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Getting your baby on a sleep schedule is one of the most important things you can do. Right around the six week mark is when your sweet newborn that used to only sleep, eat and poop starts to wake up and be more active. While a more alert baby can be lots of fun, the less sleeping part can really take a toll on new parents. I have three children that are all very different, but one thing that worked for all three of them was sleep training.
What is Sleep Training?
Sleep training is exactly what is sounds like. You put a routine in place that actually trains your baby when to sleep and when to be awake. With each child I started around four months. At four months, I established a napping routine and schedule first, followed by a consistent night time routine. Within one week I had my kids sleeping for two 2-3 hour naps per day and a 12 hour stretch at night (waking only to nurse). Remember that part I said my kids are all very different? It’s true, they each have their unique personalities and developmental milestones. One thing remained consistent with each of them however; which is how quickly they sleep trained, allowing me and my husband more freedom and ultimately more sleep.
Healthy Sleep Habits Makes a Happy Child
I swear by the book, Healthy Sleep Habits Happy Child by Marc Weissbluth. I like to call this book the ‘bible’ of getting your baby to sleep, When I had my first son, I was struggling with getting him on a schedule. He loved to sleep in his baby swing during the day for naps and would not sleep at night. I was exhausted. I was back to work by that time and my husband and I were barely surviving. A friend recommended the book to me and I ordered it that night because I was desperate. The last thing I wanted to do was read a book. I was tired, I wanted to spend any free time sleeping, not reading! Well, am I glad I did! Thanks to the book my son was on a schedule and was sleeping well within a week. It’s not a “read from cover to cover book” (best part in my opinion). The book reads more like a guide, where you can skip around to the parts that are relevant for you in the phase that you’re in.
What I Love About the Book
- It respects a parent’s choice on how to sleep train their child. It covers different methods and explains the research behind each method. Sleep training is hard and can be emotional and it’s nice to know that there are different methods to try that fits best with your philosophy and family structure.
- The book is organized by age and is designed so that you can start working on a sleep schedule at any time you feel ready. I personally chose 4 months because it felt right for my family. I felt that my babies were ready to begin a set routine and I was ready and willing to stick to the routine.
- It’s a resource that grows with you and your child. My babies were sleep trained and got into a routine very quickly, but guess what? They grew up and started to wean off of naps. The book is a great resource on how to move through the different stages of kid’s sleep patterns. It also covers tips for travel and time changes and how to navigate through all things that might disrupt a sleeping routine.
- It has real life stories included at each phase and each method. It’s nice to read about other’s experience and learn from real life people who are going through the same thing. In a sense, it validates any struggles you might be going through.
It just might be possible that this book saved my marriage. I am only partly joking. New babies are exhausting. It puts a lot of stress on a relationship when the two of you can barely function. Not to mention, babies are happier when they are sleeping.
I’d love it if you left comments below on your experience with sleep training that might help other mommas out there. Have you read the book? What’s your experience?
note: There’s a version available for parents of multiples. (see below)