not sleeping through the night? my personal tips on sleep training

How many mommies had kids that just didn’t like to sleep? I def did! There are many sleep training solutions out there and I didn’t find just one that really worked for me. I did read a few different ones and created a plan for Ayven that I knew would work for him and wanted to share the tips I learned. Keep in mind not sleeping through the night every night will never happen, kids experience teething, stuffiness, nightmares, growth spurts and so much more. It might be beneficial for you to know that you have the chance to use something similar to this sleepify sleep calculator that can allow you to calculate the different sleeping cycles you and your family could be going through each night, this could lead to the creation of better sleep routines as well as being able to identify any issues that could cause increased lack of sleep for a night or two.

When to start?

  • Most experts say you can start between 4-6 months. I definitely didn’t start mine until 8 months because I didn’t know any better! For my next one, no more nursing till 8 months at night for sure!
  • If they are a newborn, do not sleep train, they need the nurturing.
  • Start a bedtime routine a month before you want to sleep train, this will get them used to their room and will understand that it’s time for bed.

What should I do first?

  • MAKE SURE you and your significant other are on the same page. You will need the support.
  • Make sure their environment is a comfortable room temperature.
  • Make sure there room is dark.
  • If you use music, keep it very soothing. I highly recommend Disney Lullabies.
  • Make sure you are not traveling and you do not have visitors at home as you will need the whole week to focus on routine.
  • If you think you will need to change their diaper at night, use a sleep sack rather than having to put all those buttons on.

How should I sleep train? Here is the method I used but remember every child is different.

  • Create a chart for the week that has the weekdays, bed time start for each day, check-in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (if you need more you can add it) and amount of time crying during each check-in.
  • Follow your same bedtime routine; do not hold them to put them to sleep. They should be put in their crib AWAKE.
  • Put them to bed the same exact time every night.
  • Lay them in their crib, give them a kiss and tell them you love them, leave the room and close the door. Some people find it useful to use a sleep training app when they are doing sleep training so they can better keep track of their babies sleeping patterns.
  • If your baby is crying, go in at 15 minutes from the time you put them down and only stay in the room for 45 seconds, do not touch them, just tell them mommy/daddy is here and you love them. Walk out of the room.
  • Continue doing check-ins by incrementing the check ins by 5 minutes. For example your baby goes down at 8:00pm, go in at 8:15 if they are crying, go back in 20 minutes later for 45 seconds, if they are still crying, go back in 25 minutes later and so on.
  • Record all this information in the chart and you will be amazed of how much easier it gets day by day.
  • They will learn to soothe themselves but stay strong, you give in once, you have to start all over again!

What if I am nursing at night still?

This technique may sound strange but it worked PERFECT for me. I weaned him at night in 6 days!

  • Before you start training, write down the times that he/she feeds at night and the length of time.
  • The first night of sleep training, wake your baby up 1 hour before their normal night time feed and feed them for the normal length of time.
  • On the second night, wake your baby up 1 hour before their normal night time feed and take off 5 minutes of their normal feed time.
  • Repeat this until you get t zero feed time length.
  • Remember just feed them and lay them back down, don’t hold them, don’t cuddle with them or you will have to start over.

What if my baby is using a pacifier?

This was tough but you can give them the pacifier to fall asleep, but you cannot give it to them if it falls out of their mouth during training. I kept about 3 pacifiers in his crib so he could find one if he needed it. They will throw it over the crib to get your attention, you can’t give in! If you want to stop the pacifier, just cut it out completely and start the sleep training

What if my baby has a dirty diaper in the middle of the night?

  • Go in, change their diaper and put them right back in the crib.

What about toddler training?

