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It’s 3am and you’re up feeding your baby wondering how in the world anyone ever gets their baby to sleep through the night!? Well, part of it is luck and the other part is persistence. You always hear of people saying “Oh is she a good sleeper? Are you getting any sleep?” And no. No baby is a great sleeper! You may get a few months of consistency (which is either good sleep or not) and then they get sick, or a tooth is bothering them! Sleep is all about circumstance. It’s all about how you go about it! I’m about to tell you all of the secrets of the sleeping baby!
Let me just give you a little background knowledge. My first baby was hard. So hard that I didn’t think I could make it through the day. She was hard from Day 1! She slept very little, ate alllllll of the time, and screamed a whole lot. Poor thing had some issues right at first. We finally found out that she had food sensitivities along with a lip and tongue tie. We got some issues under control, but sleeping wasn’t an option for us at that point. I always worried that her tummy hurt or she wasn’t getting enough milk, so I wouldn’t ever let her be upset about sleep.
Fast forward 4 months and I was basically a walking Mombie. I didn’t know myself anymore, much less anyone around me know who I was. I knew it was time to do something about sleep. My husband was entering his busy season and I was about to single-mom-it for several months and it was absolutely terrifying!
I asked suggestions from friends who’s babies were actually sleeping. I googled. I prayed. I pleaded and prayed some more. I tried to ready Baby Wise. I tried Moms on Call. I tried a new schedule, we started solids…I tried…everything. Until a friend who really understood what I was going through (because she had a hard baby too) recommended a few things to me. She changed my life on that day and I will never forget it.
She recommended the method Sleep Easy Solution, and gave me this advice: go pour yourself a glass of wine, run yourself a bubble bath, give the baby to your husband and read it! So I did. It wasn’t the book that was life-changing: it was the mind-set. I had to plan a way to change our habits and make something happen! It did. By 7 months, she was sleeping 12 to 13 hours at night and taking 2 naps during the day. She was a happier baby and I became a much happier mama!
Fast forward 2 years and I am doing the same things with my second as I did with my first, it’s just more natural and I don’t have to sit down and figure out a plan. My first is still sleeping great and my second just follows suit. She fell into our routine from day 1 and has been the easiest! It just goes to show, if you give the baby the chance to sleep, the baby is going to sleep. I’ve had babies at each end of the sleeping spectrum, so I feel you. I know how you feel mama, and give yourself some grace!
Read review of the Dock-a-Tot HERE, pictured above.
You see, we all freak out about sttn, motn feeds, paci or no Paci, CIO and co sleeping. We all have different ways to achieve what works best for our babies. We are all doing what works best, and that’s why we are good moms! It’s okay that we are all different!
I am by no means a perfect mom, a sleep study professional or a know-it-all…but I want to share what works for us. What has worked for us and what hasn’t worked for us! We all need sleep to function, so wouldn’t it be nice if we could all achieve that? Here are some secrets of the sleeping baby:
1. Routine – notice I did not say schedule. Scheduling didn’t work for us. Our everyday is not the same, so I freaked out when we missed something. The kindergarten teacher in me knows that you have to have a flexible routine. So that’s what we did. Our routine was everything. Lennyn’s routine is similar, and just pretty much follows what Laikyn’s was. The most important thing I can say to you about routine is this:
eat, play, sleep, repeat.
That’s it. Simple as that! If you miss one of those, just pick up where you left off and don’t stress! If you read in the book, it will give you an appropriate amount of wake time, play time and sleep time for your baby’s age.
2. Don’t stress – Your baby feels your stress. Take a deep breath, and know that the worst that can happen is your baby is going to keep sleeping the way she is. The best that can happen is she’s going to sleep better. So what do you have to lose?? Nothing. Decide what you’re doing and go for it.
3. CIO or don’t CIO – Listen to your baby. Some babies need to know you’re right there and have check-ins (more on this with the sleep training we used). Others do just fine fussing for a few minutes and go on to sleep. I’ve had both of those babies and done both of these things! It’s totally okay to make up your own rules (as long as they’re healthy and safe) as you go. Do what you are comfortable with, it’s your life ultimately!
4. Structure – Give your baby something to expect. She might not know what time it is, but when it’s time to eat she knows it’s time to eat. When it’s time for a bath, she knows it’s time for a bath. It should be the same with bedtime! Do the same thing every night before bed. Ours looks like this: dinner, baths, books/prayers then bed. Lennyn is nursing in place of books, but they both know when it’s bed time and don’t fight us.
5. Flexibility – When you’re home, stick with your routine. If you go out for errands or are out of your home, don’t stress! Don’t leave the brunch to take your baby home to sleep! It’s okay to miss a nap. She’s going to live, and although it may be harder on you than her, just try not to stress about schedule!
6. Set Goals – If you want your baby to just take good naps, focus on that! If you want her to nap in her crib, focus on that. Pick one attainable goal at a time to work on. When you’ve reached that goal, move to the next! It’s not like you can build Rome in a day. You can’t make your baby sleep perfectly in a day either. Or 3 days. Or ever. Stuff happens.
7. Give Grace – Give yourself some grace when grace is needed. Give your baby some grace, too. If you didn’t do the best today, try again tomorrow! The best thing you can do for your baby is teach her. You might have to teach her to sleep, but it’s going to happen! You can do it! Pat yourself on the back and go pour yourself a Olivia Pope-size-glass of Pinot Noir.
8. Be Consistent – Stick with your plan (whatever it may be) because your baby needs you to be consistent. If you decided she is going to sleep in her crib all night, she needs to sleep in her crib all night every night. Babies get confused easily when they’re not in a consistent environment! If you don’t do anything else for them to sleep, be consistent. I promise it’s going to help!
I know this was a broad overview of sleeping and the secrets of a sleeping baby, and I can elaborate more on what we do exactly in another post since we followed a certain method (The Sleep Easy Solution).
If you have any questions, comments or concerns please email me! I will tell you exactly how my girls sleep and how we got there. I’m happy to answer any questions or if you have something that worked for you I would love to hear it!
Cheers (with my Olivia Pope-size-wine) to some great sleep for you and baby!
Here are some things that help us get good sleep every night!