And STAY asleep
It’s one of the first things people ask you when they see you shlepping around your newborn…”how are they sleeping?”
Not great, Susan! Thanks for the support.
Let me preface this post by saying that I am NOT a doctor or a sleep consultant. Just a mom who has read a million blog posts and subscribed to those spammy emails about getting your baby to sleep. I’ve learned a few things along the way.
I started sleep training on both my kids once they didn’t need a nighttime feed. Basically, they would wake up, I would nurse or bottle feed and they would only eat for a minute or two and fall back asleep. Therefore, they don’t NEED to eat. They are just doing it for comfort. I have also heard of the 12/12 rule. Once they are 12 weeks, they are able to sleep 12 hours. It really depends on the kid, if you aren’t sure you should ask your pediatrician.
The purpose of this post is to get your baby to sleep on their own and STAY asleep. For our house, it was the staying asleep part that was the problem. This should be followed for night time sleep AND naps. Consistency is what makes this work.
Why sleep train?
Besides the fact that you also need to sleep, it’s good for your baby. It teaches them early on how to get to sleep and stay asleep. And babies brains develop while they are sleeping which means the more sleep, the better their little brains develop.
- Routine – If you have read any information about sleep training, you have seen this everywhere. Well, I am here to tell you this is the bread and butter to getting that squirmy little thing to sleep. Our routine with both babies was, diaper change, pjs, sleep suite, feed, burp (a lot), pacifier, crib then turn off the lights. You leave the lights on while you are doing the routine, then turn them off when you are leaving to signal your baby that it’s bedtime.
- Don’t rock them to sleep – Put them in the crib/rock n play/bassinet while they are still awake. This is crucial! If you (or the Rock N Play) are rocking them to sleep, STOP. Now. Just stop.
- Do NOT go back in the room – I have found from talking to friends with babies/kids, they would go back in the room when their baby woke up (not crying, just awake) or if they didn’t go to sleep right away after they were put in their crib. Stay out of the danger zone, people! Babies need to learn how to get themselves to sleep and back to sleep once they wake up.
If they wake up in the middle of the night, what do I do?
- Let them cry – This isn’t for everyone, and it’s hard, but let them cry. The first time, let them cry for 3 minutes. Then go in, put your hand on their chest, give them their pacifier, shush, noise machine, jumping jacks, whatever will help soothe them. Then walk out! DO NOT PICK THAT BABY UP! Then set a timer for 5 minutes, do the same steps to soothe them. Walk out. Then set a timer for 8 minutes, then 10 minutes, etc.
- Every baby is different – Some babies are fine after 1 or 2 trips in the room and others it takes an hour. But it is worth the sacrifice, trust me. Both of my kids, were trained after 2-3 nights of this method of sleep training.
If you are sleep training and your baby starts teething, or gets sick, or you’re traveling. Take a break until it passes and try again as these things tend to disrupt all kids’ sleep patterns.