Before we get started, it is important to understand that a 2 month old baby is not going to sleep “through the night” no matter what you do. It is very difficult for a new born to stay asleep for long periods of time, mainly because the different parts of their brain that control sleep and wakefulness are still developing. Also, their tiny little tummies get hungry and cannot be expected to wait 8 hours to be fed again. Sheer biology is what prevents a baby from staying asleep and it is hard to argue with that!
However, the good news is that by Month 4, babies are ready to sleep through the night, and actually prefer that. The only reason they wake is because they don’t know how to stay asleep, and by this point are dependent on a “crutch,” to put them back to sleep. These crutches are easy to break and can be done by switching to healthy “crutches.” Remember the way you put your baby down to sleep at night is the way they are going to expect to be put back to sleep every time they wake.
So, you can either wait it out until month 4 or try these strategies to make your little angel sleep longer than 2 hours at a stretch. At month 2, getting baby to sleep through the night would mean getting her to sleep for a maximum of 5 hours at a stretch.
Assuming that your baby is fed and in a clean diaper, let’s take a look at some things you can try to help baby sleep just a little longer.
1. Stick to a Strict Bed Time Routine
Having a fixed bed time routine right from day one (if you can) really helps baby to wind down. After a couple of days of repetition she will know what comes next and will automatically begin to wind down for bed. Babies will not sleep if they have not been given enough time to wind down before bed.
2. Re-create a Womb Setting
For newborn sleep, recreating a womb setting in their own crib gives them comfort when they sleep. Place baby as close to the walls of her crib as you can instead of placing her in the middle of the crib.
3. White Noise
Get a white noise machine or download a white noise app and play it in your baby’s room at bed time. Then with her aligned as close to 2 of the crib walls as possible, place your hand on her chest and shush her for a minute. If she seems fine, you can leave the room. Every time she cries after that, just go in and shush her for a few seconds and leave again. It won’t be long before your baby learns how to put herself back to sleep when she wakes.
4. The Ferber Method
Put your child down to sleep. When he cries, go in and comfort him back to sleep. When he cries again, wait 5 minutes before you go in to comfort him. The next time he cries, wait 10 minutes. Slowly increase the time frame by 5 minutes at a time until he stops waking up. This could take anything from 3 days to 3 weeks to work. This method is a difficult one and is not for the faint hearted. It is actually only intended for parents who are trying to break a difficult sleep crutch.
5. Regulate Day Time Naps
If you are aiming to put your little one down for the night by 8pm, his last nap should end before 6 pm. Work your way backwards from your baby’s bed time to roughly map out the day time naps. Work with a rough baby sleep schedule and tweak it as you learn what works for your baby.
Pacifiers are a great soother for babies who won’t sleep through the night. They mimic the mother’s breast and provide comfort and security to a sleeping baby. You can even splurge and get personalized pacifiers made for your little angel to help her sleep through the night.
For babies below the age of 3 months, these methods will only work to a certain degree. They will get hungry after a couple of hours so if they cry persistently, use your discretion or your mommy instincts and feed them.
It is important to note that the aforementioned strategies may work for some babies and may not work for others. For instance, a lot of babies don’t take to pacifiers. So if you are nursing your baby, there is a possibility that she will reject the pacifier. The only way to do this is to be patient and try out different methods until you find one that works for your little one.
Mommies, we know that caring for a new-born is hard and tremendously trying, but hang in there! They won’t be “newborn” for long. And one day, you will get your rest!