I personally did not think letting a toddler cry it out was very effective. Once they are in a bed, they can walk right over to your room. It didn’t help that I recently bought a new mattress, we all love it, which is probably another reason why he kept jumping into our bed. We highly recommend reading reviews from sites like casper vs leesa to help you find one perfect for you! I didn’t put a gate up or lock his room. Each time Ayven came to our room, we walked him back to his room, and explained to him why he had to stay in his room. It took way longer than a week but it worked! Don’t give in by letting them sleep in your bed in the middle of the night, I did and it took me so long to get him to sleep in his room again.

All the books go in a lot of detail but I wanted to share the main tips for those mommies and daddies who desperately need sleep 🙂 Remember if you do any sleep training, stay strong because it’s best for the both of you!


  • shweta

    Hi Neesha,

    My LO is 7 months 3 weeks. We live with my husband’s parents. About 10 days ago, I tried the method u have mentioned for an afternoon nap instead of night time(when it was only me and my baby at home) coz my in-laws will not let my baby cry for even a minute and will keep bugging me. He cried consistently for 2.5 hrs! I checked with him every few mins as in the CIO method, nursed him once coz it was his feeding time, but, he finally slept when i held him in my arms for a minute. When I put him in the crib, he started fussing and I patted for 3-4 times and he slept back. I was too tired to do it again. He slept relatively faster and easier for the next 2-3 days and nights. But, 3 days ago, he started getting very difficult. We were out at a shop and he was terrible sleepy, well fed but he just wont sleep in the stroller. If I moved the stroller out, he would keep looking around and get quiet but, as soon as I entered the shop and stopped the stroller, he started screaming and crying. This went on for about 3 hrs and I was ultimately so mad, we decided to come home and let him fall asleep by himself in the crib since he was soo sleepy. He didnt. My in-laws put him in the swinging baby crib and he fell asleep soon but kept waking up every 10 mins and fussing. My MIL would pull the string to swing him, and, he wud fall back asleep. This went on for a few hours and thn, I decided to again try CIO. He screamed and wailed for 1 hr 45 mins before he finally fell asleep. Please help me with this child. He wont sleep by himself, sometimes not even by cuddling, singing, rocking. And thn, will instantly fall asleep while nursing. It frustrates the hell out of me coz he will keep sucking for one hour like tht! 9 out of 10 times now, he outrightly rejects the pacifier and on the contrary, starts screaming if we attempt to put it in his mouth. Please help me. His wake up cries are like a dread for me, my heart starts pounding loud as soon as I hear him wake up crying. I am hating motherhood now. I feel I spend all 24 hrs just putting him to sleep. I am totally frustrated and have started disliking my child (I dont like feeling this way).

  • shweta

    and also, when i tried CIO, he slept for 3 hours at a stretch but otherwise, he wakes up every 45 mins!

    • Neesha

      Hi Shweta,

      Okay first take a deep breath 🙂 It will get better I promise! To do this training you HAVE to stay consistent for a week, which means no going out and about shopping during nap times, you can’t do it for 2 days then stop for the 3rd day. I know your in-laws are there but in order for this to work, everyone has to be on the same page. If you are not and you try it, its not fair to your baby. You are letting him try to self soothe then you stop, its actually hurting him more than helping him. No swings, not rocking at all. If you are going to wean the feeding at night then you gotta follow the process. You can’t let him CIO then put him in a swing, it is confusing him so much because he knows someone is going to come get him.

      I would suggest wait on the naps and just focus on the night sleep first. Like I wrote in my post the CIO didn’t work for naps for me, just night time but he eventually learned as we moved forward. So get everyone on the same page, find 1 week with NO interruptions and go for it. I promise it will work but you have to stay consistent. Get him used to his room, MAKE sure you have a night time routine and you put him to bed at the same exact time everynight the say exact way. Don’t cave in if he cries and don’t bust out a swing or hold him, you gotta stay strong. Day 2 and 3 will be the hardest but then it gets better, I promise. Motherhood has its ups and downs but remember you can control certain things and you gotta let your in laws know how important this is to even your health (not getting sleep) and get them on board 🙂 I hope this helps!

