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BABY SLEEP TIPS - Sleep Training, Scheduling, and Products

Baby Sleep Sleep Products Sleep Scheduling Sleep Training

Let’s be honest, kids are HARD. Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs, but it's a lot harder when you're sleep deprived. Sleep is so important for not just parents, but the baby as well. Everyone is happier when they're getting good sleep, so that is one of my main focuses with a new baby.  

Sleep training is such a controversial topic in the mommy world because people think sleep training is leaving your kid to cry. That is NOT what I mean by sleep training. I mean setting up daytime schedules and a conducive sleep environment to help teach your baby to fall asleep independently so that they can put themselves back to sleep in the middle of the night.  Schedules are not for everyone, and that’s ok. These are just resources that I’ve found to be super helpful for training Zoey to sleep 12 uninterrupted hours a night by 12 weeks old, and I’m now using to get Harper to that same point.

 

SLEEP TRAINING RESOURCES 

  • Babywise Book: This book teaches you what you need to do to get your baby sleeping through the night. The key principles are

Eat/Wake/Sleep – feeding your baby when they wake up and avoiding feeding them to sleep so they don’t become dependent on eating to fall asleep

Wake your baby throughout the day to eat – Get most of your baby’s calories in during the day, so they don’t need to wake as often at night to eat.

Have a daytime schedule – wake your baby at the same time every day and set up a nighttime routine to alert your baby that it’s time for a long stretch of sleep (Zoey was a bath, bottle, jammies, book, prayer, bed until she was old enough to understand what “bedtime” meant – we’re still figuring out something for Harper at 6 weeks old because 2 kids is crazy)

Feed your baby when they’re hungry – Your baby will go through growth spurts and developmental leaps basically every 2 weeks in the first 3-6 months. They will go through days or weeks where they’re not going to stick to your schedule and want to eat more often. Don’t ignore those hunger cues. They will go back to their normal schedule.


  • Taking Cara Babies: This program teaches you how to get your baby sleeping through the night. It has very similar principles to the Babywise book, but gives you very specific ways to calm your baby and get them to fall asleep. This program was not around when Zoey was born, but I just watched it with Harper at 5 weeks old and it is a game changer.

 

  • Wonder Weeks App: This app is free and will give you different dates specific to your baby when you can expect more fussiness and more or less sleep. It also tells you which new skills your baby will be learning at that time. Sleep is usually effected by your kid learning a new skill, so it’s nice to know when to expect sleep issues.

 

SLEEP SCHEDULING

Start on a 2.5- or 3- hour schedule with waketimes of no more than 45 minutes. If there are no health issues, most moms allow baby to wake themselves to eat overnight once baby is back to birthweight; you can let baby wake you from bedtime to desired wake time, or you can do a dream feed about three hours after bedtime and let baby wake you from dream feed to desired wake time. Keep middle-of-the-night (MOTN) feedings full but boring. 3-4 MOTN feedings (including a dream feed if done) is common at the beginning, and baby should begin to go longer stretches over time. There is a common growth spurt at six weeks in which many moms see extra MOTN feedings but the schedule bounces back to normal after about a week. Here are 3 sample schedules to try (we do an 8am wake up and 9pm bedtime with Harper right now):

 

(0-8 weeks old)

 

7 DWT/feed

7:45-10 nap

10 feed

10:45-1 nap

1 feed

1:45-4 nap

4 feed

4:45-6:45 nap

Bedtime routine (bath, clean diaper and pajamas, story)

7:00 feed and bedtime

 

7 DWT/feed

7:45-10 nap

10 feed

10:45-1 nap

1 feed

1:45-4 nap

4 feed

4:45-6:00 nap

6:00 feed

6:45-8 nap

Bedtime routine (bath, clean diaper and pajamas, story)

8:00 feed and bedtime

 

7:00 DWT/feed

7:45-9:30 nap

9:30 feed

10:15-12 nap

12 feed

12:45-2:30 nap

2:30 feed

3:15-5 nap

5 feed

5:45-6:45 nap

Bedtime routine

7:00 feed and bedtime

 

(8-12 weeks)

Baby is on three-hour feeding cycles. Waketime is one hour at this age, often increasing to around 1.5 hours at 12 weeks.

7:00 DWT/feed

8:00-10:00 nap

10:00 feed

11-1 nap

1:00 feed

2-4 nap

4:00 feed

5-6:15 nap

Waketime then bedtime routine

7:00 feed and bedtime

 

SLEEP PRODUCTS

These are a couple of products that we used with Zoey and have been using with Harper to help with all things sleep –

 

  • Halo Bassinet: This bassinet can be lowered or raised to the height of your bed and has pockets for diapers, wipes, diaper cream, a binky, burp clothes, etc. along with a light on the side that is perfect for middle of the night feeding and diaper changes. We used this for Zoey, let a friend borrow it for her new baby, and are now using it for Harper. It’s definitely an investment, but so worth not having to get out of bed at all for middle of the night feedings.

  • Nest Camera: We use these camera’s to check in on our kids while they’re sleeping. It helps to give me an accurate timing of when they wake up or fall asleep, and calms my anxiety about SIDS when I can check in on them without going in and possibly waking them.

  • White Noise Machine: We downloaded a white noise playlist on Apple Music so it synced to all our devices (cell phones, iPads, computers, etc.), but this sound machine is another great option for using in their bedroom as well as using in their stroller or while traveling.

  • Swaddles: Zoey loved these velcro SwaddleMe swaddles, but Harper will only fall asleep in the Love To Dream swaddle because she likes her arms up.

                                                                  

  • Knotted Gowns: These are so convenient for middle of the night feedings when you need to change their diaper. You don’t have to mess with buttons or zippers, and they’re still fully covered and warm which prevents them from fully waking up. I love the ones from Lou Lou and Company, but click here for a cheaper version.

 

 

Baby sleep is so unpredictable and is different for every kid. Zoey was much easier to get on a schedule than Harper has been, but setting up independent sleep skills is definitely starting to pay off at 6 weeks with Harper. Scheduling and making sure I had some time to myself each day was the only way I was able to start Make It Minnie and grow my business. It’s also the only way I’m able to get in a shower, do laundry, clean my house, do dishes, and write this post during the day. Be patient, but I promise a schedule and sleep environment will pay off. For those parents that are interested in getting advice and troubleshooting with other moms on getting your baby to sleep using Babywise principles, come join the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/babywisemamas/

 

Make sure to leave your questions below and I’ll answer what I can!

 



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