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7 Strategies to Help Your Baby Sleep All Night

7 Strategies to Help Your Baby Sleep All Night

When a new baby arrives the first thing everyone is quick to point out is how you’ll be kissing your good night’s sleep goodbye. This really doesn’t have to be the case, at least after the first six weeks of a baby’s life. At that point of your newborn’s little life, you can start to help your baby learn to sleep all night. These strategies have been put to the test and have helped many moms and dads claim back their restful nights.

1. Bedtime Feeding Ritual

During the day, when the baby is feeding, make these times lively and fun. Have the television on or the radio; don’t be afraid to sing or talk to your baby while she feeds. In contrast, when it is time for her bedtime feeding, find a quiet space with low lighting and avoid too much talking. If you do speak to your baby while she’s feeding, use soft, whisper tones. This differentiation between feedings will help your little one realize it is time to settle down and relax.

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2. Put Baby Down Awake

When it is time for bed, it is important to put your baby in bed while she is still awake. It is okay if she’s drowsy and relaxed, but avoid putting her in her bed once she has already fallen asleep. By putting her down awake, you are teaching her that it is bedtime and this is where she goes to drift off. She will eventually get use to the environment and feel comfortable enough to fall asleep without your help.

3. Try to Keep a Schedule

If you are most likely to put your baby down at 7 p.m. then aim to do so every night, right from about 3 months old. This helps the baby’s natural sleep cycle set itself and she will appreciate the routine. Having your baby go to bed later does not mean your little one will sleep in or sleep longer. In fact, this is often counter-productive. Lack of sleep can create a cranky, unsettled baby who then won’t sleep properly. Having a schedule makes for a happy, rested baby.

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4. Get a White Noise Machine

Some babies do better if there is background noise. This doesn’t mean blaring the latest pop hits when it’s bedtime. Invest in a white noise machine which is designed specifically for soothing and relaxation. Some of the sounds include waterfalls, birds, ocean waves and other repetitive, yet peaceful sounds.

5. Cry it Out

This strategy is very controversial amongst parents and professionals alike. If your baby is older, say around five or six months, this method could be effective—that is if you are prepared to endure it. This isn’t for everyone since things will likely get worse before they get better for a few nights at least. You would simply put your little one to bed, kiss goodnight and leave the room. She may cry but you wouldn’t go over and break the rule. The objective in the strategy is to let her cry herself to sleep in an effort to learn self-soothing.

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6. Gently Easing Towards Self-Soothing

If crying it out is not your cup of tea, you could employ a gentler strategy where you would let your baby cry only for an allotted amount of time, for example five minutes, before you go in and provide reassurance. This could mean you simply go in, reposition her, give the soother, and leave with a whispered good night.

7. Wean from Nighttime Feedings

Once your baby is four to six months old, it is appropriate to start cutting out feedings throughout the night. First make sure you are feeding enough during the day and then, if you must go to your baby in the night, do so but without a feeding. Just soothe, swaddle or cover up and put her back to bed. This will prevent your baby becoming reliant on having to feed in the night and help her learn to sleep all night.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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