We are often taught how important communication is with adults, how our body language, tone and timing says so much.
When I first became a mom I struggled getting my daughter to eat and sleep at the right times. She would sleep throughout the day and at night, for the most part would feed. As the days turned to weeks I was exhausted. Something had to change! This momma needed sleep.
My mother visited me from North Carolina and quickly realized I did not have a solid bedtime routine. She gave me some insight...my baby was looking to me to communicate that it was almost bedtime and I was inconsistent. I needed to make some adjustments.
Bathtime… there were times I would give her a bath earlier in the day, depending on how messy things got. But I quickly realized she felt most comfortable after soaking in a warm bath with a warm washcloth on her stomach. My Colicky baby felt at ease, she felt she was back in the womb. This is how I started my NEW bedtime routine. I would bathe her for 15-30 minutes in a lavender baby wash, I always loved the Burt's Bees products or Shea Moisture.
Once she was dry and diapered, I applied her baby lotion and swaddled her, this was her second signal. It was time for her evening feeding and yes, yes, SLEEP was on the horizon.
Swaddling was key for me, it kept her arms in place, she felt secure and snug. No scratching, loose hands as cute as they were. After sticking to my routine for a couple days, I noticed she anticipated breastfeeding and sleep quickly followed. I have to confess and I remember it like yesterday. I feared burping her, what if she wakes up, what do I do next :)
I slowly laid her down. She was asleep! It was a miracle! I noticed as long as I stuck to my routine both mommy and baby were happier and were able to get more sleep.
As time went on, I noticed that the number one tool, above bathing, breastfeeding or anything else I did, swaddling became the number one communication tool. If she was crying or fussing, as soon as I started the swaddling process, she would calm down. It's like she knew that her favorite things were coming - breastfeeding, rocking and sleeping.