If you’re reading this, it’s possible you’ve just done what I did – Googled “How to get my baby to sleep through the night”! Read my experience below, and how we finally got our baby to put himself to sleep and sleep through the night.
I’m going to do this post in three parts, this one is to explain the issues I had and the other two will be the solutions I finally found! I’ll link the other two posts below.
I have to admit, when Devin was born I really didn’t do anything to encourage healthy sleeping habits. There was no set bedtime, there was no set place for him to go down for a nap during the day and we co-slept at night. Some days he would fall asleep in my arms, but would wake if I put him down somewhere else. The rest of the time he slept in a swing with the aid of a white noise app.
There was really no ‘routine’. At night when he was going to sleep, I would basically just go to bed myself and stay with him. (That’s when I started blogging). I was suffering from insomnia, I don’t know how it’s humanly possible to survive on the sleep I was getting. It seemed normal enough to me at the time, as I didn’t find myself overly tired during the day or needing to take naps. Looking back, I see it very differently!
When Devin was 3 months old we moved house, and despite the fact that it was significantly more uncomfortable for three of us to sleep in the smaller sized bed, I was suddenly able to sleep better! It was always nice to have him in the bed with me, to cuddle him and breathe in his smell, and it was EASY to do night feeds. By this point I was able to put him down at night and leave, but he was dependent on the sound of an actual hair dryer to go to sleep (and it stayed on until we went to bed). Then he needed two nice warm bodies to sleep through the night, and there was still no routine of any sort regarding daytime naps.
I hadn’t planned on co-sleeping, but as you know – plans change! One thing I knew for certain was that I was one of those people who didn’t want to do it forever. I wanted the transition to be ‘easy’, I was afraid that if he got even one month older, he’d be so aware of what was going on that I might break his trust in me if I moved him to his own bed!
By the age of 5 months I had weaned him and he had also moved into his own cot right next to my bed, and for the most part he was napping in his cot during the day. At 8 months he was in his own room, and taking naps at roughly the same time each day – still using a hair dryer though! He was also still getting a dream feed at night and waking for another bottle at 4am.
I knew that the next issues I had to deal with were getting rid of the sleep prop (hair dryer)! It was dangerous, and stupid and I hope I will never do anything like it again!
It was somewhere around 10 months that we got him finally sleeping through the night, not needing extra feeds, not needing the hair dryer and settling himself to sleep!
If you have found yourself facing any of these issues click below to see what I did!