Hello fellow mommies,
For those who don’t agree with sleep training your infant/toddler this is not the post for you…
For those who are feeling restless and need more of a routine this post is for you! 🙂
I have been blessed with two very good sleepers! However it was not because they came that way. I HATE when people say that!
I nannied a 4yr old and 18month old after we moved here. My son was the same age as their youngest and they were all napping at the same time each day. It was NOT that way at first. I had to set it up to be that way. Infants and toddlers thrive on routines and knowing what to expect!
We simply did an activity in the morning, had lunch, cleaned up and went down for naps. It was a bit of a battle the first few weeks but the months that followed it just became our routine. The 4yr old didn’t always nap but would do a quiet activity in his room and often fell asleep for 20-30min. Even their parents were shocked their daughter napped so well for me and without me rocking her to sleep like they had.
When I had my daughter I was no longer nannying. My son had been down to 1 nap since he was 18months old. He was a little over 2yrs old when I had her. I was so tired! I remember posting this meme on Instagram a few weeks after I had her….can you relate?
My daughter even slept through the night from day 1! 8 hour stretches and I couldn’t believe it! Needless to say I did not take my midwife’s advice when she said to nurse her throughout the night….I knew she was eating when she was hungry and was gaining weight. She nursed around 3am and slept till 7 or 8am. She was my 2nd and I was not going to mess it up!
My problem was staying up late worrying about her or trying to complete projects and chores. It was a bigger adjustment than I anticipated having to split my time with two little ones. I seemed to have no time to myself during the day. I was afraid to mess with her naps too much because I preferred her sleeping through the night….
I finally decided to start following the sleep schedule I had done for my son. He usually slept till 7am and then he would nap 9-11am and 2-4pm. He was now napping around 11:30/12 so I adjusted our schedule so they would both take a nap around 12:30/1 . As long as they were up by 3 they would still go down between 7:30-8pm.
My daughter has always taken a 2hr and 1hr nap. So I made her morning nap be the 1hr and the afternoon be the 2hr. I did this by waking her up in the morning and leaving her in her crib, even if she was awake, in the afternoon. I didn’t leave her for half an hour but would let her be awake 10-20min as she got use to that timeframe being nap time. I did the same thing with my son. They never fussed because it wasn’t a long time and eventually started sleeping longer.
It took a few weeks to adjust but soon I was able to count on having at least an hour and half to myself each day!!! Which helped me get to bed sooner each night. I was also able to count on having time with just my son each morning and my daughter would usually wake up 30min before him in the afternoon. It didn’t eliminate all the other stresses but it did make me feel a little more on top of it.
This is the cheat sheet I use! I downloaded it forever ago off a sleep site and have sent it to many of my friends!
All I advise is that they follow it but just adjust it to fit their schedule. For example my sister adjusted it back an hour so that her husband would be able to see the baby in the morning before school since he often got home late.
I even did the dream feed and she slept beautifully! It changed as teeth came in and growth spurts hit but minus a few weeks here and there she basically followed this to a T. I simply saved it to my phone and referred to it as the months went by.
Even though I’m a huge advocate for this, and thank the person who so kindly put it together, does not mean I just throw my kids in bed and don’t cuddle them or sing them to sleep. I have spent PLENTY of nights in my son’s bed, in the recliner with my daughter, and next to her crib. It’s because of this schedule that I know they need the extra love and attention when they normally sleep so well.
We have a bedtime routine that includes stories, songs, a prayer and occasionally a bath. I suggest following a sleep routine you can do anywhere!! Which is why we don’t always do a bath. Like I mentioned before infants and children thrive on routine and changes can be hard when sleeping in a new place. We have never had an issue 🙂
If you are looking for an easy routine to follow this is it! Let me know if it works for you 🙂