Getting more than 2 hours of uninterrupted sleep a night is every new mom’s dream, it was definitely mine!! For me night time sleep was integral to my ability to function through the day. Everyone I spoke to about it would tell me… ” just sleep when your baby sleeps” but after the first 2 months, it was easier said than done. By the time Mr. Grey was 3 months old, I was in desperate need of at least 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep. The veteran mom advice was to “just add a little cereal to his bottle”, that would help him sleep
better longer at night. This “trick” worked for my middle two when they were babes but Mr. Grey wasn’t bottle fed, he down right refused the bottle from me! So the only other option was to start sleep training.
A lot of well known baby sleep gurus will tell you that sleep training a baby before 4 months is not a good idea because most babies do not have the ability to self sooth at this age. It is recommended that you continue to assist your baby to sleep until they are at least 4-6 months old but I was not waiting!!! So here is how to start if your little one is less than 4 months old.
Sleep Coaching Newborn – 3 Months
After spending 10 months in complete darkness, being rocked to sleep during the day by your movements, and awoken by your stillness at night, you will need to create a way to teach baby the difference between night and day, wake time and sleep time.
The best way to start sleep training your little one is to first understand how much sleep they actually need and then create a routine. While a routine won’t help your baby sleep longer immediately, it will pave the way for great sleep in a few weeks/months. (Sorry there is no magic spell!)
Here is how I started with Mr. Grey at about 8-10 weeks old.
- Take a week and allow your baby to set the tone. Watch for your babies natural wake sleep routine. Does your baby wake every morning at a specific time? Does he like to feed at specific times? If your not sure, start tracking it. (There are a bunch of apps out there to help, I recommend Glow Baby. See my post on the 9 Most Useful Apps for Parents) Mr . Grey would start getting bed time sleepy around 10:30pm.
- Once you have established your baby’s natural routine, it is time to add to it. Here is what I did for Mr. Grey.
Bed Time Routine
10:15pm – soothing bath/sponge bath
10:25pm – quick baby message with night time lotion
10:30pm – dress for bed
10:33pm – nurse to sleep
This routine was flexible, I would alternate between a water bath and sponge bath so I didn’t dry out his skin with daily baths, but the rest of the routine would remain the same. This is a fairly simple routine, do what works for you and your baby, some babies find bath time stimulating and it will make them more alert. You can add reading a book, singing or even quiet floor play.
SAMPLE ROUTINE for 3 Month Old
6:15pm – Quiet tummy time or floor play
6:25pm – Baby massage
6:35pm – diaper change
6:40pm – bottle
6:50 – 6:55pm – bed
I cannot stress enough, the importance of watching your baby’s natural routine because after a few weeks of this routine working for us, Mr. Grey started to switch it up on me! Now, at 5 months old, Mr. Grey is ready for bed and very used to his routine starting at 5:00pm and is in bed by 5:45pm – 6pm. asleep.
Once your little one has reached 4 months old, he should be ready to start learning how to self sooth (if he hasn’t already learned) and begin the next step in sleep training.
Was this post helpful? Are you already in a routine? Is the routine working for you? Leave a comment and let me know, I’d be glad to help you get more sleep!!