Sleep training a baby is like training for a marathon without adequate rest. You’re tired, your body can’t cope, and you get absolutely nowhere without a little endurance.
I’m not saying these tips will work over night but with a schedule and a little consistency (and a lot of endurance) you can do it mama!
Sleep Training vs. Co-Sleeping
The age old debate. Is co-sleeping okay?
My answer: DO YOU MAMA.
I remember one night I had an absolute breakdown! I just started crying out of nowhere in the middle of the night (probably between 2-4am). I screamed “I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!”
Scare my husband of course, but it seemed like baby Ava was just crying nonstop. I was also in a nonstop motion of breastfeed, change diaper, swaddle, repeat.
That’s when I knew something had to change. FOR MY MENTAL HEALTH.
So I started looking into ways to help my baby sleep longer at night, and in turn allow me to get rest as well! So here are some sleep training tips that helped me and I truly PRAY they help you too!
Top Tips for Sleep Training
This method has a name I’m sure because I found it on another mommy blog but it’s when you make the baby comfortable (fed, swaddled, changed etc) and leave the baby in the crib. Remember to say goodnight!
Then, most likely after sometime, the baby will begin to cry.
I mean why are you on this blog if your baby is not waking up and crying through the night right?
They wake up, cry, after a minute of crying (oh yea you might want a timer for this method) you go back to the baby, touch them and reassure them that everything is okay. DO NOT PICK UP THE BABY.
I repeat: DO NOT PICK UP THE BABY.
Picking up the baby defeats the purpose of the method. So after you’ve reassured the baby, leave. If the baby begins to cry again (or never stopped) 5 minutes later you repeat reassurance. Use 5 minute intervals to repeat the process(5,10,15) But I wouldn’t recommend going over 15 minutes and up to a total of 1 hour. We don’t want the baby to feel abandoned.
Co-Sleeping in Nursery
The next method is not how it sounds like. You are NOT getting inside the crib lol. This method is simply using the above time method in conjunction with mama being in the room. It’s another way to let a baby know although they are in their own bed you will still be there if they need anything.
Once again, no abandoned feelings for the baby.
This method can be difficult to do for long periods. I only lasted 3 days before we went back to my comfy bed and attempted to get some rest before trying again.
Cater To Mom
Sleep Training Suit
I can’t recommend this method enough! Similar to a swaddle, the sleep suit helps suppress the startle reflex for babies. This is the sleep suit we used and it was AMAZING. It has the material of a blanket and looks like a mini snow suit.
It worked wonders for my baby until she discovered the wonders of her thumb. Yep, I have a thumb sucker.
The suit didn’t allow her to have free access to her thumb BUT her thumb became a way for her to self soothe which worked out for us!
The 3 B’s
Ahhh the 3 B’s.
Bottle or Breast.
With this routine my baby now sleeps 8 to sometimes 12 hours at night. Which allows mama to get tons of rest (kinda, since baby #2 in the womb doesn’t allow much of that).
Daddy still gets tons of rest I guess. Lol
But the 3 B’s are a must have in any routine. Use it with the sleep suit or with the time method, just use it! A warm bath, warm bottle, and comfy crib. I mean wouldn’t you want the same? I warm bath with a hot cup of tea and comfy sheets? That would put me right to sleep!
Then again, anything would put me right to sleep right now…
Smells Like Mama
This tip was given to me by one of my YouTube subscribers. Thanks mama!
It’s simply taking a piece of clothing (maybe the shirt you wore that day) or one of your pillowcases and laying it inside the bassinet. A shirt or pillowcase works best because you can actually use that instead of a bassinet sheet. It doesn’t work well in a crib (too big).
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it right?
We have used a sound machine since Ava came home and I’m sorta kinda afraid to stop using it, just in case it’s the one thing that keeps her sleep. Seems silly but like I said. It ain’t broke.
Here’s the sound machine we use, and we also used a fan (in the Summer months) which seemed to do the same thing!
I’ll probably add a few more tips here in a couple of months when we add baby #2 to the mix. I’m sure 2 under 2 will be difficult in the sleep department but we plan on using some of the same methods to sleep train (probably a little later in development) with baby #2.
Have you tried any of these tips mama? Comment below how your sleep journey is going. I would love to pray for you!