Liam is almost a year old. He has been sleeping consistently through the night since about 10 weeks. From weeks 5-10 he only sometimes woke up once if at all. People have asked me so many times HOW DID YOU DO IT? Today I am sharing my secrets, the things we did wrong, the things we did right, and what I would do different. How to get a baby to sleep through the night can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.
How To Get A Baby To Sleep Through The Night
My biggest non-secret secret is to read the book, 12 Hours of Sleep by 12 weeks. You guys it was short, to the point, and a complete game changer.
What We Did Wrong
For the first 6 weeks I let Liam nap exclusively in his Rock N Play. It’s a crutch, but I knew he would fall right to sleep. I also rocked him to sleep, held him till he fell asleep, and basically used any crutch to get him to nap. I never really thought to myself “Hey this baby is sleeping at night without you doing these things, he can nap alone!” We also depended A LOT on the pacifier. Honestly, we still do. He loves it and I have ZERO plans to take it away any time soon. Sorry not sorry.
What We Did Right
We took the swaddle/sleep sack away at 4 months. Liam was rolling, he didn’t need it. He has been sleeping in footie jammies ever since. He never had an issue. I did not want him to be a year or two years and still in a sleep sack depending on it. So we just took it away. He didn’t even notice. We also don’t have ANYTHING in the crib aside from him and a pacifier (OK 4 pacifiers). NO lovey, no blankie, no stuffed animals. For one, they aren’t recommended till after a year due to SIDS, and for two we didn’t want him dependent on a bunch of things for sleep. We also started using a white noise machine about two weeks in. Our bassinet had one but we wanted one that did not time out. We have this one. It’s hella cheap and works great. It plugs into the wall but also runs on batteries. We travel with it and also use it in the car. It’s amazing. We have a ROUTINE. You guys, routine is key. It talks about routine in the book, but from week 4 we started this routine and we haven’t deviated since. If we aren’t home, if we are traveling, whatever, we do it.
This Is Our Bedtime Routine
5:30PM — Liam has dinner, usually chicken or eggs, veggies, and fruit. Sometimes hummus because he loves it. Or he has what we have.
6:00PM — He has a bath
6:15PM — We go upstairs, we get a lotion massage, we get him in jammies, brush his hair, and then he has a bottle. As I have mentioned in a previous post, we LOVE Avent bottles. I will recommend them ALL DAY LONG. This is NOT sponsored, I just really love them. We use the new Anti-Colic with the air free vent. Just in case you need a great bottle this is what we use. It cuts down on gas and for Liam the need to burp frequently. You are kidding yourself if you think the bottle doesn’t make a difference. Gassy babies DO NOT SLEEP. They wake up, they cry, they spit up, they fuss. They are uncomfortable. So you want an anti-colic bottle. I PROMISE! After his bottle and burp we each read him a book. After his books I say his blessings. Then he gets a diaper check, and we say something before bed we say every single night. We lay him in his crib AWAKE. This is KEY! For naps and bedtime you want them to go down awake. They have to learn how to put themselves to sleep.
7:00PM — We head downstairs and he usually falls asleep in about 10 minutes.
What I Would Do Different
I would NOT let him sleep in the Rock N Play. If I am able to do stairs (I couldn’t because of my c-section) I wouldn’t do a bassinet and I would just have him in his crib from night one. I would also probably not do a sleep sack. I would do a swaddle then nothing.
I know that was a lot of information, but doing all these things is what helped us get him to sleep through the night so early. So to recap:
- Go down awake
- The book, 12 Hours Of Sleep By 12 weeks
- White Noise machine that doesn’t turn off
- No swaddle/sleep sack as early on as you can
- No crutches
I would love to know if you have any experience with this and how you got your baby to sleep through the night?