A lot of people have been asking me lately how I miraculously got my then 7 week old baby sleeping 9 hours straight through the night. He is now 10 weeks old and still giving us those long gloriously nights. Honestly, I don’t think we’ve done anything different then most new moms do, I think we are just lucky parents with a baby who loves to sleep and eat. But I did find early on that Grayson strived on structure and a schedule. We pretty much have the same routine each night and it’s something I definitely look forward to each day. A little tip: people who say it’s impossible to put a newborn on a schedule is wrong. Yes, there are some days/nights that are a little different due to certain circumstances but if you stick to the same schedule everyday as much as you can, it helps tremendously. At least it did for us.
To start off, let me just say that we never co-slept with Grayson. I did however, want him as close to me as possible (without him being in our bed) so he sleeps in his Rock N Play on my side of the bed. He still has a little bit of trouble getting himself to sleep so even though he eventually goes down for good, we usually have to rock or bounce him on the yoga ball until he falls asleep in our arms. That is something we will have to work on for the future of course. We still haven’t transitioned him to the crib so who knows what this schedule will look like when that happens. I’m not ready for him to leave my side just yet!
6:30PM: Kyle gets home from work and helps me clean up from the mess I made that day (hehe).
7:00PM: It’s bath time! We don’t give Grayson a bath every night but the nights we do are my favorite. Kyle is usually in charge of baths and I love watching this time between them. What a great daddy/son bonding time :) Then I will grab my wet baby out of the bath and wrap him up in his towel. I bring him to the changing table to dry him off, moisturize him, put him in his jammies and brush his hair. He hates being taken out of the warm bath and into the cold air so this process is usually pretty fast. Once he’s dressed, I cuddle him to calm him down and warm him back up. We use Aveeno products for washing him and moisturizing him.
7:30PM: Now starts the non-stop feeding until he’s full enough to stay asleep. We turn off all the lights, only leaving on a few lamps and turn the TV to a lower volume setting to let him know it’s bedtime. Kyle feeds Grayson about 4-5oz of the breast milk I pumped the night before through a bottle (if we don’t have any breast milk, we give him Enfomil Infant Formula) and I will pump. I breast feed him for every other meal throughout the day but our pediatrician suggested feeding him with a bottle once a day to get him used to it in case we ever want to go that direction in the future. A perfect way for Kyle to be able to help with feedings as well!
8:00PM: He usually falls asleep after sucking down all the milk so Kyle will hold him for a little bit and then transfer him to his rock n play and turn on his bunny sound machine.
9:00PM: He usually wakes up again around this time wanting more food (sometimes) so I’ll put him on my breasts until he decides he’s had enough and falls asleep again for good. I love this time cuddling him and feeding him back to sleep :)
Anddd that’s about it! Sorry it’s not more glamorous and I don’t have some secret to spill. But with this schedule our little boy now sleeps from about 9:00pm to 7:00am. He will sometimes still wake up around 4:00am but I will totally take 7 hours as much as 10 hours! (If he does wake up at 4:00am, I will feed him and he will go right back to sleep until 7:00am). All of those times are ball park times too, I would give or take 30 minutes for each. Sometimes he’s completely out by 8:00pm, sometimes it takes him a little longer and doesn’t go down completely until 9:30pm. Same with the morning, most of the time he will be up around 7:00am but sometimes he sleeps until 8:00am (usually does this if he wakes up at 4:00am).
I think the biggest things we’ve learned is to signal that it’s bedtime. So during the day when he takes naps, I don’t turn out the lights, I keep the TV on a normal volume level and we talk in normal voices. However, at night we turn out the lights, turn down the volume, like I said before and try our best to whisper when we are around him.
Believe me, I am no expert at this and every baby is different but I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into our night time routine. I was lucky and just figured out early what worked best for our little man. I’m sure this will change once we transition him to his crib (which I am dreading) and when he’s teething and such but for now we are loving it and he wakes up in the morning the happiest baby.
What do you do for your night time routine?
Do you have suggestions on how to transition a baby to their crib? What age did you do this?