This post has been a long time coming. I have so much to say on the topic that it took a while to write. Now that Amalia is sleeping through the night, I’m excited to share everything that I learned with you. As you read it, please remember that I’m not a baby expert, just a mom who is learning as I go and sharing what I learn along the way. Before you make any decisions about how to sleep train or not sleep train your baby, talk to your pediatrician.
I’m writing this because, at 7 weeks, our baby slept through the night for the first time, and has consistently done so since then (she’s 10 weeks now). Amalia’s a good napper, and we’ve had so much success with the work we’ve put in.
I divided this post into a few sections, so feel free to skip to the ones that are not relevant to you:
1. Our nighttime routine
2. Our philosophies (via Babywise)
3. Our feeding/nap schedule
4. My baby nurse’s 8 tips for sleep training (she’s been doing it for over 10 years)
5. Products we use for a better sleep
1. Our Nighttime Routine
It took a few weeks to get this down pat but now it’s my favorite part of the day, and Amalia loves it too. At 6pm we start her routine with “bathies”. We use this bathtub which we love because of the infant sling that holds her up comfortably. I’m sure there are a ton of great baby baths, I didn’t actually do a ton of research on it.
I give her a bath (If Anel is home, he loves to do it, but most nights he’s still at work) and wash her from head to toe. When she’s nice and warm from it, I wrap her in a towel, dry her off completely, then give her a massage with this baby oil. It smells amazing and feels so soft on her skin. When Anel does the massage, he has her get on her tummy and does her back as well. She absolutely loves it and it’s so soothing that I feel like this helps our baby to be sleeping through the night!
After the bath, I put on her PJs, swaddle her, comb her hair, and give her the biggest kiss because freshly washed babies are the cutest thing in the universe.
We then move to her bedroom where we dim the lights, close the curtains, and create a dark, cozy space for sleep. I play a lullaby playlist while I feed her for the last time of the day. When she’s done eating, I make sure she gives me at least one good burp. At this point she’s already asleep half the time, and the other half she’s drowsy. Either way, I’ll put her down, telling her goodnight.
I turn on the white noise machine, dim the lights even more, and walk out of the room quietly. If she’s still awake, I watch the monitor for a few minutes to make sure she falls asleep. Sometimes she wakes back up and cries for more milk, sometimes she has gas and I have to go back in to burp her, but most of the time she’s out cold for the night.
While this routine may sound serene and calm (and it is!), it wasn’t for a while.
2. Our Philosophies
I’ve mentioned it numerous times, but we read Babywise and implemented some of it’s concepts from day one. We didn’t stick to 100% of what it said to do, but took many of it’s philosophies and mixed them with what we learned from the baby nurse. Here are the main sleep philosophies that we followed with Amalia.
Listen to Your Baby: No matter what else you do, watch and learn your baby. Take her cues and go from there. You can read a million books, but every baby is different and will tell you what they need.
PDF (Parent Directed Feeding: I liked Babywise better than some of the other books I read because they stress that you should always feed your baby when she’s hungry and the clock can’t rule your life. That being said, you work hard to establish an routine (every 2.5-3 hours), but it’s ok if it goes off course. If your baby is hungry, feed her.
Full Feeds: From day one, we tried to make sure that she had full feeds, meaning that she didn’t fall asleep before she was done eating. If you breastfeed, the baby first gets foremilk first which has a lower fat content, and then hindmilk, which she needs for optimal growth and nutrition. If the baby falls asleep before getting enough hindmilk, she is more likely to wake up hungry from her nap earlier.
We noticed that when Amalia got a full feed, she slept better and longer for naps and at night. Our lactation consultant showed us some tricks for keeping her awake which you can read more about in this post.
Sleep-Eat-Wake Schedule: This one was tough for me at first because I couldn’t figure out when the wake time would be. As a tiny newborn, she would fall asleep as soon as she finished eating. Eventually, week after week, her wake time got longer. At first, it was 5 minutes, then 10, and is now almost an hour.
