Today Kristy from Seven Graces Blog is sharing her personal experience with The Baby Sleep Easy Solution. I know that sleep is very personal to all of us, as parents. Thank you all for being open-minded and allowing her to share her baby sleep tips.
When I became a mom, I didn’t really know what I was doing. I had read every article I thought I could read, but that’s just not enough. You have to live through it, trenches and all. Being sleep deprived can make anyone go crazy. Really. When my little babe was nine weeks old, she finally slept a stretch of seven hours during the night, and I thought I heard the angels sing.
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It was glorious. I followed these tips to get her to stay on a loose schedule to ensure that we would continue the sleeping through the night pattern. It worked. But then the four-month sleep regression hit, and I felt like we were back at square one. Being a former English teacher, I did what I knew best. I researched.
And thanks to one of my mommy friends, I found the best book about baby’s sleep: The Sleep Easy Solution: The Exhausted Parent’s Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep from Birth to Age 5. This book is brilliant. It breaks down the facts about babies’ sleep and explains how to train your baby to sleep through the night, 10 hours or more. I had nothing to lose but more sleep, so I gave it a shot. Good sleep is vital for not only your baby’s health, but for your health as well. In a nutshell, here’s how you can start baby sleep training using The SleepEasy Solution’s methods.
Understand the “Least-Cry” Approach
There is a great debate between parents who believe in letting a baby cry it out and those parents who are against it. I’m not saying either is the “right” method. By all means, you know what’s best for your child. But the approach taken by this book is finding a balance between the two spectrums, the “least-cry” method. I liked this. Basically, you’ll be assisting your child, but in increments, so that she learns that she doesn’t need you to fall asleep. This method helps your child to learn to fall asleep quickly with a minimum amount of crying.
Before You Use The Baby Sleep Easy Solution, Be Sure Your Baby Is Ready
- Make sure your baby is healthy and not cutting any teeth.
- Make sure your baby weighs enough and is old enough to sleep through the night with minimal night feedings or the elimination of night feedings. Consult your pediatrician, especially if nursing. This book suggests a baby be at least 4 months old with a weight of 14 pounds.
- Make sure your baby isn’t going through a developmental transition. Examples of such transitions: rolling, crawling, pulling up, standing, walking, or talking. Wait until the excitement of a new transition has subsided.
- Make sure your schedule will allow you to focus on sleep training. The process takes about two weeks.
- Make sure your caregiver can assist with the process.
- Make sure Mom isn’t going through separation anxiety. If you have just returned to work in the last two weeks or so, now isn’t the time to sleep train. Wait a few weeks in order to get adjusted to your new schedule.
Before You Sleep Train, Make Sure You Are Ready
Go here to print out these handy checklists from The SleepEasy Solution’s website.
- Create a consistent Bedtime Routine.
- The bedtime routine should last 15 minutes to an hour before bedtime and 10 to 15 minutes before a nap.
- The routine should be done in the same room where your child will fall asleep.
- Do the same activities each night and at naptime to create sleep cues. For us, it was changing her diaper, turning on the sound machine, feeding her a bottle, and reading her a book.
- Once you’ve created a consistent bedtime routine, anyone should be able to do the same routine with your baby and get the same sleep results. (Let me just tell you this is so true, and our sitters have appreciated it tremendously!)
- Make sure sleep associations aren’t hindering your child’s sleep.
- For example, a sleep association that could be hindering your baby’s sleep could be her pacifier falling out. We stopped giving the pacifier cold turkey when we started sleep training, and it worked. You want your baby to recreate the sleep association on her own in order to fall back asleep on her own. She now sucks her own fingers. Your baby can and will learn to self soothe.
- Create a healthy sleep environment.
- Make sure the crib and room is all about sleep. No need for any extra frill in her crib. Also be sure that the room is dark, the temperature is just right (68-72 degrees Fahrenheit), and that white noise is playing. This is to ensure that your baby will fall asleep and stay asleep. Also dress your baby in footed pajamas to maintain extra comfort at an ideal temperature.
- Make sure your baby isn’t overly tired.
- There are optimal sleep times for your child, and it’s important you understand what and when those sleep times are using the charts below. 8:30 p.m. is the very latest bedtime that this book recommends. Choose a bedtime and waketime that works for you. If you need your baby up by a certain hour, work backwards and choose your bedtime that way. Consult the charts below to help you decide your sleep times. Naps are just as crucial as night sleep, so make sure your baby’s sleeping needs are being met during the day as well.
(Source Sleepy Planet)
(Source Sleepy Planet)
- Make sure your baby is ready to be weaned from nighttime feeds.
- This could be an entirely separate post, so please consult the book or your pediatrician for tips on how to wean.
The Baby Sleep Easy Solution in 5 Steps
- Grab all of your essentials.
