Parenting

Five Baby Sleep Routines From Mums

Please note that this is not an article from any sleep specialist. It is 5 mums sharing their own experience of what has worked for them. The Healthy Mummy does not advocate any specific sleep method and if you need sleep advice, we always recommend talking to an expert.

You’ve heard it a million times before – routine is EVERYTHING. But how can you get your little one into a good sleeping routine? What sleep aids do you need? And how long before you can enjoy a better night’s sleep?

Five mums share their successful baby sleep routines that have saved their sleep and their sanity.

The Right Time To Let Your Baby Sleep Independently

Baby Bedtime Routines

Some babies sleep. Some babies don’t. If your infant falls into the latter category, then you are in excellent company. The good news is that we asked several mums who have babies that sleep through the night to share their tips and tricks with us.

So, What is the Secret to Baby Sleep?

There isn’t just one.

As demonstrated below, some babies require sleep aids and self-settling training while others learn to fall asleep without any assistance. And although there isn’t a foolproof way to ensure a better night’s sleep, these routines may help you decide the best way forward with your little one.

sleeping baby girl

 

1. What Bec Did With Her Three-Month-Old

  • Bed at 5pm to 6pm. Up at 6am. 
  • Sleep training method used: Cry it Out
  • Sleep aids: Sleeping bag, dummy, comforter and white noise

For Bec, mum to Thomas as well as 22-month-old, Jennifer, the secret to a successful sleep routine is an early bed time. Her three-month-old goes down for the night between 5pm to 6pm after a bath and bottle. Thomas sleeps through the night until 6am.

Bec explains, “I put him in his sleeping bag, put his white noise on, tuck him in and give him his dummy and that’s it.” Before Bec goes to bed, she turns off the white noise and takes the dummy away.

Bec used the cry-it-out method to help Thomas learn to self-settle. This type of sleep training involves letting baby learn to self-settle by allowing him to cry and fuss. There are a few different methods that can be used, such as the Ferber method, but many mums will also follow their own baby cues and cries.

It only took Thomas half a day to get into the swing of things and Bec admits, that although it was tough, now he hardly ever cries.

“Cry it out is really tough and ripped my heart out when I starting doing it but it is great in the long run.” 

2. What Emma Did With Her Four-Month-Old

  • Bed at 7pm, Up at 6am
  • Sleep training method used: Fed to sleep
  • Sleep aids: Milk and swaddle

Emma swears by the eat, sleep, play routine during the day which led to a successful night time routine. All three of her children were fed to sleep, and, for every baby, this technique has worked wonders.

After a bath and cuddles, her four-month-old relies on a feed and a swaddle to drift off to sleep (check out how to wrap a baby for a full night’s sleep here). Once asleep in Emma’s arms, she gently places him down in his cot where he sleeps through until the morning.

While all of her babies have been slightly different, Emma has always relied on sleep cues to determine when it’s bedtime. Signs that your baby is tired and ready to sleep include jerky movements, grunting, frowning, rubbing his eyes or ears and yawning.

Knowing the sleep cues takes time and if you happen to miss the very small window, then it can be harder to get bub down without a sleep aid like rocking or feeding. But, like anything, once you manage to get it right a few times, you’re well on your way to daily success.

As Emma suggests, “Just listen to them, they will tell you and then just follow their lead.”

3. What Mel Did With Her Five-Month-Old

  • Bed at 5 or 6pm, Up at 5:30am to 6:00am
  • Sleep training method used: Cry it out and constant darkness 
  • Sleep aids: Dummy, lullaby light and stuffed teddy

For Mel and her five-month-old, the key to successful sleep is daytime feeding. Her son is demand fed during the day every three hours or less. Mel starts the bath, feed, bed routine early and her little one is asleep by 6pm. She dream feeds him once at 7pm and then he is down until the morning.

But what happens if bub wakes up at night? Mel suggests doing the night feed in the dark, without eye contact or communication.

To help her son self-settle Mel relied on the cry it out method as well a lullaby light to help soothe bub to sleep.

“I never let bub get hysterical as it’s harder to resettle, but if I had to, I would pick him up, settle him and put him back down before walking away. After a few nights he got the hint that it is not play time, its sleep time.”

baby sleep music

4. What Sarah Did With Her Six-Month-Old

  • Bed at 6.30pm, Up at 6-7am
  • Sleep training method used: None required
  • Sleep aids: None required

Sarah’s little one, Ronan enjoys dinner at 5pm before it’s time for bath, bottle and into the cot around 6.30pm.

Although Ronan doesn’t require any sleeping aids or sleep training, Sarah diligently watches for sleep cues. As soon as he starts to show signs of tiredness, she places him in his cot where he drifts off to sleep.

5. What Renee Did With Her 12-Month-Old

  • Bed at 7pm, Up at 6:30pm. 
  • Sleep training method used: Controlled crying
  • Sleep aids: Owl comforter

Renee follows a similar routine of bath, bottle and bed with her one-year-old son, Logan. His routine, which starts at 7pm, has been a staple in the household since Logan was four months old.

The routine took about a month before Logan started to respond to it and she used controlled crying at the age of eight months to teach him to settle himself. Controlled crying involves letting a child learn to self settle through crying, but with frequent checks and reassurance while bub is learning.

Now Logan knows when it’s bedtime and sleeps through the night.

Plus, as Renee tells us, “He is a happy chappy and the routine has kept my sanity.”

While routine is essential when it comes to getting bub to sleep, some babies are always going to be better sleepers than others. And if you happen to have a baby that doesn’t really like the idea of sleep, don’t beat yourself up over it. Hopefully, in time, you’ll be one of those lucky mums who remember what a full night’s sleep feels like.

Please note that this is not an article from any sleep specialist. It is 5 mums sharing their own experience of what has worked for them. The Healthy Mummy does not advocate any specific sleep method and if you need sleep advice, we always recommend talking to an expert.

Having trouble with toddler sleep? Check out these sleep success stories for toddlers. And for sleeping aids that may work for your little one, we’ve uncovered a bassinet, a doll, a song and a CD that all come with rave reviews from both mums and sleep experts.

jenna

Jenna Galley

Born and raised in Canada, Jenna traded in the cold mountain air for the laid back lifestyle of Australia nine years ago. She is now a mum to one son, one daughter, one dog and one cat, all of whom live with her and her partner in Cairns, QLD. When not writing about the ups and downs of parenting, she is usually outside doing some form of physical activity or indulging in a glass of antioxidant-infused fruit drink. Okay, it's wine.

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