Start & End Each Day at the Same Time: I like knowing when she’s going to wake up and go down each day and according to Babywise, setting those two times is one of the most important things you can do for your baby in the first few months. It makes your life easier which makes you calmer as a mom, and it gets them used to routine for when they start daycare or eventually school.
Sleeping in Her Room: From the first night we got home from the hospital, she slept in her room. At the beginning, it was in her SNOO, and now it’s in a Dock-a-Tot in her crib.
Falling Asleep on Her Own: If she was still awake but calm, we would put her down to fall asleep on her own. Babywise says to use no props (like a swing or even white noise) but we used the SNOO and sometimes the Rock ‘n Play when she needed to be elevated because of bad gas. But no matter what, we’d put her to bed awake and calm so she could learn how to fall asleep on her own. This was toughest at the beginning because my mom wanted to rock her to sleep for 20-30 minutes each time. When she left, we had an easier time implementing this.
Were there many many many times when she couldn’t fall asleep on her own? Yes of course! And we would always help her out when she needed it, but we tried and tried and now I put her down for all of her naps awake, and it takes her (9 times out of 10), under 5 minutes to fall asleep. She’ll coo and grunt until she does.
Sleeping Hierarchy: This ties into the point above but the most important thing is that the baby sleeps when she should sleep. So if she can’t put herself down, do whatever it takes whether that means holding her, giving her a binky, or rocking her. The second most important thing is that she falls asleep on her own per above. The third most important thing in the hierarchy is that she sleeps in her own bed in her own room.
Le Pause: Bringing up Baby was hands-down my favorite parenting book, and one of the concepts in it, “Le Pause”, has helped us in a big way. The idea is that babies have sleep cycles just like adults, but they don’t know how to put themselves to sleep if they wake up between cycles in the middle of the night. If you run into the room to pick them up as soon as they wake up, it will take a lot longer for them to learn that skill.
The pause is not about crying it out. It’s about giving your baby 5 minutes to try and self-soothe (Or however long you choose, but we went with 5 minutes). By the time you start Le Pause (we started at around 4 weeks), you’ll know your baby’s cries, so if she’s hungry, go feed her of course. But sometimes you can tell it’s just fussiness, and that is ok.
The first night that we did this, I had a really hard time. The thought of my baby being unhappy and me not helping her feel better was torture. But within a day or two, it got much easier. Within a week, she was able to put herself back to sleep when she woke up in the night (unless she was hungry) and that was incredible.
Swaddle Swaddle Swaddle: If you’ve read the Happiest Baby on the Block, you know how important swaddling is for infants. They’re used to being curled up in a tight space, so it makes them feel safe and secure. It also prevents them from waking up because of the moro reflex (or startle reflex) which is when their arms and legs flail out of nowhere. We’ve swaddled her for every nap and night sleep except in the car or on the go. We’re going to start moving her away from swaddling next week because she’s starting to roll over.
Nighttime Routine: I talked about it above, but we fully believed that a nighttime routine would help her distinguish been night sleep and daytime naps. We’ve found that to be very true!
Explaining to Baby: I hate when people say that newborns are just blobs. They’re far from it, and I fully believe that they can understand a lot more than we give them credit for. Because of that, we explain everything we’re doing to Amalia in an adult voice. When we moved her to the crib, we explained why we did it and what would be different. When we changed her bedtime, we told her it was so that mommy and daddy could have a better night and it would make us so happy if she’d go down earlier. Before bed every night we tell her that it’s time for her night sleep, she’s safe, and that we’ll be in the other room if she needs us.
Flexibility: This is the philosophy that I’ve had the most trouble with. Amalia thrives on her schedules (see below) and when she’s off of them, she’s off as well. Over the last week, we’ve tried to take her out more, move her around the house for naps, and just change things up so she (and I) can learn to be more flexible. It’s going a lot better than I thought it would! Babywise stresses that you should do your best to stick to your routines, but having flexibility is a necessity.
