HOW WE TAUGHT OUR SON TO SLEEP IN HIS OWN BED & HOW YOU CAN TOO?


I want to start this post by saying that I'm not a parenting expert, I don't have an education for this and all my info and all the things in this post are purely based on my experience with my own child. All kids are different & you need to try out different things and find the ones that will suit your kids best. If it works for us, it doesn't necessarily mean that it'll work for you - but you know, it's worth to try is it?
I've seen a lot of mums struggling with their kid's bedtime and as we aren't struggling with the bedtimes (I'm not trying to be a better mum here just so you know) I wanted to share some things that have worked for us from the very beginning and led to the point that our 5-month-old went to sleep in his own bed, in his own room and has done that ever since. Also, my views are purely from a bottle-fed baby perspective so if you're breastfeeding, some of these might be purely impossible for you as you need to pick the baby up in the middle of the night if he wants to be fed.

WE STARTED FROM THE VERY BEGINNING (THANKS TO MY MUM)
The words "thanks to my mum" and my parenting methods don't usually walk hand in hand but in this case, it really does. When we got home with D from the hospital, I ended up being as a mum pillow. I was living and breathing mum pillow for D, as the only place he would sleep was on me. We kind of got attached to it until we went to my mum's when D was almost 1-month-old and she told me that if I ever want him to sleep on his own I need to stop being a mum pillow at that very second.
Then it began, I refused to pick him up when he was sleeping in his box next to our bed - I just gave him his milk and unless he had pooped, I didn't change his diaper in the middle of a night. That actually worked. D got used to sleeping in the box, though I still occasionally kept my hand close to him just so he could smell/crab it if he had the need. But he got used to it.

WE CREATED A ROUTINE
Babies don't really know if it's a day or a night. They just know that at some point during the day it's very light and at some point, it's really dark. So we created a routine just so he would know that hey - it's an evening time now, time to prepare for the night time sleep (aka he knows it's meant to be sleeping at the night and not a play time).

---> Our evening routine when D was 2-months-old:
6:30pm - bath time
7:00pm - evening bottle in bed
7:15pm - someone fell asleep

---> Our evening routine now (1-year-old):
7:00pm - porridge
7:15pm - bath time
7:45pm - evening bottle in bed
8:00pm - someone fell asleep

Now when looking how it has changed in a year, the time has gotten a bit later and porridge has come along. But he has a routine. Like he knows he'll eat porridge in the morning, he knows that when it's a bath time after the porridge that it's a bedtime soon.
I've learned that the routines are crucial for the babies and when they have ones, they feel like you know what you're doing and you know what you're doing and when you repeat them for long enough - they'll learn what will happen next.

NIGHT TIME FEEDS
When D was younger, he woke up in every 3 hours or so for a bottle. Sometimes he slept through the night if we were lucky but nowadays he only wakes up once & might only want a dummy in his mouth.
We handled the night time feeds feeding him whilst he was laying on his bed so we didn't pick him up at all during the nights. Unless he had poop in his diaper, then of course - we changed him. But otherwise, we didn't pick him up. This doesn't mean that you have to let them scream death in their cots through the night, it's just that don't pick him up right away. Give them milk, dummy and try them again and then pick them up if they don't settle. For us, usually milk or dummy helps and D continues his sleep.
Nowadays when D wakes up at the night we give him his dummy first, if he doesn't settle we give him milk and usually then he falls back to sleep right away.

Do you have any tips I should add to this list? I'm all about the routines when it comes to bedtimes. Gosh, it has been so helpful!





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11 comments

  1. We are all creatures of the habit, aren't we? Routines are actually really good for all of us... I'll share this with my friends with babies...

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  2. I'm happy D is sleeping better nowadays and that the routines have helped you. It's good that you have taught him to sleep on his own. You don't want to be the pillow for him forever. :)

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  3. We don't have any kids yet, but I love reading people's experiences. I feel like I can log them into my memory bank and then, when I need them, I can try them out myself. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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  4. I need to share this post with some of my friends who have babies. :) I wish I could tell you some advice but I have no experience at all. But this will be useful for me some day! :)

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  5. So sweet and creative of you to come up with these ideas. Great Tips for parents.

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  6. This is so sweet reading about your early days with your son. Hope to join you in the mummy club someday xx

    https://missportmanteau.com

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  7. Great way to teach him from young age, it is better for him to get used on sleeping alone and it is better for you too xoxo

    www.theninebyivana.blogspot.com

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  8. I can't believe it's a year or so ago now when he was born. And I feel proper happy I've been able to follow his first year through your blog. What a sweetie.
    Katja xxx
    www.katnapped.com

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  9. I don’t have any kids right now but I still think it’s interesting to read up on different articles with pieces of advice for when that day comes. I think developing a routine for them would be super helpful.

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  10. I don't have children but I wonder if this would work with my furbabies. lol

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  11. I think this is so great you were able to do that so early on in your child's life. I wish I had been more adamant about that with my daughter with my ex. But she took control and never really wanted our daughter to sleep in her own bed as long as possible. It stunted many different things and it made her fearful in many ways unfortunately. You are doing such a great job with this though.

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