Please don’t Sleep on It! Research Baby Sleep

October 23, 2023, cassieley

Throughout my pregnancy, I was pretty type-A about researching just about everything. From pregnancy to birth and breastfeeding, I, like every mother, wanted to do my absolute best for my baby. But one thing I neglected to research? Sleep.

Mom leaning over her baby in a sidecar cribI had heard of the many tools parents use to get their babies to sleep- from swaddles to white noise- and I wanted none. I wanted my baby to be able to sleep anywhere without relying on such crutches, and I thought I would not introduce them and allow my baby to sleep whenever she was tired. (Hearing myself say that now, it’s hard not to be embarrassed by the naïveté.) For the first month, that plan seemed to work perfectly- my baby slept anywhere, anytime- from home to the car to a baseball game. I felt that my baby was sleeping like a dream. Sure, she was awake every two hours to eat, but she would predictably put herself right back to sleep.

After a month, though, things started to shift. Suddenly, she wasn’t sleeping at all. What I now know is that after a month, babies no longer have melatonin from their mom. Additionally, they are becoming so much more aware of their surroundings that I honestly believe they have FOMO (fear of missing out). I became frantic for sleep- for my daughter as well as myself. Thankfully, there are plenty of resources!

The No Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley, recommended to me by my midwife, is my favorite! I appreciate this book because it offers a comprehensive look at baby sleep and a gentle approach to helping your baby sleep independently through the night. If you are expecting and have not yet researched sleep, or even if you already have a baby and would like to improve your baby’s sleep, I can’t recommend this book enough. Also, check out these Instagram accounts and websites:Beautiful baby sleeping with his teddy bear aside, family concept





La Leche League

Taking Cara Babies

The Peaceful Sleeper


Asian Dad and baby sleepingWhatever resources you use, be sure to look into these topics:

                  • Biologically normal sleep for babies (It is important to manage your expectations surrounding your baby’s sleep.)
                  • Strategies to help baby sleep
                  • Safe cosleeping (This one is important because many parents end up cosleeping at some point, even if they do not plan to. It is best to understand safe cosleeping practices rather than risking doing so unsafely when you are exhausted.)

Thankfully, time, patience, and consistent practice implementing strategies from the book have dramatically improved my daughter’s (and my) sleep. Unfortunately, I cannot tell you exactly how to get your baby to sleep; baby sleep is not one-size-fits-all. For example, I was also gifted the book Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old by Suzy Giordano, but I decided it was not a fit for me and my baby. Clearly, it worked well enough for the parents who gifted it to me that they wanted to share the gift of sleep with me, and I appreciate that! There is so much information and opinions about baby sleep, which are often conflicting. I encourage you to trust yourself to do what is best for you and your baby! And when you have hard nights, try to remember that this season will not last forever. It can take some trial and error, but there is hope – and plenty of resources.

Casual couple watching media content on line in a tablet sitting on a sofa in the living room at homeFailing to research sleep has probably been one of my biggest parenting flops so far. Doing so before it became a problem would undoubtedly have made some easier days, but it’s never too late to learn and improve.