Been there twice, hated them both times – I truly do not envy anyone who goes through the sleep routine phase with their babies. It’s hard; it gets ugly and there no clear winners in the short term. In the long term though you will wish you had done it earlier…much earlier. There are tons of tips and great ways to make it as easy as possible, but I think this is worth reiterating if you already know them or following to the tee if this is the first time you attempt at sleep training your child.
- After 6 months they are ready! Don’t kid yourself they are not too young and it’s as much for you as it is for them to establish that routine early on so that all of you get a restful night sleep.
- Feed them heavy before the sleep stretch and right after, for my baby that means sleeping at around 7:00p.m. and the a large feed at 11:30 pm. to midnight and then again between 5:30 to 6:00 a.m. when she wakes up (have the bottle ready because the baby will not have the patience for late food after that long nap). Both times try to change the diaper at that 11:30 session so it prolongs the wake up time.
- Large feeds depend on the baby but for my 10-12 month old that meant about 150ml to start and then fine tuning it to about 120ml when she kept leaving extra milk in the bottle. Might go down eve further as the baby begins to eat more during the day and avoid eating much through their sleep time.
- If they wake up don’t stimulate them, don’t sing to them, don’t turn on the sound machine, just put them back a few taps on the back, cover them and leave them be. Even if they cry they will stop after 5-10 min usually.
- If they keep crying, check on them after 5-8min each time pat them, don’t hold them, don’t talk to them, just be stoic and make sure they are safe, diaper is not full, and nothing is hurting them then leave them for another 10 minutes. After 1 hour you can give them a quick cuddle and then back for another hour. Sounds like hell I know but after 2-3 days max this will be a long lost memory (that you won’t want to relive!).
- Make sure that the room is at the right temperature, feel their body to see if they are too hot or too cold. In the winter months make sure you have humidifier – all these things will help them sleep deeper and faster. You can put some noise machine or slight music but make sure the volume is quiet low and nothing too stimulating, keep lights to an absolute minimum at least for the first half hour of their sleep.
- If they continue to cry give them a pacifier or if you don’t want them to get used to it keep giving them water to wean them off of milk feeding in the middle of the night.
Have you tried this – and did it work for you? Any other techniques that you have use which actually worked?