Hoping to hear you share your tips, advice, and stories of your bedtime routines and anything you felt helped you.
I was BLOWN away at the amazing responses I got from so many of you that I knew I had to share what I learned and feel like will help us.
Usually I share the advice back on a separate IG Story, but this time the thoughts were so detailed it was too difficult to share everyones advice. I decided to dedicate and entire blog post, in hopes to help you other struggling mamas like me!!!
I will go ahead and share several of the comments that stuck out to me!
Then I will conclude with what method I feel will be the best fit for both Edison and I!
Here are the questions I asked in the IG Story for those of you who missed it.
Do you need to get your baby on a feeding schedule before your baby can sleep through the night?
Does your baby eat less than 4 hours and still sleep through the night?
I have needed to supplement Edison with formula, because he went down on the growth chart (never lost weight) just went down on the curve, should I wait to get his weight back up before trying to sleep train him?
How do you get your baby to sleep through the night?
What is your nightly routine?
What is the best way to wean the swaddle?
Do I really want a schedule? I love having freedom and I am not home consistency
(this photo was the first night we tried the Magic Merlins Sleep Suit, I shared in on my IG story but about died laughing at his darling face. He sure wasn't too sure what to think of the adjustment)
Here is what you readers shared!
Almost everyone's bedtime routine was pretty similar and is something that I will most likely do.
Bath time, lavender lotion massage, pajamas, (white noise machine on, and dim the lights) story time, family prayer, nurse, bed.
Some people suggest to diffuse lavender essential oils too!
Some people said their babies were sleeping through the night at 2-3 months. However, most people said they didn't even start sleep training until 6 months or at least 15 pounds. The reasoning was their babies bellies weren't full enough on just breast milk or formula alone to allow them to sleep through the night. So once they started eating solids or rice cereal their babies naturally started sleeping 12 hours at night.
A few also recommend starting them on rice cereal just before bedtime at around 4 months either by a spoon or through a bottle mixed with breastmilk. (You would need to make the hole in the nipple larger though)
Many many of you said in order to get your baby on a bedtime routine they need to be on an eating schedule. Although, there were also several who said it doesn't matter if you have a feeding schedule during the day, as long as you have a bedtime routine (not schedule necessarily) that is what worked best for them.
'Yes I feel like it helped to have a bed time routine more than a bed time in general. I always swore that having kids wasn't going to stop me from doing things. So some nights bedtime was at 7 and other nights it was 11. But I always did bath, lavender lotion, boob, a little rice coral, then bed. I also wouldn't even get up and check on them unless they cried for over 10 minutes. then I would just touch them and rock them while I sang a song to soothe them. It's rough for a couple weeks but once they figure it out it's heaven for both of you. My kids slept through the night at 2 months and to this day they are good about bed time. they know when they ar laid down that it is for the night" (@brittstevenson_)
This is something that I think we will attempt to try. With my busy daytime schedule always changing day to day I think this is something that will really work for us. As mentioned above doing a bedtime routine versus schedule meaning doing bath time, lavender lotion massage, story time, prayer, feed then put to bed would be my routine.
I would love to try and stick to a regular time, so every night I will try to start bath time at 7 PM in hopes to get him down for the night around 8 or 8:30. But on weekends or nights we have something going on, even starting at 10 PM Edison will know that it's bedtime because we have a set routine from consistency. For those nights where we are out about he will understand when it's time to sleep once bath and massage begins! "Babies don't know what time it is but a routine fives them the cues he needs to know what's next" ..."Have your baby practice naps where you want him to sleep at night, but if you want to hold him while he sleeps then do or if you want to get out and he sleeps in a carseat/stroller/wrap or sling that that is okay too. Just get at least one nap a day in his bed" (@lkmcbride)
Now for the CIO. Cry it out method. Some are all for it, some are against it. Honestly, do whatever you feel is best for you and your baby. At first I was hesitant. But I think in the long run it will be something I won't regret doing. Being able to lay them down awake in their crib for nap time or bedtime will be a lot easier letting them figure out a way to self sooth. If they wake up in the middle of the night, they will be able to put themselves back to sleep without your help, unless hungry of course! Here are a few different methods people suggested.
"When your baby does start to cry after setting them down, or after going in to check on them, look positive, tell them it will be okay and that you love them. Stay calm and have a happy demeanor, and that mommy can't wait to play with you in the morning. Don't stay longer than 30 seconds. If you see they are getting more upset, just leave." ... "Start your timer for 10 minutes and repeat those steps, adding 5 minutes each time. Watch them on the monitor. You will see him start to show signs up self soothing. For my baby it was nuzzling her head into her mattress. Some other kids (depending on their age) grab their blanket/pet their bed rock their heads back and forth, and you see them working it out and start to cry less or stop crying. The crying will be intermittent as he figures out what feels good to him. If you see that he is intermittently crying like that, give him the opportunity to figure it out." (@tatianalawson)
Lay baby down. Let cry 15 minutes. Go in and soothe without picking them up. Then go 30 minutes. Repeat steps above, then 45 minutes. Until they fall asleep. ( can last up to 2 hours and 2 -4 nights)
One person suggested to not doing any rocking or bouncing before putting to sleep. She would just sing a song and lay them down. If baby cries for 10 minutes. Go back in and repeat steps. Most of the time she mentioned she rarely needed to go back in.
I had never heard of 'Dream Feed' before, but I had several people suggest this. Dream feeding is when you go in and pick your baby up, while they are still sleeping. Usually right before you head off to bed. Feed them while they are still asleep and lay back down to rest. That way you are sure they will continue to have a full belly. Some would dream feed with a bottle, since formula fills them up more than breastmilk.
