I’ve been asked by sooo many people how I got my son to sleep so unbelievably well.. but for some reason I just could not get myself to write it down. A couple months ago, my friend Taylor Chidester asked me if I would do a guest post for her blog www.rockabyebaby.wordpress.com telling my secrets for a sleeping baby.. so I FINALLY wrote down my fool proof sleeping schedule! I was super excited to share it on my blog as well but then.. I just didn’t because life got in the way! But seriously in the last week I have been asked like ten times for my schedule and I decided I needed to get it posted for all you new moms! Here you go! I call it…
How to stay sane, and have a baby.
The day I had my son was by far the best day on my life. The moment I held him in my arms for the first time I finally knew what life was all about… and then they told me to take him home. I remember thinking, “You guys are letting me take this tiny human home? I don’t even know how to take care of him! I don’t even know how to be a Mom! Or change his diaper!” The first night home was one I will never forget. I got pooped on while trying to save my son from choking on his spit up simultaneously.. The rest of that night I didn’t allow myself to close my eyes, not even for one second, fearing that if I slept then my son would definitely die from choking on his spit up.. And from that day on I NEVER PUT HIM DOWN. I was exhausted.. running on zero energy.. and still trying to enjoy the fun and excitement of having a precious newborn. At 6 weeks I decided that something needed to change. There was no way that me or my husband could hold our son ALL the time. That’s when I started searching for a solution. Do you want to know what the solution was??? SLEEP!!!! We all needed sleep. So I did my research. I read Baby Wise. I found articles on Pinterest. I followed every Mommy blog out there, trying to figure out what I was going to do. After getting bombarded with a plethora of opinions and sleep schedules and what not to do’s, I decided to take everything that I learned and make my own schedule that worked for my little family. The first night I tried it, my son slept from 10pm – 4am.. at 4am I gently rocked his crib and put a NUK in his mouth and he fell back asleep until 7.. The next night he slept all the way from 10pm – 7am.. AHHH! I wasn’t sleep deprived any more! I was energized and happy and able to soak in every single second with my new baby. Sleep let me focus all of my attention and energy on being a Mom and being the best one that I was able to be. So I would love to share the schedule that saved my families lives! Just remember that every baby is different. Every parent is different. And what works for others might be a nightmare for the rest. Or things just might need to be tweeked a bit to fit your baby’s needs. But I hope that this schedule will help get you Mama’s to where you are able to savor every happy moment with your baby!
I started my son on this schedule at 6 weeks.
7:00am – wake up, change diaper, feed
8:30am – swaddle and put down in crib for nap
10:00am – wake up, change diaper, feed
11:30am – swaddle and put down in crib for nap
1:00pm – wake up, change diaper, feed
2:30pm – swaddle and put down in crib for nap
4:00pm – wake up, change diaper, feed
5:30pm – swaddle and put down in crib for nap
7:00pm – wake up, change diaper, feed. In between this time and bed time it can get a little rough.. So I would try to do things that would keep my baby up.. interactive playing, go outside, take a bath, find something new.. my son actually ended up needing a 15 minute cat nap in between here to get through the 3 hour stretch.
10:00pm – bed time feeding.. do it in a dark room where it is quiet so they know it is time to go to bed.
At 3 months I felt a definite switch in my son. His schedule needed some changing. So I changed his schedule to a 4 hour schedule.
8:00 – wake up, change diaper, feed
10:00 – nap
12:00 – wake up, change diaper, feed
2:00 – nap
4:00 – wake up, change diaper, feed. Long stretch.. so once again do things that will help to keep your baby up. We always do bath time to get ready for bed. It’s good to have a nightly routine so they know that bedtime is soon!
8:00 – Feed and put to bed for a whopping 12 HOURS!
When my son reached 16 months, I felt another shift.. and I knew that the one nap schedule needed to be started. Now he takes his nap from 12-3 and he still follows our schedule perfectly. He loves to to take naps and go to bed. The next step is no naps… I have not idea what I’m going to do with that 🙂 the learning never ends!
Things to know that really helped me:
1. It is important to wake your baby up. Although, sometimes, it is tempting to just let your baby sleep a bit longer because they haven’t woken up.. It is so important to wake them up on schedule! This teaches them that they don’t have to wake themselves up when it’s time to eat. They develop a trust in you to let them know when it is meal time.
2. Putting your baby down without feeding them teaches them that they don’t need to nurse or suck on a bottle to fall asleep.
3. A lot of times, when your baby wakes up in the night, they aren’t actually fully awake. This is when you can let them fuss it out for a while (I know this is so hard) or rock their crib gently or put a binky in their mouth. DON’T PICK THEM UP unless absolutely necessary.
I followed these schedules religiously.. most days 🙂 Sometimes it’s okay to let your baby sleep in their car seat or stroller when you’re on the go. As long as you’re still keeping their schedule somewhat the same. If you feel you need to rock your baby to sleep every night then go for it. Every one is different and different things work for different people. We are all just Moms trying to do our absolute best! Good luck to you all!
Sleep Baby Sleep!