You read that right! 12 hours by 4 months of age! And what I mean by 12 hours I mean 12 beautifully uninterrupted hours. Yes, she is a champion but also yes, I have done well.
Having a baby that sleeps through the night after just four months is a possibility, but it does not happen overnight. I actually started from when we came home from the hospital.
Today, I want to share with you the 4 things I did (and continue to do) so that my baby sleeps 10-12 hours non stop at night.
Routine, routine, routine: Routines are super important for children of all ages. It allows them to recognize the situation and therefore feel calm. When something happens every night before they are put to bed, baby learns to recognize it and gets ready for it. My routine started in the hospital and includes a few things that I deliberately included so that she would associate it with going to sleep. This blog is coming soon ;-)
Follow the correct awake windows: Babies are born with an immature body clock and it actually takes a few months until they are ready to follow a fixed schedule. That is why we need to follow awake windows to make sure that we do not put baby down too early (baby will be under-tired) or too late (baby will be over-tired). You can download our awake windows cheat sheet for free in our website. It's a goodie!
Use the crib: When babies are in their first months of age they do need to have as much contact with their caregiver/s as possible. Allowing your newborn to nap on you is not only a delicious moment that you will remember forever, but is also good for them! However you also want to give baby the opportunity to get familiar with the crib, which is where you ultimately want them to sleep. I know, I know, some babies scream bloody murder as soon as they touch the mattress. It is ok, some babies need to get used to it more gradually than others, but that doesn't mean you should desist and not practice. Little by little everyday, try to have baby nap in the crib for a little longer. You will fail several times, but you will win others. and little by little you will be able to stretch those moments until baby is happy in their familiar and cozy crib.
Practice Le Pause: Le Pause is simply waiting for a few minutes when baby starts crying before we rush to them. Goodness, am I suggesting that you leave your baby to cry it out? no, I am not. I am only suggesting that you give baby the chance to go back to sleep by him/herself before you go and help. When they are very young you may not want to wait more than 3 minutes but as they get older, this can elongate up to 5, 7 or even 10 minutes! This is just a way for them to practice and have the chance to find what is it that settles them back to sleep. Now, when you go to them because crying has escalated and they are not going back to sleep, you can still use the Self Soothing Ladder to progressively introduce independent sleeping skills.
All of these tips allow you to very progressively and gently introduce independent sleep skills to your very young baby. It takes time (in fact, it took me a little less than 4 months) but it does pay off. An independent sleeper is a child that does not require your help to fall asleep or fall back to sleep every single time. That equals more time asleep and a more rested and happy baby as well as a more rested and happy family.
However, we understand it is not always easy to implement all of these by yourself, you may feel lost or something else is in the way of this. We are happy to help you out! That is what we designed the newborn packages for, girl! Book a call today and let us tell you how we can accompany you in the process and get these very same results for you.
Sleep tight mama,