Figuring out how to help baby sleep through the night is one of THE most controversial topics out there for moms. There are so many thoughts on what works and what doesn’t work.
Something that works amazingly well for one baby could fail miserably for another baby. But I have one tip for you that I think works on most babies.
If you have been following me for a while, then you know that while I share tips and advice for what worked for me, I am by no means saying that this is the ONLY way to do things.
If you cosleep with all 5 of your children, then by all means, you do you. That simply doesn’t work for my family. This, however, is the one tip that has worked, so hopefully this can help your baby sleep through the night, too!
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Babies and Sleep Patterns
Babies have sleep patterns just like adults do. They pass from REM (light) sleep to Non-REM.
It is common for both babies and adults to wake up while transferring between sleep patterns. Adults fall back asleep because they have practiced sleeping for many, many years.
Babies, on the other hand, often have a hard time falling back to sleep and need a little extra comfort. We all want to give our babies comfort, right? Why is this a ‘bad’ thing?
Is your nursery set up for sleep success? Find out here –> How to Create a Good Sleep Environment for Baby
Don’t Start Something You Don’t Want to Continue
When does it stop? Are you going to comfort your child back to sleep until they are 2? 3? 7? My personal preference for parenting is to gently teach my babies to fall asleep on their own.
This way, when they wake up between sleep cycles, they can put themselves back to sleep.
If you nurse your baby to sleep, they will rely on that to fall asleep both when going to sleep initially and also passing between sleep cycles.
It is possible that they outgrow it on their own; it is also possible that they don’t.
I didn’t follow this with Theo, my first, and he became so reliant on me to fall asleep. He HAD to be nursed or rocked to sleep.
At around 4 months his sleep cycle changed and he didn’t fall into as sound of sleep right away. I’d rock him to sleep, put him in his crib, and BAM! He would wake up screaming.
I would start the process of putting him back to sleep all over. It. Was. The. Worst. We got to a point where I drove him around in the car to get him to fall asleep and then caaaaarefully tiptoed his heavy car seat up to his room.
Did I mention that It. Was. The. Worst?
Because it was.
My entire day was spent driving this kid around so he would sleep! When I found out I was having twins, I knew this could not happen with them.
Related: 7 Ways to Teach Your Baby Good Sleep Habits From Birth
Here’s the Tip To Help Baby Sleep Through the Night That Worked Amazingly Well for My Twins
I knew that they needed to learn to fall asleep on their own as soon as possible. Our twins were two months premature and spent some time in the NICU. As soon as they got home, I started this.
As SOON as you have your baby, start putting them down to sleep on their own, at least a few times a day.
Start it from the hospital, or as soon as you get home. Don’t nurse or give a bottle, or rock them to sleep. Give them some snuggles and kisses, put them down in their bed, and that’s it! It’s time for sleeping.
Put them down to sleep drowsy, but still awake!
If your baby learns to fall asleep on their own, they will be able to fall back to sleep when they wake up in the middle of the night.
If they rely on you to put them to sleep, they will continue to rely on you in the middle of the night as they shift between sleep cycles.
Curious about how to tell when your baby is ready for a nap?? Check out this post on ideal baby wake times
If you’ve already tried this and are ready to sleep train: here is my guide to 5 different types of sleep training, INCLUDING no cry methods!
What if My Baby Falls Asleep While Nursing?
For this reason, the Eat Play Sleep schedule works really well. I would feed my babies AS SOON as they woke up.
They are well rested at that point and less likely to fall asleep. Then they would have a little bit of ‘play’ time (usually only 45 minutes or so for a newborn) and then it’s nap time.
You can absolutely rock and sing to them, just make sure you place baby in their bed before they fall asleep
I’m not saying don’t rock or nurse your baby. I’m not saying that if they’re sick or teething to not do everything you can to make them comfortable.
I’m just saying don’t start something that you don’t want to continue.
If you have no problem waking up to nurse your baby back to sleep every 2 hours, then that’s your right as a mom to do just that.
We did this with our girls and not only did they learn to fall asleep on their own, but we never had to do any official ‘sleep training.’
People would come to visit and at naptime, they would help me carry one baby up and place her in her crib. They would stare in amazement as the girls cooed and smiled and gently drifted off to sleep.
For a more in-depth version of how we got our twins to sleep through the night, check out: How We Got Our Twins to Sleep Through the Night.
Click here for the book that changed our lives and taught me everything I know to help get my babies to sleep.
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Sunday 25th of February 2018
I sleep trained my 2 kids with this fast and gentle method, without any drama or CIO. I was so happy with the results that i encouraged all my family and friends with kids to try to follow Urban's guide where the method is described with step by step instructions! They were all happy with the results. The guide is titled "how to teach a baby to fall asleep alone" and I have found it here www.parental-love.com
Keating | KeatingBartlett.com
Tuesday 30th of January 2018
Love these tips! I felt the same way going into motherhood in regards to our daughter's sleep. We actually didn't even bother to buy things like swings and rock n plays because it wasn't a habit I wanted to start. I even stopped rocking her to sleep by the time she was a month old! People thought I was INSANE haha but we had her sleeping through by the time she was 5 weeks old (10-12 hours straight). We were able to nap train at 4 months with little to no effort. And then she went through a little bit of a sleep regression at 6 months which required a little bit of sleep training to get her back on track, but I have zero regrets in terms of her sleep. We have an 8 month old who continues to sleep and nap beautifully.