(AD | GIFTED) In my opinion, one of the most important issues for new parents has to be BABY SLEEP! I don’t know about you, but for me, many questions go through my mind when it comes to baby sleep, one definitely being: What can I do to get my baby to sleep through the night. I accepted the Baby Sleep Solutions into my life as a way to find the answer for myself. And I found part of the answer on how to get your baby sleeping through the night in 6 easy steps!
Full Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links which means that when you click on these links and buy something, I may earn a little commission but it does not affect you in any way. I only recommend products I myself love, know about and/or have purchased before. Some of the items have been gifted to me as part of a collaboration to review but please note that all of the opinions are 100% my own 😊
How to Get Your Baby Sleeping Through the Night in 6 Easy Steps
Katrina Villegas is a former engineer and school teacher, turned stay at home mum and writer of Baby Sleep Solutions (here is the UK link to her book)! This handy book comes in a paperback and a Kindle version. You can read Katrina’s Blog, find her on Pinterest and Facebook!
Katrina has kindly gifted us an e-copy of her book for one lucky parent, details of how to win this copy can be found below. Scroll through for more information.
The Baby Sleep Solutions (UK link) focuses on how to get your baby to sleep through the night in just 6 easy steps. The steps are designed to help babies at any age newborn, 6 months, 9 months. The main point is to help teach your baby how to sleep through the night. I have briefly summarised the main steps below.
The main premise of the Baby Sleep Solutions (UK link) is to make it clear that no parent should settle for their baby sleeping poorly. If your child doesn’t sleep through the night, it shouldn’t be accepted as the norm. Babies need sleep. In order for them to develop, grow and thrive, they need to sleep. And they need to sleep a lot. Poor naps and poor broken sleep at night leaves babies fussy, irritable and unable to enjoy playtime with their family.
Poor baby sleep no doubt leaves mummies very tired, stressed and unable to enjoy these precious newborn moments. Broken sleep is no fun for anyone. Babies need to sleep the appropriate amount of sleep for their age, and in turn, they will be happier and eager to play, learn and develop.
I, personally, am not a fan of cry-it-out baby sleep methods. I honestly do not believe in letting babies cry until they fall asleep. Please don’t get me wrong if that’s the technique that works best for you then use it. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion and way of living. No one should judge others. Me personally I embrace nursing to sleep, rocking and dummies. If it helps calm and soothes your baby then go for it. Whatever leaves you and your baby happy, settled and rested. Of course, it is good to try new methods that may help settle and keep teach your baby how to sleep through the night.
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Step 1: Day & Night
This is the first and most important lesson. Teaching your babies the difference between day and night. Once they distinguish this difference they will know that in the mornings they wake up ready for the day and their daytime sleep means naps and not bedtime. This way they know naps are shorter forms of sleep and nighttime sleep is longer.
The trick here is consistency, opening the curtains to let light in and playing with the baby so he knows it’s time to be awake. Stick to some sort of schedule, so baby has some sort of idea what is coming next, this way they will feel like it’s time to sleep. Katrina, like other sleep consultants, recommends waking your baby when it’s time to wake up. I personally don’t do this. I don’t really believe in waking up a sleeping baby. Maybe that’s a good thing, maybe not. But in any event, I usually let my children wake up when they want. Partly because it allows me to get my things done too. Part of me, of course, does see some benefit in waking at the right time as it could potentially lead to longer sleeping at night. I may just give it a go for a few days and see what happens.
For nighttime sleeping, keep things dark and quiet. Katrina advises to use white noise as a positive sleep association, but if your babies are anything like mine, and white noise has no effect on them, you need to find some other soothing music to relax them. Both Michael and Max love listening to a lullaby before they drift off to sleep and it works wonders for me. Soothing baby melodies may work better for your baby than white noise.
Step 2: Full Feedings
It’s important to make sure that for each day time feeding your baby gets a full feeding. This means that when it’s time to eat make sure they eat properly and do not fall asleep. Give them both breasts if breastfeeding or make sure they drink the entire bottle (that is age-appropriate for them) if bottle feeding. Remember no matter your preference or choice of feeding, #fedisbest
Getting full feedings during each scheduled feed (again another reason why incorporating some sort of schedules into your baby’s life is important) means that they are (1) not snacking all day, (2) are full enough to play during playtime and then (3) sleep well for naps and night sleep. If you need tips on how to ensure baby gets full feedings then Chapter 2 of the Baby Sleep Solutions (UK link) is for you.
