So, I’ve been asked by people to ‘please, teach me’ like I am some kind of master or guru when it comes to setting up routines for my kids, so here is my easy step-by-step approach to creating routines that work and setting yourself up for having kids that sleep through the night in their own beds.
I am a mother of two children with very differing personalities and two different genders and this has worked extremely well with both of them, but as with all things kid related, it takes a lot of patience so don’t give up on the first try.
First of all, you need to teach your baby to self soothe. This is the cornerstone for all good sleep routines, the reason being that if bub does happen to wake, they will have the learned ability to just roll over and go back to sleep. To teach your baby to self-soothe start off with placing them into their cot or bassinet fully awake (this can be started from the moment they are born), rather than rocking them to sleep in your arms, or feeding them to sleep. If bub appears to be tapering off or drifting to sleep while feeding, now might be a good time to put them back to bed. Once in the cot, pat the mattress beside their head and make humming or shhing noises- the patting simulates the heart beat that they would have heard while in the womb and the humming or shhing simulates white noise which is calming and helps babies to sleep. If this is not working, you can also try rocking the bassinet (if using one), or rocking bub gently while still in the cot. This will take patience, but persist and eventually bubs should fall asleep. Sometimes dummies can also help if your baby likes them, and also the use of swaddling is very effective. If you’ve been at it for a while and bubs is still not settling, try walking out of the room and leaving them to cry for 10 minutes at a time before returning to the same method as before.
Secondly, during the day time set up for yourself an ‘eat, play, sleep’ routine. A good routine like this allows baby to know what to expect and will also mean that they won’t come to expect a feed right before bed, which in turn can lead to bubs not sleeping through the night (if you feed your baby to sleep, they will come to expect this every time that they wake during the night as well).
Thirdly, if your baby does wake in the night, and they are 6 months or older, they nutritionally shouldn’t require a night feed (if you are unsure seek medical advice). So, if they wake during the night the best thing to do is to send your partner, or someone else who the baby doesn’t associate with feeding, in to soothe bubs with a bottle of sterilised water, calming words and maybe even a little cuddle, before putting them back in the cot.
It is important to remember that crying will not hurt your baby and sometimes babies will cry for no particular reason at all. Sometimes at bedtimes if you let them cry they will just go to sleep.
I have an 11 month old and an almost 4 year old. Both of my kids have been sleeping through since around 2 months old (the oldest one did start waking again around 6 months but we used the above methods and she stopped doing this after a few weeks), and neither of them ever sleep in our beds, AND both are still having daytime naps- the youngest has 2 naps around 2 hours each and the oldest has one nap of 2-3 hours.
Posted by sars_angelchik, 24th June 2016