3. Our Schedule
Week 1: The first week was all over the place, but she was generally eating every two hours day and night. During the day, if she wasn’t up, I’d wake her for feeds to ensure that she was gaining enough weight. At night, Anel would bring her to me when she woke up, and I’d feed her and then put her back down. Those were some rough nights!
Week 2: By the middle of week two, she started eating every three hours with naps in between. At this point, she was still taking almost an hour for each feed so she’d be tired by the end and we’d usually have to put her right back down for a 1.5-2 hour nap. We didn’t do much to stretch her, but wouldn’t wake her until it had been three hours since the beginning of her last feed as opposed to two hours the week before.
Week 3: This is when we started implementing a wake up time in the morning and bedtime at night. Because we were following the Babywise suggested schedule, bedtime was at 9pm. This was also the week when her gas started to kick in which was crazy hard. We had major gas issues and she’d wake up screaming or fussy during her naps and at night. We used gas drops and gripe water, and I fed her at an incline to try to avoid it. That all helped, but didn’t eliminate the problem completely. We basically had to ride it out until week 5 or so. Those two weeks were probably the hardest ones we’ve had so far.
Weeks 4 & 5: Honestly I think I have amnesia because I can’t remember her exact schedules but I know it was between weeks 3 and 4 when we implemented the dream feed. As soon as we did that, she would only wake up one time in the night. The first few nights it was between 2am and 3am, then between 3am and 4am, etc… Every five nights or so she’d make a jump. We didn’t do anything to stretch her out, it just happened naturally.
Week 6: The nighttime routine was becoming stressful for the whole family because Anel and I felt like we couldn’t have a dinner together ever, so we decided to try and move her bedtime from 8pm to 7pm. We weren’t sure if it would work or if she’d wake up earlier in the mornings, but it ended up actually helping her sleep for longer weirdly. The way we did this was to basically remove a nap which was totally terrifying. If she was tired and needed it, we’d put her down for a 20-30 minute power nap around 5. She would still wake up once a night, sometime between 4am and 6am.
What was hard was when she’d wake up at 6am and then we had to start the day at 7am or 7:30am. In those cases, I’d push the start of the day until 7:30am and give her a quick feed instead of a full feed just to get her in the habit of eating at that time.
Week 6 schedule:
7am- Wake up + eat
6pm- Start bath time
7pm- Sleep for the night
10:30pm- Dream feed
Week 7: This was our last week with the baby nurse and the week that she first slept from 7-7! Since then she’s only had one night where she woke up before 7am and it was when we were traveling. In Babywise, they call it a “merge” when babies drop a feeding. Because she dropped her night feeding once and for all this week, she sometimes needed to eat more during the day to make up for it which felt like a step back, but makes sense if you think about it.
Week 7 schedule:
7:30am- Wake up + eat
6pm- Start bath time
7pm- Sleep for the night
10:30pm- Dream feed
4. Nicola’s 8 Tips for Sleep Training
We hired Nicola who started when Amalia was two weeks. While it was an expense we weren’t expecting, we moved things around to make it work. Having her teach us her ways (and give us some extra sleep in those early days) was priceless. I asked her to share some of her best tips for sleep training with you guys!
1. If you are concerned for any reason whatsoever before you start, speak with your child’s pediatrician. Make sure to rule out any health concerns.
2. After over a decade in newborn care and specializing in sleep training, the one thing I always tell my parents is that no two babies are the same, so modification is a must in sleep training. What works for one baby won’t necessarily work for another. You have to “learn” your baby first.
3. It is imperative that everyone is on board with the plan. Both parents (and siblings!) need to be aligned and committed.
4. It is never too early to start implementing healthy sleep habits. In fact, I always say the earlier the better. I started helping Julia and Anel when Amalia was two weeks old. Within only a few weeks she was sleeping through the night. From day one, I started healthy sleep habits.