Another friend suggest doing the dream feed but increase the time an hour every night. For example. Baby would go down for the night at 7 pm. Dream feed them at 10pm. Then the following week do 11 pm, then eventually 12 pm, then 1pm keep continuing until you have mastered 12 hours of sleep.
Again many of you suggested to get your baby on the 4 hour eating schedule. I am choosing to not go through with this for the only reason that my little one has had a problem gaining weight from the day he was born. It took him about an entire month to regain his birth weight back, and at his 4 month check up the pediatrician informed me that he dropped for weight on the growth curve. He never lost weight, he is just a slow grower. So for that reasoning alone, I need to be feeding my baby more often. I have noticed that he usually tends to eat anywhere from 2.5-4 hours, usually 3 hours apart more often than not. Yes, many of you mentioned to not let him 'snack' but I feed him the full 25-40 minutes each time. So he isn't snacking. Although the 4 hour schedule won't work for me, here is what some of you suggested.
"For the schedule I started spreading her out slowly but consistently (feeding 2.5 hrs for a few days then every 3 hrs, I never went past the 3 hrs to the 4 hrs because when I tried my supply went down" (@brookiecrispp)
"Just distract him however you can and stick to a three hour schedule for a couple of weeks and then adjust it to four hours. He has to get really hungry to eat a lot at each feeding. Then he will adjust to it." (@marynelly1)
Weaning off the swaddle with Merlins Magic Sleep Suit
This was one thing I had so many of you readers suggest. Soooo of course It was a no brainer and I ordered it off of amazon immediately. You can purchase yours here. I ended up getting the cream color just because I figured I would use it again for our other babies down the road and got size 3-6 month. We tried it the first night and it was ROUGH!!! I honestly was terrified it wasn't going to work, and this was the second time we tried weaning the swaddle, I first tired this one here for about 4 nights and it didn't seem to do much for him. He just cried and cried. So the day my Merlins Magic Sleep Suit came in the mail we put it to use. Again, night one was the hardest. I however mentally prepared myself that it would indeed be hard for at least 3 nights to a week. (hoping closer to the 3 night mark) I made sure I was consistent that night. I feed him around 8 pm and laid him down. He slept for an hour. He woke up and I rocked him back to sleep, laid him down for him to only wake up right away. This continued 7 more times. By around the 4th or 5th time I did feed him again because several hours had passed. But after laying him down again he would wake up either immediately, or within the next 10 minutes (just long enough for me to go to the bathroom, lay in bed and get comfy) Anyways. This went on until about 3 in the morning and I was a bout to loose it at that point. So I will admit I gave up and put him back in the velcro swaddle and nursed him on my side so we both could get some sleep. I thought I had completely waisted the whole night away. To my surprise the next 2 nights were a breeze. He went down with no problem. I would feed him, lay him down and he would sleep for 2-4 hours! I could even hear him move around a little bit, but never actually woke himself up. So yes we will continue to use this sleep suit that is actually MAGIC!!! If you are in the same boat as me.. buy it now!!! Many of you mentioned you use the sleep suit until they are move mobil and rolling a lot. At that point you would transition them into a sleep sack.
If you guys remembered in my IG Story, I mentioned that I was really struggling staying awake while feeding Edison in the middle of the night. This is usually what our nights looked like. I would put him down around 9 or 10. He would wake up at some point and I never even realized I had heard him cry, picked him up, or nursed him, until about 5 or 6 in the morning. I LITERALLY HAD NO IDEA I DID ANY OF THIS!!!!!! It was a complete blur so I knew I had to adjust my routine so I could actually focus on feeding him and putting him back down to sleep.
I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner, maybe it was because I was actually getting several hours of sleep while holding and nursing Edison and not wanting to loose sleep due to laziness. But I decided it was time to mix up my night time routine by moving his bassinet away from my bed. That way I have to stand up, and get out of bed to get him. A lot of times I try to use the restroom first before going to pick Edison up to help fully wake myself up. The first night I did this, it turned out great. I was able to feed Edison and put him right back to sleep in the bassinet. If I find myself getting tired while feeding him, I either turn on the tv or get on my phone. That doesn't work all the time thought and I find myself still dozing off. A couple other things that have worked, I either set an alarm for 30 minutes to wake myself up or get up out of my bed and feed him on my ottoman that's at the foot of my bed. It sure isn't comfortable to sit on which makes me stay awake :)
One last thing that I wanted to share that (@lkmcbride) shared with me that I absolutely LOVED and honestly felt it was exactly what I needed to hear this past week. She directed me to this website here: http://www.mannlymama.com/2012/12/wonder-week-19-aka-4-month-sleep-regression/ This blog article has so much truth to it. She says exactly what we are all thinking and all saying to ourselves during those hard times dealing with growth spurts, wonder weeks and so much more
Something I also needed to hear
"No matter what I do, he is always changing. I have to remember that every week is going to be different because he is growing and constantly changing so what works for a couple weeks might change all of the sudden." (@coco.chandra)
Books to read
The Sleep Easy Solutions
Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth
Becoming Baby Wise Giving Nighttime
Blogs and Social Media recommend
Respectful Sleep Training group on FB
Taking Cara Babies on Instagram
Moms on Call app
The Wonder Weeks app
E.A.S.Y (eat, active, sleep, you)
I really loved this! I find it so important to try to make time for yourself. Even if it is for 10-15 minutes. A good mama needs time to better herself to be a better mom to her kiddos!
If you made it all the way to the end of this post a HIGH FREAKING FIVE to you!! Just remember...
There re is no right or wrong way. Don't let people tell you otherwise or make you feel like what you are doing isn't good enough. You are the mama, you know your baby better than anyone.