Unsolicited sleep tips — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Unsolicited sleep tips

I was reading below about sleep stuff - I think 50% of it is really the luck of the draw and your baby's temperament, but there are things that have really worked for us and CIO hasn't really been one of them.  Jules has been sleeping through the night since she was 3 months old (she's a big girl though and was when she was born so that really helps too.)  The questions I have for those of you who have older children who aren't sleeping....

- have you engaged a lovey or a blankie?

- do you have a routine that involves a dark room, night light, books, cuddles, whatever?  we have used a sound machine and it really works for us.

- the fisher price aquarium also works at times

- we put a bunch of soft toys in the crib so she can play in there if she wakes up too early, she often goes back to sleep

- early bedtime has really worked for us...she sleeps from 7-6:30 am with two 90 minutes naps.  make sure naps are over by 4 pm at the latest (ours are usually until 3pm)

any one else have good tips to share?

Re: Unsolicited sleep tips

  • I may be really lucky, but my first started STTN at six weeks and my second at about seven weeks. They are now two yrs and nine weeks. BTW - they were both small at birth (6lbs and 6lbs7oz).

    Things I swear by:

    ROUTINE (for us it is, bath-massage-pjs-song-book-kisses-bed)

    Miracle Blanket/swaddling

    Johnson's Bedtime Bath/lotion

    Dark room

    Own crib

    I BF my first for 17 months and my second is EBF, so BF babies CAN STTN. When they were really small and woke up to eat, for me it was very important to keep lights out and simply feed them and put them back (no talking, etc.). I also think it's important not to get them if they're just making some noise; you have to know when they are hungry.

    Again, I think I was also really lucky because I didn't have to do CIO. They go to sleep easily and stay asleep.

    Disclaimer: We have issues in other areas (i.e. my toddler eating veggies, etc.) so I have my fair share of stress.

  • - have you engaged a lovey or a blankie?  We started giving DS a lovey at 5.5 months, because he was waking up just to snuggle.  He didn't really pay any attention to it until he was 9 months old.  He really loves stuffed animals and blankets now--he doesn't seem to have favorites really though.

    - do you have a routine that involves a dark room, night light, books, cuddles, whatever?  Our bedtime routine is (on bath nights):  brush teeth, bath, pajamas, 1 or 2 books, bed.  We dropped the bedtime bottle back at 7ish months because he was always peeing through his diaper.  We moved it to 1 or 2 hours before bed.

    any one else have good tips to share?

    We are lucky in that we didn't have too much trouble with nighttime sleep.  DS woke up to eat/snuggle until he was 6 months old, but then started STTN.  I am almost certain that he started STTN at that point because we started formula and he was no longer losing weight.  Embarrassed

    We did, however, have lots of trouble with naptime.  I have had to use Ferber for naps multiple times.  What ultimately helped was when I found his sleep window--there is a magical time that he will go down for a nap nicely.  If I put him down too early or too late, it's a struggle.

  • I know a lot of people say food has nothing to do with it, but DD started STTN for 10-12 hours right when we started solids.  She is a hungry girl, and before solids every night with her was different.  Some nights she would sleep for four hours, and then get up every two hours after that to nurse, and some nights she would sleep for 6 or 8 hours.  Now she sleeps for at least 10 hours, but usually 11 or 12 each night. 

    She also has a lovie (a little stuffed bunny) to hug while she falls asleep.  We tried a little bunny that was attached to a very small, soft blankie, but she would pull it over her face, and that made me extremely nervous.  The small stuffed bunny is perfect and she loves him.  :)

    I have to admit that I'm not great about a routine every night, because some nights she doesn't get a bath, some nights we are out running around and we get home late, etc, but we TRY to stick to a 7:30 or 8:00 bedtime.  I also make sure to read to her and sing songs to her every night.  I'll hold her for a song or two and then put her in her crib, and continue to sing to her as I stroke her forehead.  That usually gets her pretty sleepy, and we rarely have to go back in to soothe her.  I'm sure a lot of it is luck though, and I realize I have it pretty great when it comes to sleeping!  :)

  • PP makes a good point about a sleep window.  I always make sure to put mine down between 6:30 and 8:30pm (depends on the kid, depends on the age).

    Also, I stopped changing mine at night when they stopped pooing at night, which was around four or five weeks of age, I think.

  • We also got really lucky with DD.  She started sttn around 7 or 8 weeks.  She was also ebf until she was over 6 mo old so they can definitely sttn while bfing. 

    We weren't super strict for bedtime but we aim for 7:30-8pm and always read a story and cuddle a bit.  I rock her sometimes when we're reading but I've never rocked her to sleep.  Even now that she's waking up occassionally from teething I'll rock her to soothe her but still put her in her crib awake so she can go to sleep on her own.  She has a little stuffed bunny but she'll hold onto anything soft, for some reason she likes to cover her eyes while she's going to sleep.  We also have some other soft toys for her to play with if she wakes up and we use the Fisher Price aquarium too. 

    She also has two or three naps a day and she'll sleep in later on days that she goes to bed earlier.  If she stays out late (like last night, oops) she's cranky in the morning unless she gets a good morning nap.

  • I've got an 8.5 mo old who's eBFed and has never STTN.

    We've done the same routine for many months now.

    I've been putting a soft toy next to us when I nurse and then put it in the crib w/ her but she doesn't really care for it. She has no interest in a lovey at this point whatsoever.

    The room is dark.

    I used to use a mobile but it didn't really help so I stopped turning it on.

    We do bath around 6:30, nurse at 6:45 and she'll fall asleep (usually) by 8pm but she still wakes up:(

    I really don't want to Ferberize but I think I will in a couple of weeks, when she's 9 mo old. I hope that it helps. I know I shouldn't nurse her to sleep but the 1st 2-3 mos it would take me upto 6hrs for her to fall asleep and when she finally did start falling asleep while nursing, I was just so happy she finally slept, I kept it up.

    thanks for the tips and keep 'em coming!

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