5. Implement a good eat and sleep routine in the daytime, what you do in day impacts your night time routine. Babies aren’t robots, so they won’t always stick to a rigid schedule, but get them as close to that schedule as possible.
6. Create a nighttime routine and set the scene. Remember that the environment plays a big role! Dim the lights and make the room cozy and comfortable for the baby.
7. Put the baby down while he/she is still awake as often as possible. This will not only teach her how to put herself to sleep (eventually), but it will help develop your child’s independence.
8. The most important tip of all? Stay consistent! Some days will get hard and the baby won’t want to be on your schedule. Do your best and stick to the plan. It can take time but it will work in the end
5. Products we use for a better night’s sleep
Swaddles: When we first came home from the hospital, we were swaddling her in blankets and she escaped more than half of the time. My mom showed up and immediately ordered a bunch of these SummerInfant SwaddleMe swaddles that velcro closed. Most babies start with the zippered stage 1 swaddles but Amalia wasn’t into that so we jumped right to stage two (preemie size at first and then small/medium which which still wears). We swaddle her for every nap and overnight. After our trip this week, we’re going to start moving her out of the swaddle.
PJs: When it was still hot at night, she slept in a onesie and then her swaddle, but now that it’s cooler, she sleeps in footie pajamas. We got a bunch of pairs from Baby Gap for our shower and she loves them. Her favorites are these striped ones. We also love the Roberta Roller Rabbit snap up PJs for easier diaper access
The SNOO Smart Sleeper: I wrote a full review of our bassinet here, but the overall message is that The SNOO was a lifesaver for those first few weeks.
Dock-a-Tot: When Nicola started, she put Amalia in her crib on the first first night! Luckily we had inherited a Dock-a-Tot from a friend who didn’t need it anymore, but I had it stuffed in the closet, not really sure what it was for. Since that night, she’s slept in it every single night, and a few weeks later started using it for naps as well.
We have the deluxe plus (smaller size) but she’s growing out of it, so I’m debating either getting the Grand so she can continue in it, or just moving her to the crib without it. No matter which one you buy, get at least one extra cover for spit up/pee/poop situations.
Sheep Sleep: I remember Jackson using this cute sheep shusher when he was a baby so I registered for it. We use it for most naps and for all nighttime sleeps. I like it because it creates white noise to lull her to sleep but turns off after an hour so that she also gets used to sleeping without it. It’s also soft and cute and a good price.
Binkies: When I first had her, I was totally against binkies because I was so nervous that she would get addicted to one and never sleep without it. I didn’t want to have to wean her from it in a year or two. After a few nights, I caved and am so happy I did. When she was really tiny, the binky helped soothe her to sleep, but she’d let it fall out after that and be just fine. Now, she uses one only when she gets really fussy or overtired and it’s nice to have on hand for those moments. I’m writing a whole post about this because I get a lot of questions about it! Stay tuned.
Dimmer: I keep the overhead light in her nursery dimmed for nighttime sleep instead of off. Babies look at lights as a way to soothe themselves, and I’ve found that having it really low helps her stay calm. Installing a dimmer on the light switch was easy and so worth it! We got ours at Home Depot. It’s nothing fancy, but it does the trick.
Spotify: I play this lullaby playlist for her every night during her last feed. I swear the second it comes on, her eyes start to close and she yawns. It’s very calming and sweet.
Blackout Shades: We keep the shades up during daytime naps so she can distinguish between day and night sleep, but we close them at night so street lights and cars passing by don’t wake her.
Thank you so much for taking the time to put this post together!!!
