My experience with sleep training
All three of my babies had the same sleeping patterns and habits, all great sleepers, but it didn’t happen without a lot of work and healthy habit-forming. I believe that with consistency, little ones can learn to sleep and enjoy their time in their bed. The common denominator for my success has been consistency. Obviously there are a few other factors, which I will address.
I've read a lot of books and tried different attempts, hired sleep consultants, and taken mini-courses. I have combined everything I have learned with my intuition and have found what works for me and my family .
If you're anti-sleep training and believe that a baby belongs in the parents’ bed, you may want to stop reading. Although I do respect a lot of the attachment-parenting concepts, I do not believe this is the right approach to sleep and attachment in the early months and years of life.
Habits are habits. We learn to rely on things to get us through our difficult moments. If you want a life of harmony and ease, where you can sleep through the night, or have romantic evenings with your partner, or have other caregivers watch your children, then I suggest you implement healthy sleep habits early.
For the first few weeks, the baby will sleep anywhere. Once the sleep patterns start to shift is when the habits become important.
See my top tips below.
FAVOURITES FROM MY SHOP
Here are some of my favourite products mentioned in my tip list below.
FAVOURITES FROM AMAZON
I've had this sound machine for years and it's always been reliable. It stays on all night long and offers different sounds, but the white noise is the best for babies.
Dyson Fan & Air Cleaner
I have this for my daughter’s room to keep the air clean but to also give her a breeze while she sleeps. I prefer this over the ceiling fan, as it's more adjustable and not as intense.
A good old receiving blanket still comes in handy for my swaddle technique (see below).
All three of my babies were in their room by two weeks old. I couldn't get any sleep with them in the bassinet next to me. I heard every little noise. I would get to them before they really woke up. After a couple weeks of feeding them as much as they needed, and not able to get any sleep, I put the babes in an empty crib in their nursery.
I used a sound machine and also used a baby monitor to ensure I heard them when they woke.
When they woke to eat, I would visit the nursery, change, feed, and put them down to sleep.
There were definitely moments where we had issues, or when they started to develop bad habits. The important thing to remember is that there are stages, and lots of development is happening. All babies are different and have unique needs and communication styles. Tune in to your baby.
Put the baby down drowsy
Swaddle, shush, sway, and use a soother if necessary. But put the baby down before she's asleep.
MY TOP TIPS
- Have baby sleep in the crib as much as possible for naps and sleep.
- Use blackout curtains.
- Use garbage bags to cover the windows if the room isn't dark enough.
- Have a sound machine on white noise that will stay on throughout the night.
- Keep the room as dark as possible (no night lights).
- Keep the room between 19-21 degrees Celsius.
- Babies sleep habits change after four to six weeks. They won't be sleeping as often and may require swaddling to reduce their ability to startle themselves.
- Babies at this age should be fed, changed, and put to sleep awake when possible.
- Soothers are not ideal for sleeping, as they create issues with dependency. Issues arise when the soother falls out and they wake because they no longer have it.
- If you feed to sleep, remember to burp before putting the baby down.
- In the fourth trimester, baby may like aggressive (not harmful, just not too gentle) rocking or dancing with white noise.
- Swaddling (tight but not restricting to their hips) is helpful to keep the arms away from the face and also so that the baby feels comfy. They may fight it or resist it at first.
- Have a set bedtime that is a couple hours after the last nap, between 6-7 p.m.
- Keeping the baby up late thinking they will sleep longer only causes the baby to be overtired.
- Below is a sleep chart with ages and lengths of naps/sleeps.
- TOP TIP: Silk crib mattress to prevent baby baldness.
I swaddled the exact same way for my last two babies. I used a receiving blanket around the arms and upper body, then a swaddle, then the armless sleeping bag. I did this from about three weeks until about six months, when they became more active.
At that point, they slept in a sleep sack with their arms out.
Hi, I'm Jules; a multi-passion business woman, boss babe and entrepreneur; a mom to 3 girls, luxury travel and fitness lover, planner, organizer and lifestyle blogger. I live mid-town Toronto with my daughters. Any chance I can, I'm booking a vacation. I appreciate quality and love natural products!