How I Got my Infant to Sleep 12 Hours A Night In Her Own Bed!
Hey mommas! At 3 months old, my little girl was sleeping through the night and in her own bed! It was a goal of mine from the start to make sure she was comfortable in her own room and didn’t need me and her dad there for her to stay asleep. I get asked all the time how we did it and the answer is lots of discipline!
Like most parents, during the first couple of months, we were very nervous of letting her out of our sight, especially over night. In addition, because I breastfeed, our daughter ate about every 2 to 3 hours overnight. So her being close by was of course more convenient. However, we always had our long term goal in mind, even when she was a few weeks old. That goal was to have a baby who was comfortable sleeping in her own crib, in her room, over night.
So, we started out with a co-sleeper because it was a way for us to keep our eyes on her, nurse her easily through the night, and still keep a feeling of independence for her.
At about 10 weeks, I began to place her in her crib during her naps. This was because I was fully awake and about and could keep my eyes on her by way of the baby monitor. By doing this, she began to get familiar with her crib and know that it meant sleep time.
At about 12 weeks, we were comfortable with her sleeping her her bed overnight, since she still woke up periodically through the night to nurse. (At this point, there were night when she would sleep 6-8 hours straight).
For about 3 months, we were enjoying the comfort in knowing that our baby slept through the night and in her own bed!
But that can to a screeching halt one night when she was just about 7 months. Suddenly like clockwork, every night, after about 4 hours of sleep, she would wake up. Nothing would put her back down except milk. This was strange to me because at this point, our daughter was also eating some solid foods like oatmeal, rice, veggies and some fruits. I began to research and study her behavior during they day and this is where it gets good!
IF YOU SKIMMED THROUGH EVERYTHING ELSE, YOU WANT TO STOP HERE!
As I stated above, my baby was about 7 months, still being breastfed, and eating some solid foods during the day. All signs said she should be sleeping through the night but she wasn’t. She was getting halfway there and waking up again. After about 4 weeks of this I decided to get more serious about her daily schedule and her eating routine. I couldn’t take anymore! Here are the changes I made.
Monitoring Daily Activity
To make a long story short, I spent a lot of time playing with her and getting her all tired for the night! We would take walks, play with toys, read books, dance, shout, all kinds of fun activities. Babies have to use up energy just like we do in order to feel tired so have at it! Play hard!
Breastfed babies tends to desire more time with momma and get hungry sooner than formula fed babies. That’s because there are no unnatural ingredients in breastmilk that fill them up and give them the itis! So this may mean you have to work a little harder to help them sleep through the night. For my daughter, the last few hours before bedtime were crucial to a good night’s rest for everyone in the house. I started about 2 hours before desired bedtime with organic steal cut oatmeal (blended into a powder. You can blend the whole container and store) mixed with brown rice (cook, blend until pureed). After that, a warm bath with Roman Camomile essential oil. I only use a certain brand. It’s the only brand that is Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade in the market and you CAN NOT find it in stores. (Send me a direct email if you are interested in learning about it)
Finally, after a few more minutes of fun time, which usually includes reading or toys, I nursed for about 10 minutes depressed placing her in bed.
Usually, there was no fuss from her but during the first 2 weeks, from time to time, we had to implement the infamous, “cry it out”.
Thankfully, my daughter didn’t cry for long. By the time I placed her in the bed she was so tired but still fighting sleep. The longest she ever had to cry it out was 8 minutes and it was just one time. This went in for about 10 days before it was smooth sailing.
Now, our daughter sleeps 12 hours a night, no interruptions, in her own bed! Every baby is different. Every mom has different preferences. This is what worked for me and my family and these same simple adjustments have also helped many of my friends and family members. I hope this will help you too! If you have any questions or other advice, share below!