Hi Julia, I love these tips – thank you for sharing! My issue right now with our almost 8 week old is that he’ll mostly only fall asleep after eating. We seriously need to work on getting him to self soothe! Did you just keep trying and trying again when implementing the eat-play-sleep schedule? I know he’s still so little but right now it seems like he’ll go down with a dress to put him to sleep first! Any tips on how to persist through this would be appreciated 🙂
Yes! It took so much patience, but sticking with it really paid off in the end. When you’re in the middle of it, just remember the long term goal! Next time he wakes up, try feeding him right away then playing with him and putting him down. He might never even nap but leave him when he’s calm and keep going back in every 5 minutes if he’s fussy. Hopefully it will only take a day or two of doing that to get it to work!! You just have to commit to it and be prepared for it to be hard.
The DockATot is the best! I had used it in the crib probably until my little guy was about 6.5 months old – and this was still the smaller one (with the bottom unbuckled). It just got to a point where he would wiggle down to the bottom of the crib out of it. I was also thinking about getting the bigger one, but I didn’t want him to get to used to sleeping in it. So I have had him in just the crib now for about a month now and is still sleeping through the night!
I am pretty sure you can use that DAT until they are about 9 months before the bigger one.
As you said, it’s really just a go with the flow thing to see what works and doesn’t work!
Opening the bottom of the DockATot is genius. Will save me so much money, thank you for the tip!
These are some great tips! I am a firm proponent of trying whatever you can to ensure everyone gets a good night’s sleep!
My daughter was a champ at sleeping (takes after me, haha) and then my son had colic. His screaming time was between 10:30pm-3am. So….. yeah, nothing worked with that one. Thank goodness that was not our first as I’m not sure how I would’ve survived!
Oh my goodness that sounds awful!!
Can you provide a bit more info about the dream feed? Do you do it by bottle or breast? Is it a full feed? Do you burp her afterwards?
Good for you for putting this together, and good for people for being so positive so far. This is such a controversial topic, and we are all just trying to do what is best for us and our kids, so it’s great to see everyone’s wonderful response. Just in case other folks are in the boat as we were – having a kid that hated/refused the swaddle (seriously, she screamed when she was swaddled) – a newborn sleep sack is a great compromise and worked really well for us
Thanks Anne! Oh man, that sounds intense! Do you have a sleep sack that you recommend? We’re transitioning her out of the swaddle soon so any recs are appreciated.
Once we figured out that she hated being swaddled, which was within the first week, it was totally fine, and she was an awesome sleeper and still is more than 6 years later! We loved the Halo ones for colder weather and the Aden + Anais ones for the warmer weather
I’m reading Babywise as well. I’m so happy to have learned to feed shortly after waking and we are in the process of learning to self soothe. Did you put Amalia down without BF or rocking for every nap right away? The morning is always much easier to put Andi down but later in the day it’s hard so we are building up to putting her down drowsy for every nap. Also, I’m curious, did you wake Amalia if it was time to feed during the day or let her nap until she wakes herself? I’m also curious about the dream feed.
So we didn’t start putting her down without rocking until she was about 3 weeks. She was just so tiny, I didn’t have it in me to do it before then. Plus my mom was here and refused to put her down without holding her first, ha!
Amalia is the same in that she’s much easier in the morning so I’d definitely start with the earlier naps.
I would wake Amalia for feeds unless she really didn’t get a long enough nap.
Hi! We have a two week old and I am looking to get her into a routine asap! Thank you so much for all of this info! A few questions…
1. When you say “nap” what do you mean exactly? Our little one falls asleep in between feedings. She is either asleep in our arms, pack and play or the rock and play.
2. When did you pencil in time to pump? I have been trying to pump at least twice a day to start slowly building a supply.
3. Did you bathe her every day? I’ve heard from a few people to only bathe once or twice a week for the first two months because they have precious oils that shouldn’t be scrubbed off. However I love the idea of getting into a daily bathing routine sooner than later.
Thanks so much!!
Congrats on your baby, Ali!
1. For naps, I change her diaper, swaddle her, and put her in her crib (or rock ‘n play/bassinet when she was little). If she fell asleep in my arms, I’d move her to the bassinet. But the idea was to get her used to napping in her own space.
2. At the beginning it was SO hard but I pumped after my 7am and 10am feeds to stimulate milk production. That’s when I always have the most milk so it made sense.