Step 3: Sleep Routines
Katrina recommends that there are 2 main types of routines babies need: Firstly, the Nap and Night routines. These help your baby prepare for sleep. It mentally makes them aware that the next thing to happen is sleep. That way they automatically become sleepy and putting them down becomes easier. Unlike mine right now which involves me rocking Max to sleep or trying to calm him if he is overtired. The sleep time routine does not have to be complicated – a simple feed, book and bed could work for nighttime sleep and perhaps, cuddles, PJs and bed for naps. Katrina recommends the type of routine you should be adopting in her book and her schedules will definitely help you formulate your own baby-led routine.
It’s important to follow your baby’s cues but have a routine/ schedule to follow in order to bring some normality and structure to both your day and your baby’s day. Choose your routines for naps and bedtime sleep. Keep it simple, stay strong, stick with them and be consistent.
Step 4: Eat, Wake, Sleep Cycle
The second routine you need is the Eat/ Wake/ Sleep. This means that you need to feed your baby, allow them plenty of awake time for play (watch the sleepy cues) and then put them down to sleep. This allows them to learn to fall asleep on their own without needing to be fed to sleep. They learn the difference between night and day, get full feedings in, don’t develop any crutches and makes for easier sleep training.
Step 5: Feeding & Sleeping Schedule
Establishing a schedule into your baby’s life ensures that they get full feedings, have enough wake time to get them tired enough to want to sleep, take naps that aren’t just 20 minutes long and sleep through the night. Schedules ensure your baby is not overtired which throws everything off and makes naps and bedtime much harder.
When using a schedule, make sure not to be too rigid, allow for flexibility and follow your baby’s cues. Each day will be different and you have to be flexible to allow yourself to tweak the schedule as and when it requires. For example, each day your baby may wake up differently, so you have to learn to tweak the schedule. Katrina explains how to implement the schedules (with very helpful tips) in her book. Katrina even includes a handy chart which allows you to see what sort of cycle you should be following that is age-appropriate for your baby. For example, Max is 4.5 months old now so he should have 5 cycles of eat, wake, sleep and each cycle should be between 3-4 hours in total, with 3 naps during the day and 2 hours maximum of awake time each cycle. Katrina’s chart and explanations in the Baby Sleep Solutions (UK link) explains everything clearly for you.
Step 6: Night Time Wakings
The final tip is to work towards eliminating night wakings. Before you can do that, however, Katrina advises that you ensure you have your schedules and routines in place – both for day time and night time. Make sure all feedings are successful and “full” and that your baby, for medical reasons, no longer requires being fed at night. She also, however, makes the point that babies like adults can actually get hungry at night and that’s ok. If your baby needs to eat then feed them.
If you are giving your baby a night feeding then a few tips include not changing their diaper (unless soiled of course), keeping your baby sleepy, keep things quiet and as dark as possible (here is a great night light I love). Challenge your baby to go longer stretches without feeding, increasing the time a little each day. Keep feeds as short as you can.
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I enjoyed reading this book. It’s straightforward, easy to follow and her tips are simple, practical and easy to implement. I love the fact that there are schedules that can be followed. I am a planner freak so schedules are great. The beauty of these schedules is that they are only to be used as a guide. If you are also a fan of schedules then you will love Katrina even more as she has some amazing age-appropriate schedules that she has created to accompany the tips in the Baby Sleep Solutions (UK link).
Always remember babies have a mind of their own – they will tell you when they’re hungry, sleepy or fussy. You can do everything right and follow all the tips but if your baby decides to change things up there’s nothing you can do about it. Such is life. Babies aren’t robots they’re tiny humans like you and I and have their own character and mood. Read the cues, be gentle and follow along to do right by them.
Now for the fun part. Katrina has kindly gifted us a copy of her e-book to be given to a lucky parent (or parent to be) who wants to know the secrets on how to get your baby to sleep through the night.
To enter, (1) share this post to one of your social media platforms and (2) leave a comment below with your favourite tip from above and the platform you shared the post to.
The competition begins, today Monday 27th April 2020 and ends Sunday 3rd May 2020, 11:59 pm GMT. Participants must be 18 years old and over and provide a valid email address when posting their comment. I will select one winner at random from the comments and a copy of the e-book will be sent to you. I will announce the winner on Monday 4th May 2020 as a comment on this post. So be sure to check back here to see if you have won and claim the prize! If the winner does not claim the prize within 48 hours, another winner will be randomly selected. Please note that this giveaway is not affiliated or endorsed by Facebook, Instagram or any other social media platform.
GOOD LUCK and I hope you enjoyed this review.
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Til next time
XoXo Monica XoXo