If you'd told me I'd be eating 3 meals a day with my 8-month-old baby (plus feeding her a 4 bottles a day) I wouldn't have believed you! But alas, here we are, and I can't wait to share all the...
What I Learned From My Baby’s Sleep Consultant
Who would have thought I’d be reaching out to a baby sleep consultant? But, let’s be honest, if baby isn’t sleeping, nobody’s sleeping. So after reading and sorta implementing the plan in this book we were so pleased that around 3 months, Hazel was only waking up once each night.
But then the dreaded sleep regression came and Brett and I found ourselves up 3-4 times a night. We were so tired and with both of us back to work full-time, it wasn’t an option to be sleep deprived.
We decided to reach out to Joanna at Baby Sleep Concierge after she presented some great information to my mom’s group at New Mom School. She answered all our questions and pointed us in the right direction. Obviously, each baby is so different so consult your pediatrician and follow their advice over mine.
Once my friends (who are ALL having babies!) heard that we had talked to a sleep consultant, they wanted to hear everything. They started asking what we had learned, so I figured I would share it with you as well.
What I Learned from Our Baby’s Sleep Consultant
Sleep Tips for Newborn Babies
- Once Hazel was about 6 weeks old, we stopped changing her diaper at every feeding in the middle of the night. This made a huge difference in her being able to stay in a “dream-like” state during the night and not fully waking up.
- The other thing that worked really well with Hazel was a “dream feed.” Basically, every baby is good for one extra long sleep session (longer than 4 hours) every 24 hours. You want extended time to be when you’re sleeping as well! So if your baby goes to bed at 8pm, the dreamfeed (you can Google it for more info) is when you scoop your baby up when you go to bed around 10:30pm and feed them WHILE THEY’RE SLEEPING! Best done with a bottle, this feeding is quick and the goal is to not really wake up the baby. Hazel did great with the dream feed and it would “restart” her sleep time, so we could get at least 4 hours uninterrupted, sometimes even longer!
- We used a SNOO, but we also used this sleep sack that gave her “dolphin paws.” The idea behind this swaddle is that they will chew on their hands and learn to self soothe, but won’t slap themselves in the face and wake themselves up. As soon as she got old enough to roll over, we bought this sleep sack and unzipped her hands one at a time over a 1-week stretch until she could sleep with her hands out.
- The other important thing we learned, is never to let her nap longer than 2.5 hours during the day. Again, you want to keep the long stretches of sleep for nighttime.
Sleep Tips for 3-6-Month-Old Babies
This might not be for everyone, but a food, nap, and nighttime schedule is what worked to get Hazel sleeping through the night. She actually really likes her schedule and it’s helpful for us to know when she’ll be taking her naps and when she eats. Not saying this is the only way, but this is what worked for us.
The first part of the schedule that gets put in place is the feeding. You don’t just start feeding your baby at certain times, it takes at least a week or two to strategically get your baby on a feeding schedule. I used a combo of this book and other online blogs to encourage Hazel to eat on a schedule. Once the eating is figured out, then you can focus on the nap schedule.
You guys know I could NEVER let Hazel “cry it out,” so we also followed recommendations on how to train her to nap during certain times (but for all you parents who went that route, you have more willpower than me!). And then, and only then, did we start trying to cut down the nighttime feedings. And guess what – it worked!
When she turned 6 months old, she had outgrown her bassinet and it was time for her to move to her crib.
Any of you that follow my social, know how happy Hazel is when she wakes up in the morning. And for the most part, we’re that happy too! So if you’re struggling with sleep, maybe this post helped you a little bit knowing what our baby sleep consultant had to say. Or at the very least just know that if you hang in there, you’ll sleep again – I promise!
P.S. if you’re in that stage where your baby is starting to eat food, I just wrote about my experience with that too!
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