There are countless baby books out there that address sleep issues. Here is a quick overview since you’re probably too tired to read eight full-length books at this point. If you want to co-sleep with your kids until they leave for college, then you should read “The Baby Book” by Dr. Bill Sears. If you want your baby to sleep through the night in their own crib yesterday, you need to “Ferberize” their ass! “Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems” by Doctor Richard Ferber will explain the Ferber Method, often referred to as “crying it out.” The bottom line is, it works. You and your child both need to sleep so get to work, stay consistent and have faith in oh mighty Ferber!
We aren’t knocking co-sleeping. Wait, yes we are. Here are the reasons NOT to co-sleep:
It’s FN dangerous and increases the risk of SIDS.
You’ll never get laid with Junior cuddled up next to you.
Kids are crazy sleepers and will be throwing elbows and kidney shots all night.
Your relationship is parent-child, not friends at a sleepover. Teaching kids that everyone needs personal space is a great lesson.
Nighttime may be the only break you get from your kids, so take it.
What’s the bedtime plan? Everyone goes to bed at 7:30pm in Mommy and Daddy’s room. Screw that…I want to watch “Dexter.”
You’re so sleep deprived when you have a newborn, you could literally roll over and suffocate your baby. Please refer back to 1. It’s FN dangerous!
Warning: A bad sleeper can put a huge damper on your parenting experience early on. Though you have little control over whether your baby will be a good or bad sleeper, you do have control over when you choose to sleep train them if it proves necessary. Obviously, talk to your pediatrician about when and how to sleep train, just know that often times the longer you wait the more stubborn the behavior becomes. We know from experience that “waiting it out” for your child to correct their own sleep issues does not work. The bigger the baby, the louder and longer they scream. If you can, sleep train sometime between five and seven months if they’re still waking up more than once a night. Depending on your child’s weight, they should be more than capable of a six to eight-hour stretch at about ten pounds. Just remember, one or two weeks of torture may spare you months (even years) of sleep deprivation.
Middle of the night wakings for older children should be treated in the same manner as bedtime. Lay the hammer down. They are not to wake you unless they are sick, period. If all else fails, use threats! Remember the Not So Zen Mom Parent Pledge: “I understand that the proper response to any waking in the middle of the night by a kid over one year old is, ‘Go back to bed or Santa’s NOT coming!’” Typically these nighttime wakings are just another manipulation to test what you’re willing to put up with. You will be exhausted from the hour and a half bedtime routine plus getting woken up twice in the middle of the night, yet somehow your kid will still wake up at 5:30am raring to go. These kids never clock out! If you don’t put a stop to the bedtime/sleep manipulation, your kids are sure to take advantage.