Before I had Logan, I dreamt of putting this perfect little baby in his crib and that he would sleep through the night and wake up with a smile on his face and everything would be wonderful. Boy, was I wrong. I pretty soon came to find out that sleep would become minimal, if at all; non existent some nights.
My husband and I decided the co-sleeping was the best option for us in the early infant days, seeing as I was nursing on demand and needed to try and get some sort of rest through the night. I was convinced though that at six months, we would transition him to his crib, in his own bedroom. Well, that did not go as planned.
Even after reading the baby books and blogs, and pretty much anything I had researched about sleep and sleep training, we just found that nothing was really working
However, it was’t easy establishing a good bedtime routine that worked for our family until recently. Since then, it has been LIFE CHANGING.
Before my Husband and I really buckled down and stuck to a routine that worked for all of us, we co-slept and tried for MONTHS to get our son to make the peaceful transition into his own bedroom.
What we found was that we would spend hours some nights rocking him to sleep, putting him down and sneaking out, only for him to wake as soon as he hit the bed- repeat process- until eventually it was back to our bedroom because it was all of sudden 3 am.
We were completely against the Ferber method- but ultimately gave in to try it with my own limitations- he would never cry more than 10 minutes- I did not care if it took me months again for him to get it.
The most important element in all of this has been routine. Here is what our routine looks like.
5:30: Dinner- This is Logan’s last full meal of the day, and an hour before bath time, to give him time to digest a little, but still have a nice full tummy through the night.
6:30: Bathtime- He is at the age where he likes to pick his own toys to go in the bathtub with. I take him into his bedroom first, pick out his Pj’s, grab a towel, run the water and let him “pick” which toys he wants to go into the bathtub. This kind of makes him excited for bath time and I think it’s adorable watching him pick and choose which toys he likes one day, but not the next.
7-7:30PM: Playtime- Some nights he is more tired than others, but usually he does take a little time to let out the last of the energy he has. We sit in his room, play peekaboo, play with puzzles and pretty much just spend the last little bit of our playtime being silly.
7:30: Bottle- Once I see his sleepy cues, I ask him if he wants “Leche” (milk- we are a bilingual household- more on that on a later post). he usually responds with “nene” and that tells me he is ready. We go down together, prep his bedtime bottle, head back upstairs and I turn his sound machine and night light on (higher setting until he is falling asleep). We grab a book and sit in his rocking chair and read for a few minutes- once I see him starting to close his eyes, I put him in his crib.
7:45- Goodnight- It only took us 3 days for him to get used to sleeping alone, something we had been practicing with naps for months. I put him in his bed, say Goodnight and turn his sound machine on and set his nightlight on the lower setting (Rule of thumb if you can read, it’s too bright).
Every baby is different, and ours certainly did not make this easy on us. With lots of patience, persistence and MUCH understanding, because there were some nights where it was Just not going to happen, we were able to teach our Son how to put himself to sleep and have a good night’s sleep.