Is bedtime with your little one a struggle every night? Are your exhausted and just want your baby to fall asleep? When I became a first time mom, I did a lot of research online on how to get my baby on a sleep schedule. I knew that there was a way to approach bedtime. I wasn’t sleeping and I was tired. When my twins were born I followed this same sleep schedule with them as well. When you bring your newborn home from the hospital you are adjusting yourself to your babies sleep schedule. You will have to learn to put them on a routine. No more going to bed whenever you feel like it and sleeping in. That is what I miss (sleeping in) My girls are older now but they still come and wake me up telling me that they are hungry. That’s when mommy duty starts.🤱
Your world is now revolving around this little human. The first couple of months are hard as your adjusting to the bottle feedings or breast feedings which causes sleepless nights. Don’t worry as the months go on your little one will start to sleep longer at night and that means more sleep for you.
These 6 tips will help to get your baby on a sleep schedule. I am not a health professional; I’m just a mommy with experience and knowledge. This may work for you and it may not but I hope this will help you in some way and also be informative.
1. Start Early
The earlier you get your baby on a sleep schedule the better results you’ll get. The happier you’ll be and your baby too. I would say any age is a good time to start. Newborn babies love being swaddled. In the hospital nurses show you how to do it. Swaddling makes the baby feel safe & secure. I sucked at swaddling. I got these swaddle blankets as a gift from my sister.
Start the routine with a bath at the same time every day or a sponge bath if you don’t bathe your baby every day. I used Johnson & Johnson bedtime baby moisture wash on my girls. It contains soothing natural calm aromas. Have Feedings at the same time every night. This way the baby will get use to the routine. With my girls I started a bath or sponge bath in the evening around 5-6pm, whatever time works with your schedule. I gave my girls a bottle 1 hour to 1 1/2 before bedtime so that they are full and pray they sleep longer at night. Doing it this way worked for me and around my schedule.
2. Be Consistent
Put your child/baby to bed at the same time every day. Now that my girls are older they know bedtime is 8:00 o’clock. On the weekends I’ll let them stay up a little later until 8:30pm even going past 30min by 8pm they’re already yawning and ready for bed. I follow this routine on the weekends as well. If you are not consistent with your routine then putting them on a sleep schedule will not work. If you do fall off the schedule, just start over the next day. Don’t give up! This will also give us mamas some time for ourselves and spending time with your significant other. My husband and I like to catch up on movies or TV shows on the weekend while the girls are asleep. It gives us alone time too.
3. No naps after 3:30pm
If your child naps after this time then he/she will have trouble falling asleep when bed time comes around. Just like us adults, if we take a late nap at 4pm and sleep until 6pm we will have a hard time falling asleep at night because of the late nap we just took. Well for most people they’ll have that problem, I know I do. When my girls were toddlers they took afternoon naps at 1pm after lunch. They napped for about 1 ½ to 2 hours depending on the day we had. If you take your child to daycare I recommend telling the provider no naps after 3:30pm. I’ve heard stories from other parents that the daycare provider put their child down for a nap @ 3pm and their child has a hard time sleeping at bedtime. After the age of 3 my girls didn’t like naps anymore, but each child is different. Some will still need naps while others don’t.
4. No Rocking baby to sleep
It’s easier said than done. Who doesn’t want to just hold their baby in their arms and watch them sleep? I know I’ve done it. A lot of times we just want to hold them and rock them to sleep. The first months when they are a newborn is okay. After that your baby needs to learn to fall asleep on their own. You want to develop good sleeping habits early on. You can continue to rock your baby if that’s what works for you both.
Hold your baby until they get drowsy and you see their eyes starting to shut. That’s the time you bring the baby into the bedroom and put them in the crib. You can also sing a lullaby if that helps. All 3 of my girls used a pacifier. I know it’s bad for their teeth but it’s what got them to sleep. At this point I’ll use anything. If your baby doesn’t use a pacifier its OK they don’t need it. Within minutes your baby will fall asleep. They will toss and turn until they get comfortable which is normal, eventually they’ll fall asleep. Don’t pick him/her up. You can do it mama!
There were times when my daughter cried when I put her down for bed. I wanted to pick her up so many times but I didn’t. Instead I let her cry it out but no longer than 5-7 minutes. I know it may seem long. I did this every night and eventually the crying got less and less, and they just fall asleep. Some parents are against the cry it out method but it worked for me. My daughter cried when I initially put her down but within less than 5min. she stopped and she eventually fell asleep and self-soothed herself. But if your baby’s cry is loud and gets louder then something is wrong. A few things could be maybe he/she is hungry, diaper is soiled or baby is hot, cold it could be a number of things but that’s what I would check. Or maybe your baby just wants to be held.
6. My last tip, Don’t Let Your Baby fall asleep with the bottle in mouth
Parents make this mistake and not realizing that their baby can get what’s called baby bottle tooth decay. Formula or milk has sugar in it. Over time if you keep doing this, the sugar will sit on your baby’s teeth overnight and the acids will attack and cause decay on the teeth if it is not brushed or cleaned. No parent wants their child to go through dental treatment at a young age or complain of a toothache.
Here are some tips that you can start doing to prevent that from happening. After feeding your baby at bedtime use a washcloth and wet it with water. Use your index finger to wrap the washcloth around it. Now try your best to gently wipe around the front teeth and back teeth or gums if they don’t have teeth yet. Some babies won’t like you doing this, so you have to do it fast. I did this until my girls started developing more teeth then I used a finger brush or you can use a toothbrush with just water or Toms toothpaste with no fluoride. I like Toms because it’s all natural with no artificial colors, fragrances or preservatives.
At this age they don’t know how to rinse their mouth and they can swallow the toothpaste which will cause a tummy ache because of the fluoride. I recommend just using water or training toothpaste.
I hope these 6 tips are helpful and you finally get your baby on a sleep schedule! It takes time so be patient.😊
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