3. We do bathe her everyday because we like the routine aspect of it and she loves it. We always oil her up afterwards so I’m fine with it. At the very beginning (first week or so) we did every other day.
I hope that helps!
I have a 3 week old who has been pretty much feeding every 3 hours from the beginning with some shorter feedings on demand as needed in between.
Im trying to set a schedule but my question is- if baby wants to feed between the scheduled times, how do you keep on schedule? For example- say she usually feeds at 10am and then 1pm, but today she wanted to feed again at 11:30am. Do you just continue keeping on schedule and trying to feed again at 1pm even though its only 1.5 hrs later and she may only eat a little bit? Or do you count the 3 hrs from that last feeding at 11:30am which would then shift the schedule for the rest of the day? This is what Im confused about the most with scheduling since she wont *always* feed every 3 hours. How do you handle those in between feeds or cluster feeds?
Hope this makes sense!
Congrats Deanna! That’s such a tricky question and something that we struggled with as well (you’re not alone!). If she wanted to feed at 11:30, I’d feed her and then try to feed her again as close to 1 as possible or just move everything a little later so 1:30, 4:30, etc. It won’t be perfect everyday so just get it as close as you can is my advice.
Also the cluster feedings were just the worst! I kind of just went for it and dropped the schedule when that happened which was probably 3 times total.
This is great info, thank you for sharing! When did you introduce a bottle and pacifier? And did you find it caused any type of nipple confusion? Also if you use a breastmilk bottle for the dream feed, when do you pump? All of this is so confusing for a first time mom! I really appreciate you being so open and sharing all this info!
So pacifier we introduced around day 6 or 7 because she was fussy and we wanted her to calm down. She had nipple confusion after the first time with it and I freaked out. It took her almost 40 minutes to latch correctly again! But after that we had no problems at all. We started bottles of pumped milk on day 10 and had no problem with nipple confusion. We use Dr. Brown’s bottles if that helps.
Every baby is so different though, so what worked for us might not work for you!
You’re so welcome! I hope it was helpful. Ugh I’m super nervous about dropping the swaddle. Amalia is all over the place and also loves to eat her own hands so I have a feeling she’ll get pretty distracted. We’re going to try with naps first and introduce the Magic Merlin Sleepsuit to see how that does. People seem to swear by it!
I think Babywise says to drop the dream feed around 6 months but Nicola always told us that she’ll tell us when she’s ready by eating less and less during that feed. So stay tuned on that topic!
We used the Magic Merlin as a transition and it definitely produced a more restful sleep than an arms-out sleep sack, but ultimately went back to arms-in. I think unfortunately our son started his “4-month-sleep-regression” a bit early so we had a perfect storm of dropping the swaddle, sleep regression, and me going back to work all at the same time, and it was just too much for the little guy. Good luck and thanks again!
Any suggestions if still in a one bedroom and so baby doesn’t have their own room? (this was not our preference but what we’re going to have to do) I realize this is not your experience, so you might not. Would it be a terrible idea to make a closet into a “room” at least initially?
Let me ask Nicola and get back to you on this!
Ok her response is:
“Have Lea know it’s perfectly fine to work with whatever space she has. I’ve had parents do partitions within their apartments just to ensure baby has a space which is nice. I am sure she will be able to fit crib in the closet and maybe a changing station. Tell her go for it!”
I have read that you shouldn’t use the dock a tot in the crib when baby is sleeping alone. Some say it increases the risk for SIDS but it seems that SO many parents are having great success with it and their babies love it! What are your/Nicola’s thoughts on this? Thanks for the post, I loved it!
