Me and my boy – John Russo
A former Miss USA, the model and actress, 38, most recently starred in and executive produced Hollywood Girls Night on TV Guide Network.
All parents of young babies suffer from lack of sleep — that’s a given!
I was fortunate enough not to experience the full devastating force of sleep deprivation until my second child because Estela was a remarkably good sleeper.
When I was pregnant with her, I got really into Dr. Harvey Karp’s The Happiest Baby on the Block book and DVD. When she was born, we applied Dr. Karp’s methods and let me tell you, they worked like a charm!
We loved them because they allowed Alejandro to be an active participant in the process instead of just sitting by the sidelines, and they gave us confidence as parents that we could soothe our baby and get her to sleep easily.
Dr. Karp’s advice — coupled with the Miracle Blanket we swaddled Estela in — resulted in her sleeping through the night at two weeks old (don’t hate me). Little did I know how easy I’d had it until Marcelo came along.
Helping edit Daddy’s movie – Courtesy Ali Landry
I don’t know if it’s because he’s a boy or what, but he is still waking up repeatedly throughout the night. We’d also been swaddling him, but as you’ll recall from my last entry, we then discovered that he had somehow learned to flip over onto his stomach.
The first time I found him like this, with his head up in the air and his arms bound at his side, I PANICKED! So needless to say, this meant even less sleep for me because I was so scared.
However, the biggest difference has been made by Dr. Karp himself. I had the privilege of meeting him at an event, and he was kind enough to come to our home and do a one-on-one sleep session with us.
He taught us how to apply the wake/sleep technique, in which you basically adjust the baby’s sleep cycle by attempting to pull the baby from a deep sleep (about an hour before he usually wakes up) into a semiconscious state, then letting him go back to sleep in order to restart a sleep cycle without him ever completely waking up.
You do this by moving him around a little, gently stroking him or even changing his diaper. It depends on what works best for your baby. Then at around 6 or 6:30 a.m., I “dream feed” him, which is basically breastfeeding him while he’s still asleep to hold him over for a couple more hours.
Snoozin’ in his suit – Courtesy Ali Landry
We’re also using Dr. Karp’s CD of sleep sounds and music, which helps with different situations. There are sounds specifically designed for when the baby is just about to fall asleep, or for when you want him to stay asleep, and so forth.
We’ve had some great nights when I think we’ve finally solved this issue, but then there are other nights when it’s back to square one. So we are not out of the woods just yet, but all in all Marcelo is sleeping so much better (and so are we!), and I can honestly say I couldn’t have done it without Dr. Karp.
I am incredibly grateful for his help, but I would also love to know what your tips and techniques are. How did you get your little ones sleeping through the night? Did any of you deal with this “flipping” problem, or is my baby some kind of weird acrobat?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts! Leave a comment or Tweet me @alilandry.
— Ali Landry