I receive so many questions from fellow mamas as to how we sleep trained our daughter at six months! The Truth is, we needed to keep strict and successful sleeping routine with my daughter and when we weren’t as strict things would start to slide south. This is coming from a once EXTREMELY desperate momma that will hopefully help those of you who are in the process of achieving a sleep trained baby.
One thing I want to point out is that it’s probably best to not have your baby sleep through the night until they are around six months because of the tiny stomach their bodies posses! We don’t want to deprive the little body of the nutrients it needs to grow.
–Here is a list of key products I used to make sleep training easier and where you can find them. Of course, every baby is different. Watch your babies cues and find out what works best for you and baby!
Lambie: A soft security blanket with a silky lining. Yvette absolutely refused pacifiers from day one. We bought almost every kind of recommended pacifier out there and none worked except this security blanket which we call ‘Lambie’. Every night my daughter sucks on Lambie to go to sleep. We even have a back-up Lambie but it’s not used often because she prefers the umm smell of HER lambie. The smell is a mix between stale crackers and barf but she loves it.
NUK Fashion Learner Cup: My daughter didn’t take bottles but we did get her to learn to drink from a sippy cup. What I love about Nuk is the spout which is a see-through soft silicone that resembles a nipple. I’ve tried other brands of cups before but they either leaked, was too hard for a young baby to suck on, or gathered mold in the spout. This spout allows you to see exactly what’s in the cup and there is no weird filter to help stop the flow of liquid. With that said, it can leak if your baby likes to sleep on the nipple (which mine does) but I’ll take that over mold. We started her out with the 5oz. but she recently graduated to the larger cup! She was pretty excited.
What I like to do is to leave the cup in the crib with my daughter. She is a thirsty girl and sometimes she would wake up just because she needed a drink! Usually I fill it with water but when Yvette is having a rough night we will fill half apple juice and half water, works like a charm! Another thing you could use is whole milk but I am finding it hard for her to like whole milk because it’s not “mommies milk”. Oh well, we will keep trying!
Sound Machine: When I was pregnant I would laugh at the sound machine lambs in the baby section at Target and Walmart. In my mind I assumed I could teach my baby to be a good sleeper through the noise around the house. WAS I WRONG! First of all, Yvette had colic when she was first-born so she didn’t really sleep regardless of what noise we had going on. When the colic faded, we had a baby that would get distracted even by a fly on the wall so we decided to invest in a sound machine that could replicate the noise inside a womb.
The one we ended up buying was the myBaby Soundspa Lullaby Sound Machine and Projector because it came with disks that we could use to change the sounds if she didn’t like the generic one. We didn’t use the projector much because it distracted her from sleep but we did use the sound machine every night until she was almost a one year old. We would probably still be using the machine except we forgot it at my grandparents house which created the new challenge of teaching Yvette to fall asleep without the noise! Nothing like ripping off the band-aid with that one.
Now I will explain our original routine that began when Yvette was a month old and then explain our new routine now that she is over a year older.
Routine at one month
Yvette had a minor episode of colic that lasted from about two weeks to four months and by about a month we were googling every. single. possible. remedy to calm her stomach because we were going bonkers.
We tried everything from gripe water, excessive burping, to on the dot nursing but nothing worked until we subconsciously began practicing a nightly routine.
At first our bedtime routine consisted of a warm bath with dimmed lights, swaddling, and nursing Yvette to sleep.
For some magical reason the bath worked wonders. Don’t ask me why because I could talk your ear off with a million different scenarios but God is the only one who truly knows.
7pm was the time we would start our night-time with Yvette. We chose an earlier time to give Vander and myself a good two-hour chunk of time to have an in-home date. She only woke up around two times a night to dream nurse and then she would be back in her crib to snooze the night away. I never did co-sleep with Yvette in our bed but she did have a co-sleeper next to our bed.
For the first couple months she would not go to sleep on time unless we gave her a bath, short or long, didn’t matter as long as we just went through the actions! Weird right?
As Yvette grew she began to be more alert which caused a lack of naps during the day. Sleepy girl needed her rest so we moved her bath/snuggle/nurse/bed time to 6p.m. Even to this day she will not take more than one nap a day which can make for one tired mama! Totally worth it though.
So, not a very hard routine. The biggest thing is to just stick with it. It doesn’t matter what your routine looks like, just stick with it!
Now that we are all a year older we have ditched a couple of things in the routine, we have held onto some, and we have added new ones.
What we ditched
- Sound machine
- routine bath time — although we try to do a nightly bath every other night.
- Swaddling — for obvious reasons.
What we held onto
- Sippy cup
- 6pm bedtime
What we added
- Story time: Usually we read Jesus Calling for Little Ones by Sarah Young. I love it! I’m not sure Yvette can even sit still long enough for me to read a page but we will keep trying.
- Singing ‘Jesus Loves you’: We added this as a sort of prayer/blessing to let her know that Jesus loves her SO MUCH!
- Larger Nuk cup for water.
Routines work SO well. They are annoying and sometimes they even pester other people but they are great for your family dynamics.
What has our family accomplished with a steady routine?
- Getting colicy baby to relax and sleep the night.
- A relaxing evening for mommy and daddy.
- A full night sleep for mommy and daddy.
- A well rested baby/toddler! Which could have been the first point but it was so great it needed to be added again.
Want to read more? Check out my in-home date night ideas with your spouse.
What do you do as an evening routine with your children? Leave a comment below!
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