Sleep Training - You can do this.
Sleep Training doesn't have to be hard! You can do this! Here are 6 tools that helped me get a good night sleep. Addie sleeps 12 hours a night. Your little one can too!
Dear Sleep Deprived Momma…
Is your little one up at all hours of the night? Are you struggling to grasp a few hours of solid shut eye? What about the early risers? Is your little one up hours before the sunrises? If your little one’s party time is the wee hours of the night between last night and this morning, this might be for you.
When I stayed home with Addie, I worked hard to get her on a sleep schedule that would restore my sanity and keep both of us alive. I realized that in order for this stay at home mom thing to work, I needed to be able to get solid sleep and so did Addie. After reading articles and books on how to get a good night sleep, I came up with a plan that works well with Addie. This didn’t come without several trial and errors.
After scrolling through Instagram this morning, I saw several people share that they are struggling with getting babies to sleeping through the night, struggle babies who wake up at all hours of the night and struggle with those who wake up every hour or so. And I thought, maybe if I shared what worked for Addie and I, that it might give you some new ideas or things to try. If this helps one of you get more sleep at night, then I have done my job.
So, sleep deprived mom, wait no longer. Here are a few Sleep Training tips that saved my sanity and got Addie to sleep from 6:30 pm until 8:00 am - more than 90% of the time. Are you ready?
Create a steady routine. Addie has the same night time routine every night. This means that Aaron and I have had to adjust our schedules - so long to the nights of late night happy hours and going out on a whim. We start Addie’s bedtime routine at the same time every night. We finish dinner and clean up toys. Then we do bathtime and brush teeth. After that we roll on Lavender and snuggle in for stories and Good Night Prayers.
Use Lavender. Okay, don’t roll your eyes at this one. Most people see the word Essential Oil and run the other way. Lavender promotes peaceful sleep, eases feelings of tension and helps you relax. Why wouldn’t you want that for your child? This is part of Addie’s routine that she controls. She gets to put her oils on her feet. We use doTERRA’s Lavender Roll On. She gets to put in on her feet and her wrists. We give Addie a control point so that she does not feel like bedtime is forced upon her.
Go Slow. A bedtime routine is about resting and unwinding. If you approach it quickly or stressed out, your child will sense the tension - this may make your child resist and fight bedtime. We give Addie 40 minutes for her bedtime routine. From start to laying her down in her crib. She knows that this time is hers. She has both mom and dad’s undivided attention. No phones. No distractions.
Keep the lights off. This includes blue lights. Occasionally, Addie will wake up in the middle of the night or have a difficult time going down, when this happens, I go in, nurse her and sing to her. I do not turn on lights or use my phone. I want her to know that it is still bedtime and she needs to go to sleep.
Be consistent. As hard as it is some nights, it is harder to not have a routine and it is harder not to be consistent. This means you have to be consistent with the time, with the routine and with the pushback. If you have a toddler or older who is used to the routine of pushing bedtime back, fighting it, and getting their way, this may be very challenging. Push through. Keep your consistency and you will be successful. If you are consistent with bedtime routines, it will become second nature. As we start our routine, Addie will move to the next step, without prompting.
Have a bedtime ender. Okay, so we end each night with the same thing. We say our Good Night prayers, Addie says “Amen” and then lights go off. Addie knows that after “Amen” it is time for her to close her eyes and go to sleep. Wrapping up the night with the three of us praying has been our favorite routine yet! We want to model to Addie that prayer is important and that ending your day thanking God creates a thankful heart.
Sleep time can be so difficult! You are tired. Your child is tired. You feel your sanity is fleeting. I get it! I have been there. It sucks! But push through. Do the hard work early and it will pay off. One of the things that has helped our bedtime routine is that Addie does not cosleep with us. She is used to sleeping in her own room by herself. If you have a cosleeper, I would recommend first working on getting your little one to sleep in their own rooms.
This takes some time. You will have nights that might make you rethink parenting as a whole. But keep going. You can do this!
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