You’ll need all of these things: a clock, a pen, your Sleep Planner, the Sleep Chart, The SleepEasy Solution book, your baby monitor, and tissues and ice cream for yourself. Nobody said this was going to be easy, but I promise you it will be worth it!
- Execute your bedtime routine.
Make sure that you are not allowing your baby to fall asleep with your old methods. It’s crucial your baby learns how to fall asleep on her own. Your calm voice letting your baby know you’re about to put her to sleep is also a good cue at the end of your routine.
You can use these simple newborn bedtime routine cards to help follow a consistent routine…
- Place your baby in the crib awake.
Stay calm, breathe, say your goodbyes and I love you’s and walk out of the room. This is so hard, but so important in order for your baby to learn to become a self-soother.
- Check-in on your baby in intervals.
Now your baby is probably crying. Give her a few minutes. She needs this time to learn how to put herself to sleep. Wait five minutes exactly, then 10, then 15. If 5 minutes is too much for you to handle, start with 3. Choose intervals that feel right for you, but be consistent and extend each check-in interval by 5 minutes each time. Write down in your chart the date and time you’ve put her to sleep and what time the first check-in was completed. When you go in to check on her, go halfway into the room and do not pick her up. Just use your calm, loving voice (this may require some acting if your heart is breaking) to soothe her, stay in for 30 seconds max, then walk out, and clock your time for your next check-in. During your waiting period for the next check-in, this is where you can eat the ice cream you had on standby. Do not be a cheater.
Wait for your next interval with precision. If your child seems like she’s not liking the check-ins, you may want to extend your next check-in by an additional 5 minutes. (The book goes into this process at greater detail.) Once your baby slows down with the crying, this means she’s learning. She’s learning how to self-soothe. If she goes 30 seconds or more of no crying, celebrate. The cries will lessen, and your check-ins can stop. If she starts up again and is hollering her little lungs out, start your check-ins all over again. This may be done as a tag-team approach, too. I had my hubs go in for some check-ins so we could share the process. The first night you might be doing check-ins for an hour. It took us 28 minutes the first night.
- Celebrate the sleep time!
Once your little baby has fallen asleep, record the total amount of time it took her to fall asleep. Celebrate that your baby is learning a new skill and give yourself a pat on the back! You’ve earned it, sister! Most likely, you will start to see progress after the first night. This is why writing every detail down is so important. Celebrate the small victories, and you’ll be sure to celebrate the big one of your baby learning how to fall asleep and stay asleep all by herself.
But what if she wakes up during the night?
It’s inevitable that your baby will wake up. She’s still learning how to put herself to sleep which is the whole point of this after all. Write down the exact minute she woke up, and begin your check-ins, just as you did at bedtime, until she goes back to sleep. Record everything. Each time she wakes up, repeat the process. We had seven wake-up times the first night. The second night we had one, and one or two for the next nine nights. On average, it takes most babies five nights to learn how to sleep using The SleepEasy Solution’s methods.
It took us 10 nights to successfully sleep train our daughter. Ever since, she has slept on average 12 hours a night. Her naps are shorter than most babies her age, but her total sleep during a 24-hour period is right on target. Now I know that not all parents believe in sleep training, but when you’re at your wits end, it’s worth a shot. My little girl is thriving and growing, and being a healthy sleeper is a huge part of that. I credit this book to helping us have a great little sleeper. It may be luck, it may be her disposition, but I’d like to think that the science behind the sleep patterns for babies and teaching her how to sleep is where all the credit is due. Remember, this isn’t the end all and be all of how to get your baby to sleep, but it’s what worked for us, and if it can help someone else out, great! Good luck and best wishes for you and your baby’s sleep.
If you are interested reading more from this book, you can click the image below:
Print your free baby sleep checklist!
This post comes with a free printable baby sleep checklist to help you support longer stretches of sleep for your baby! Plus, when you grab this printable, you’ll get instant access to my free 3-day baby sleep eCourse.
Download Your Free Printable
- Download the checklist. You’ll get the printable straight to your inbox, plus get my Free 3-Day Baby Sleep eCourse!
- Print. Any paper will do the trick, but card stock would be ideal.
- Place it on your refrigerator. Use it as a quick reference and don’t forget a thing!
Want more on baby sleep?
- My Top 10 Newborn Baby Sleep Tips To Help You Get More Sleep
- The Newborn Routine That Will Help Your Baby Fall Asleep Faster
- Top 7 Challenges + Solutions for Parenting a Newborn and Toddler
- 8 Infant Sleep Facts Every Parent Should Know
More resources for baby sleep:
Kristy is a 30-something stay-at-home-mama, formerly a high school English teacher, living in suburbia-land in good ol’ Houston, Texas. She is the author of the fabulous SevenGracesBlog.com. She loves blogging, laughing, spending time with friends and family, and most importantly–growing in her faith. She welcomes you to connect with her via Facebook and Pinterest.
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