My newborn baby slept soundly for the first month of his life. He slept so soundly that he had us a little worried. At the hospital we were told that a baby needs to feed every 2-3 hours. My baby loved sleeping for 5 hours straight. I look back on those days and wonder “what the hell happened?” It seemed like we did a full 360 degree turn and my head is still spinning in motion. Instead of trying to wake him up to feed him, I now try to put him to sleep and keep him sleeping. In the first two months I found that holding him with his head on my shoulder and rocking him in a chair would help him fall asleep.
I was then able to gently lay him down for a nap without waking him up. For the next two months, this dream technique no longer worked and he carried it in his front pack. He fell asleep and fell asleep in the front backpack. However, anytime during his sleep that he tried to remove me from the front pack, he would wake up immediately.
Any mother knows that babies get incredibly heavy after a while, even when they’re just a newborn lump. I tried a different sleep technique where I walked him around singing lullabies until she fell asleep, again this can become an inefficient sleep technique because it ends up making the mother more tired. I went from walking to sitting and rocking him to sleep. After a few days the rocking seemed to be making things worse and after assessing the situation I think I was overstimulated.
Rocking by itself was enough, but the singing and rocking combined was just too much for our baby. All of the sleep techniques mentioned were successful in putting my baby to sleep, however the main drawback was that he was attached to me. He needed to be held and surrounded by motherly care. That meant my baby would consume my night, with no time to make dinner or shower…
As a mother, I chose this form of bonding and engagement because the dream technique met my babies’ needs. I had a sleeping baby in my arms without him crying himself to sleep. When he placed his sleeping body on our bed, he would wake up immediately. I then found myself picking him up and soothing him to sleep in our bed again. I realized that he was pulling double duty for me and decided to just climb into bed with him and hold him in my arms. He would pat her on the back, feed her, and after a while of calming down, he would fall asleep.
The transition of our baby from my arms to the bed still made him wake up. It took me several nights to find a routine that would allow him to feel safe going back to sleep. Once he was safely in bed and his eyes were open, he would lay me down with my head touching his and gently stroke his back. Continuing this sleep technique for a couple of months, I was able to put him to bed without him waking up.
I have continued with this dream technique ever since and feel that it has rewarded me with wonderful moments. It’s an amazing feeling when during light sleep he can open his eyes and look at me. He’ll show me a big smile and I’ll think “oh man, he’s awake!”, but as soon as his smile has faded and his eyes are closed. Send a message of love and trust to my heart that is priceless. Then I could never take away these wonderful moments by placing him in his crib to cry to sleep. I know like his mom that most of the time his crying will turn into screaming no matter what the cause. Then he is inconsolable for hours. So I think even trying the “cry” method is just asking for more trouble.