Disclaimer: I am not a certified sleep consultant. I understand sleep training can be a touchy subject. Sleep training is not for every family but it worked for us. You do you. That's the magic of motherhood, different methods but the same heart. Just love please!!! This post contains affiliate links.
It has taken me forever to write this post but if you follow me on Instagram you know I'm a huge believer in schedules and sleep training for babies. Because I have a lot to say on this subject, I'm splitting it up into 3 posts...introduction, 0-3 month sleep and 3+ month sleep.
Before I had kids, I thought, I'm going to be that mama who takes her babies everywhere...my babies will be able to sleep in anyone's arms, on church pews, on blankets outside, in car rides...my babies will not dictate my schedule....
And then I actually had a baby...HA!
It took me almost 30 years to realize, I am NOT a "go with the flow" type of person. I like organization, I like schedules, I like routine. I'm okay with change (probably mainly because of all that positivity that's deeply engrained in me, ha) but it takes me awhile to adjust to it...so when I became a mama, I desperately needed to figure out a routine...especially one that involves sleeping at night!!
When I was pregnant with Luca I read the Sleepsense Guide. I'm a BIG BIG fan of sleep so I knew trying to get my baby to sleep would be a priority for me. It's very helpful. The layout isn't the easiest to follow (it's very wordy) but it helped us a lot.
And then Luca was born and IT WAS BANANAS. He was jaundice so for the first few days I nursed him around the clock which meant he fed every 2 hours. A typical night would be: 11pm wake him up, change diaper, nurse 15 mins each side while also trying to keep him awake (jaundice babes are very sleepy so you need to keep them awake while feeding), burp, change diaper, swaddle, back to sleep, set alarm for 1am. After gaining 5oz in 3 days my doc said I could go to every 4 hours at night (HALLELUJAH!)
Like I said, IT WAS BANANAS. But it also gave me a lot of time to be on my phone and google things. The #1 thing I googled was "when can babies sleep through the night". Obviously I knew a baby had to be older and a healthy weight to sleep through the night but I wanted to know anything I could to help make that happen!
So I followed Sleepsense, and the blogs: Precious Little Sleep and A Mother Far From Home. At 7 weeks Luca went into his own room and at 8 weeks he started sleeping 10 hour stretches! He slept great and didn't go through any 4 month regression. I did have to re-nap train him after we went to Cali (because all his naps were on the go or nursed to sleep) but he started doing 7-7 straight around 6 months and today is still an amazing sleeper.
I did wonder that maybe Luca was just naturally a good sleeper but then I had London. I followed the exact same things and realized, nope, they just needed to be taught how to sleep and this my friends, is why I believe in sleep training...sleep training is essentially teaching your child how to go to sleep on their own.
It's not neglecting your child or letting you child cry for hours on end..it's also not not feeding them. Sometimes London sleeps 11-12 hours straight but sometimes she wakes around 5:30am for a feed. I could night wean her but I don't really mind that feed as it's only once in awhile.
Since writing this London has slept consistently 12 hours straight for the past few months! I can't remember the last time she has woken up in the night!
Sleep Training Supplies
If you're planning on sleep training here are a few things that I HIGHLY recommend:
- Video Monitor (Some ppl swear by audio but video is such a life saver...it's amazing to see your babe get the hang of falling asleep. I recommend getting one with night vision which will save your sanity when your baby starts rolling over in their crib!!)
- Velcro Swaddles (for 0-4 month stage)
- Continuous White Noise (I'll talk about the importance of this in the 3 months + sleep post!)
- Black Out Curtain
- Sleep Sack (for 4 months and up)
I'm sure I'm missing some supply but there you have it for now! I'll be back with part 2 + 3 very soon!!