I’m also interested in this question. We LOVED our Dock-A-Tot and I was prepared to use it FOR. EV. ER. (and shell out for the larger one when the time came) but then I read one alarmist article about how it’s a SIDS risk to use inside a crib and freaked out. Would love to hear what Nicola thinks and where you stand, since I know many many mothers use their Dock-A-Tots well into toddlerhood even. (FYI my anxiety ultimately won and we stopped using the Dock-A-Tot for night sleep and it was NBD – he definitely moves around more but it didn’t seem to impact the quality/length of sleep. We still use it for naps though since he’s not a great napper and I’ll take all the help I can get in that department.)
The Dock A Tot is not recommended by the AAP for unsupervised sleep. It is a suffocation risk because of the soft sides. The instructions on the Dock A Tot specifically state that it is not to be used without a “semi alert adult” present. As a mom of two young kids, I can personally attest to not being “semi alert” during the nights when they were newborns. The only safe sleep surface is baby on her back, in a crib or bassinet with no loose blankets or toys. The AAP also recommends room sharing until the baby turns one (previous recommendation was 6 months), but this is more controversial.
(I am a pediatrician).
Interesting… It’s so funny because everything we have (dock, rock ‘n play, even the SNOO) have serious warnings on them so I feel like I have no idea what’s safe and what isn’t. I just went with my gut and the advice of someone who had been doing this for a long time but honestly I have no idea. It’s so hard to navigate this space but glad I know this now, thank you so so much!
I know the number of baby products can be overwhelming. Did you talk to your pediatrician about the options? I’m not sure about the SNOO but the rock n play is also not meant to be used for unsupervised sleep. Here is a link to the AAP’s (American Academy of Pediatrics) latest safe sleep recommendation.
In general, I would recommend getting advice about safety issues from your pediatrician and/or evidence-based websites such as the AAP site. There is so much information out there and advice on the safety of your precious baby should come from people who have studied it over and over.
I’ve gotten so many notes/emails about that since I posted this. I had no idea! Almost all of my friends had their babies in it and the nurse put her in it so I just didn’t give it a second chance. I remember when Nicola first put her in it I was like are you sure it’s ok??? She said people have issues with every single sleeping prop for a baby so just do what’s right in your gut. She has been using DockATots for years so I trusted her. But who knows!
Thank you for sharing! It is so nice to read what other parents are doing/experiencing/struggling with/etc. We also have a newborn baby who is 7 weeks old.
Question- 1. When you feed your sweet baby girl is it in a bottle (expressed milk) or do you nurse her? If it is in a bottle how many oz. do you give her?
Question 2. What if she wakes up prior to 7a.m and wants to eat? (Middle of the night, 5a.m, etc.) do you try to soothe her back to sleep or do you feed her which puts your schedule out of order.
Question 3. I think you mentioned earlier in a post that the dream feed is formula. Is this still true? How many oz?
Thanks again! I really enjoy ready the post and your blog.
Hi Katie! So happy to know it’s helpful. Congrats on your 7 week old!!
1. I nurse her 2x/day and feed her expressed milk in a bottle the other times. At the dream feed, we give her formula. She’s up to 4 or 4.5 oz per feeding.
2. When she wasn’t sleeping through the night yet, I’d feed her when she woke up and then wake her again at 7:30am to get her on the next day’s schedule. Since she’s slept through the night, we haven’t had any wake ups yet! But if she’s hungry then I’ll always feed her no matter what.
3. Yes still true. I feed her 4-5 oz of formula in the dream feed.
I hope that helps!
Hope you are enjoying Bermuda! Had one quick question in regards to #2. My little one wakes around 2, 4 and then 6 (hoping the merge of the 2 and 4 sessions happens soon haha!) but I want to try and push the 6am feed. So Amalia would go to sleep after her 6am feed and then you’d wake her at 7:30. 2 questions, did you baby nurse recommend this? and what if my little one doesn’t go to sleep after the 6am feed, would Nicola recommend still feeding her at 7:30, very short awake time and then letting her fall asleep? Thanks!
Hi Brenna! No, this was something I had read in Babywise. When I talked to Nicola about it, she was on board but said if I wanted to wake her at 7:30 I should just give her a snack even if she didn’t want a full feed so that she’d be used to getting up then no matter what. If she’s up at 6 then she’s up at 6, it might not work in the beginning!!