  • rima

    We have a mattress on the floor in our room where my 12 month old daughter sleeps. At bedtime we doing the nightime routine and i lay down with her and she falls asleep within 20-40 min herself. I absolutely don’t understand why does she then wake up about 5-6 times each night wanting to nurse. I hv tried patting her back to sleep

    • Neesha

      Hey Rima,

      Have you tried wake her up an hour before each of her normal feeds and slowly weaning her (I have more details in the post). It sounds like she is doing it for comfort so that method may work 🙂

  • Piyusha Gunjal


    Do you have any tips to put baby back to sleep in his crib when he wakes up in the middle of the night with out picking him up, rocking and bringing him to your bed?

  • bhavya tripathi

    Hi Neesha,

    Does the weaning method work even if my baby feeds multiple times a night? Currently my 7 month old daughter wants to be fed (she is bottle-fed) every three to four hours a night, which generally translates to arnd 9/10pm feed, 12-1am feed and then 3.30-4.30am feed.

    Do i use your 5 minute cut-down for each of these feeds simultaneously or should i focus on eliminating one feed at a time? How is it supposed to work?

    Also, my daughter actually finishes most of the milk that she is given at night – does that mean she is actually hungry? Should i even be thinking about stopping at night? or is it normal for her to be hungry and be fed?


    • Neesha

      Hey Bhavya,

      So the weaning method works regardless of how many times your baby feeds through the night. You should use the same method for all her feeds.

      I am not sure what your babies diet is during the day, but if she is getting the adequate amount of milk during the day the she should be fine at night. Most books I read and after talking to my doctors, babies can sleep through the night without a feed by 4 months. My son was 8 months when we weaned him. He was fine after we weaned him,didn’t wake up crying for food. Good luck 🙂

  • Shilpa

    Great article.. However if you can throw some light on sleep training a 9 month old although I’m fine with night nursing. My bub was really a great sleeper till 5 mon when he started teething. He used to wake up 3-4 times but would get back to sleep, but not any more. It gets on and off. He now crawls, stands with support and attempts walking with support at times so we know he’s going through a lot of development at once. But less sleeping if affecting both him and us. We have a bed time routine set from when he was 2 month old and I’ve been able to follow it without fail. But yes, he nurses to sleep, though when he’s asleep he’d let go of the boobie and sleep. Recently this has changed a bit as he wakes up not of hunger as he wont feed. he’d sometimes take his feed and try to sleep, shake his head, sometime with eyes closed he’d roll here and there and start crying. Its like he’s crying on&off for 3 hours every night. Sleeps at 9:30-10p and first wakes up at 2am and then it depends, sometimes would sleep after a small feed and wake up at 5 while sometimes will have sleep trouble at 2 itself and sleeps after 3 hours. Sometimes wants to play. We both are really turning into zombies as we both are working and really getting hardly 3-4 hours of sleep. We’re okay to co-sleep even but he’d push us away using his leg and then starts throwing his limbs. He used to sleep in his crib the whole time and gone are the days now. Please please help..!

    • Shilpa

      To add, we have tried both, putting him in his crib asleep and awake.. We started with Non-CIO first but it worked well for sometime but seemingly back fired after some time. Now we’re looking for CIO too as he’s already crying a lot. Its a pain to see him crying so much as he was such a happy baby otherwise.. 🙁

      • Neesha

        Hey Shilpa!

        So sorry to hear your baby is waking up quite a bit but it’s totally normal. When we decided to do the sleep training, many people we know were against CIO and that’s totally fine. We were to the point of exhaustion where we needed to do something and guess what, it worked wonder for us. If you plan to sleep train make sure you get wean the feeds also. It is so hard to see them cry and sometimes you just want to give in but for us it was worth it in the end. But you gotta stay strong and not give in during the week of training or else it’s not fair to them. You will be confusing them. I used the Sleep Easy Solution book, check out the comments on Amazon, it’s pretty comforting reading what other parents went through. Good luck!

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