I’ll begin by saying that I am in no shape or form an expert. Far from it. I’m probably just lucky that both Clark and Oliver are, for the most part, great sleepers. By two months they were both sleeping about 6-7 hours a night, waking up for one feeding in the early morning and usually a couple more hours of sleep right after.
All of these tips I have read throughout the internet world. There are a billion of opinions out there, these are just what I’ve tested myself and thought to be the most helpful for me.
No complete silence, ever
Since the day we brought Clark home, I’ve kept the tv running at night. It’s not loud, just barely audible. Just a nice little bit of background noise that also gives me some light for night feedings and something to watch.
Since Oliver was born my nightly binge show has been Parks and Recreation. It’s nice to have a familiar go-to program to have playing. When I went through the frequent feedings with Clark, all we had access to in the bedroom were local channels! I remember groggily looking at the tv, trying to figure out why there was an old man sitting behind a desk talking to me at 3am. I love that we have Hulu now and I can at least have a bit of a giggle when I’m awake.
The no silence regime also goes for the daytime as well. Music or tv always fills the house. This is especially nice right now because Ollie usually sleeps right through whatever craziness Clark is involved in! I can also go about my business as usual and not have to worry about clinking a dish or two.
There are always several feeding close to bedtime. I have to get that baby belly good and full! A feeding schedule has never worked out for me, feeding on-demand is a must. I’m not much on schedules at all, actually. But that’s besides the point. For this reason, I usually try to drink more water and snack on almonds in the evenings. I don’t know if it actually helps, but I know it doesn’t hurt and I at least feel like I’m producing more milk.
Full disclosure; 98% of the time I end up breastfeeding Ollie to sleep. I’ve read many things telling me it’s bad… But I just don’t care. It worked well for Clark and it never led him to not being able to comfort himself. Even after he stopped breastfeeding, (and he was the one who made that decision! two weeks before he turned one he completely lost interest. I was a bit offended and a bit relieved!), I would give him a bottle of Similac Go and Grow before bed. This did a good job of signifying that it was the end of the day and most importantly, fill that belly! He loved it!
Seems obvious, but I feel like this really helps distinguish that it’s now time to settle down. Also worth noting that naps are taken in normal bright rooms, I’ve never tried to darken rooms during the day for a nap. I feel it’s important that we get into bed, turn on the tv, and turn off the light for the last feeding. It’s usually a quick process and I can gently lay Ollie in his bassinet and pass out (or lay down and look at my phone and enjoy a bit of me time, of course)
It’s really what works with your life and your schedule. Everyone is going to be different and have to do different things. Whatever works for you! Don’t let “experts” make you feel like you’re doing something wrong. They would probably faint if I told them the time I put Clark and Ollie to bed. But it works for us right now. And we are all happy and healthy! And that’s what is important!