It’s funny because I always thought that sleep training must last for a very long time. I thought so until I sleep trained my little boy when he was 4 months old and my daughter when she turned 3 months. I used method from this guide “How to teach a baby to fall asleep alone” ( http://www.parental-love.com )
I’ve read the guide very quickly because it’s short and I knew exactly what to do and how to do it but I didn’t really believe it can be that easy. I started to read about this method and people were saying that they sleep train their babies for a few days sometimes even 3 days and that was it, their babies were able to fall asleep on their own, they nap longer and stopped eating at night. So I gave it a try and SHOCKER! Took us 4 days with my boy and 4 days with my girl!
So anybody who thinks that teaching a baby to sleep properly isn’t possible in a faw days should try this method! Otherwise it seems impossible
i got this guide and after 3 days of the hwl method my son finally stopped waking up every hour at night! awesoem AWESOME help! Love this guide! Thanks for sharing Avril
I’m one lucky mom to see this post! a few days ago I got Urban’s guide and I’m loving it! A few days ago my daughter turned 9 months and the method from the guide has worked extremely well! I don’t want to speak too soon but it looks like my big girl is finally able to sleep all night long and fall asleep on her own in her crib! niiice 🙂
I tried the HWL method from Susan Urban’s guide ‘How to teach a baby to
fall asleep alone’ like Avril Green suggested with my son at 5 months. Only took 3 days to sleep
train him. He started to fall asleep on his own without rocking or
feeding and started to sleep in his crib after 5 months of co-sleeping. I
think I have the right to give 5 stars from me and my son 🙂
I have exactly the same impression. It’s like twice as fast as expected! Loved this method.
I read this post when you first wrote it and I was still pregnant. Now that I have a 3.5’week old, and we’ve also been following the babywise schedules (great recommendation – thank you!) I think we’re moving toward the dream feed/one wake-up at night. How did you start it and do you fully wake Amalia up for it? We’ve been doing a diaper change to wake the baby followed by a bottle (I’m pumping and he gets breastmilk only so far) and back to sleep. Thanks!
Congrats on your new baby!! For the dream feed, we just went for it one night. We gently kind of pet her head so she’s not totally passed out then pick her up and just go for it. She usually doesn’t wake up. Once in a while she will but then goes right back down. I think when she was still that little we used to change her diaper first but now, it’s just in and out with the bottle. Takes 15 minutes total!
We’re 2.5 weeks in with baby and starting to implement these philosophies. Any update on how well Amalia has stuck to sleeping through the night since this post? Any new lessons or has this method continued to work?
Congratulations! She has slept through the night every night since except for when she is sick or a few times when she was teething.
As far as the diaper changes, we did them before the feedings so it wouldn’t get her all riled up before going backdown afterwards. She would cry during the diaper change but you’ll learn to do them quickly! If she would pee during the feed, we just left it. If it was poop, we’d change it.
Forgot to ask – when do you do diaper changes? Before feeding or after? Our kid falls asleep after feeding and hates diaper changes which makes the process very long since we then have to calm him after a change. It’s especially challenging at night and we have tried different times but nothing seems to be working. He almost always needs a change after feeding when we change him before the feed so not sure there’s actually a solution here.
Hi Julia! Hope all is well. If you still have Nicola’s information would you be able to share it? Thank you!
Absolutely! Shoot me an email and I’ll send you her info: email@example.com
Hi – I have a new baby (9 weeks) and I am reading Babywise and came across this older post! Just one Q – I noticed you only have 6 feeds but he recommends 7. I have no idea how to fit in 7 bc my baby also has about a 3 hour “cycle”. Was it a conscious choice for you?
Also is the baby awake from 4 to 7? I am trying to figure out that late afternoon nap schedule before bedtime. Thanks! So many Qs!!!