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!