Sleeping Like a Rockstar (how we did it)
I wrote a blogpost about sleeping about a year ago and I failed to keep up on the subject for a few reasons. Firstly, I was surprised about the level of controversy on the subject. Secondly, Benji is a pro (knock on wood) and I didn’t even think to share the reasons why. It wasn’t always easy and my husband and I worked really hard to get to this point. The truth of the matter is every child is different and I hope to encourage other families to do what works for them.
The first few months of his life are a blur and the lack of sleep contributes to that. We can no longer remember details but we do remember a few tactics.
Our 2 biggies:
The bedtime consistency one was hard because we were sleep training during the summer months and there was always something to do at night! Also, newborns sleep anywhere so it’s tempting to keep them out past dark. Not us! We laid down the law with 7pm bedtime. We missed a lot of fun events, but I believe we set the foundation for his good sleeping habits.
Self-soothing is a controversial topic. We believe it was critical for him to learn self-soothing techniques. However, we never let him cry longer than 15 minutes and checked his diaper if we thought he needed a new one. Brian and I watched the baby cam like hawks. It was painful on my heart but Brian reminded me why it was important and I did the same for him. We took a lot of tips from the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. Weissbluth is a leading pediatrician and shares a lot of patient testimonials and ideas on how to integrate good sleeping habits into your child’s routine. We recommend it but remember to listen to your family’s needs first.
Benji is 14 months old and he is sleeping like a rockstar. This is what it looks like:
6:50 PM: We give him his pacifier, Kuku (stuffed bird), and turn on his sound machine. Then we sit in the rocking chair and encourage him to bring us 2 books. Which he usually does!
7:00 PM: We give him hugs and place him in his crib right away. We promptly walk away and wave as we close the door. We also put a fan on the outside of his door to filter out any kitchen noises we might be making as we clean up for the night.
That’s it. He’s always quiet and crying is extremely rare. He doesn’t fall asleep right away but he relaxes and enjoys the quiet time with his pacifier and Kuku. Benji’s naps are far from consistent which I’m not a fan of. He is currently transitioning to one nap per day so he needs time to adjust.
I hope this was helpful! If you are having a hard time with bedtime, these are the things we would recommend but since children are all so different, you should ask multiple mamas for advice and ideas.