We were blessed with a baby who loves to sleep!! From a few conversations I’ve had with friends I can see that we are really really blessed. There have been a few things we’ve done that I believe have helped with this process. I know Ava may experience some sleep regression- we’re crossing our fingers that this doesn’t happen!
I’m going to preface what I say but saying that all babies are different (obviously), and we use a pacifier (dummy for those here in Aus). We are also talking about a nearly 4 month old here, not a 6 or 12 month old.
Okay, so here we go..
We have swaddled Ava since the night she was born. As a baby I was swaddled, my niece was swaddled- I can’t emphasis enough how effecive swaddling is. We were using muslin wraps, but then switched to a Love to Dream Swaddle Up as Ava was getting her arms out of the wraps and hitting her face with her hands.
- Learn sleeping and eating cues
Sleeping Cues- Long blinks (duh), rubbing of the eyes (once they hit the 2-3 month age when they can control their hands), whinging (from being overtired). One trick I use is I will put Ava in the cradle/sleeping position in my arms and see how much she fights. There have been times that she will close her eyes as soon as I lay her that way and I know to put her to bed immediately. (see point 3 about putting your baby to bed awake)
Eating Cues- In the first month of her life we would change Ava’s nappy during the night feeds. The midwives recommended this to wake the baby up so she would eat. We stopped doing this once she hit the 2 month mark as we noticed that she would eat, burp and fall back to sleep if we didn’t wake her up fully by changing her nappy… that and she would be awake wanting to eat anyways..
- Putting your baby to sleep awake
From the day we came home from the hospital we have put Ava to bed awake. Whether it’s a nap or her big night time sleep, every time she is put to bed she is awake. I believe this has helped her fall back to sleep during the night as well as learning to self soothe between sleep cycles! From memory she did whinge at the beginning, when we put her to bed, but after a minute or two she either just lays and stares or has fallen asleep
- Think: Is she hungry or fussing?
Ava has been sleeping through the night (8pm-5amish) since the age of around 2.5 months. Prior to that she was waking up only once (around midnight). We could tell that she was slowly transitioning away from the one wake-up during the night- she wouldn’t finish the bottle, she was super drowsy while eating etc.. So when she woke up around 12pm/1am we would let her fuss a little and then put a pacifier in her mouth. I know this may sound cruel to some people or that we were starving her- but we noticed that as soon as we put the pacifier in her mouth she would fall back to sleep and sleep for another 3-4 hours. After a few days of repeating this she started sleeping through the night without waking up at midnight. It was as simple as that.
Those are the main points that have gotten us onto a great routine so far! Please let me know if you have any specific questions!!