed to have a clear answer, was whether I could sleep train while I was breastfeeding or how to sleep train while I was breastfeeding.
The primary argument against the idea, so far as I understood it, was that breast milk gets digested faster than formula, and therefore babies who are breastfed need to wake up several times a night to feed.
Otherwise, they'll feel hungry throughout the night, be unable to sleep, and potentially suffer from malnutrition.
Now, I know that there are different views on this matter, and whichever one you subscribe to, you're probably convinced that you're right. And you might be, assuming of course that you agree with me.
I'm kidding, of course. Like most things in parenting, there's not so much of a "right and wrong," as opposed to "right for your child."
But there are a few facts that you should know if you're breastfeeding and trying to decide whether or not to sleep train your child.
After all, what's the point of sleep training if your baby's nutrition needs prevent them from sleeping through the night?
So, here's an interesting fact.
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Providing families the tools & support they need to get their little ones sleeping through the night and napping like champs! Everyone has more fun when they are well rested!