How is she already 3 months though?? I swear I JUST had her yesterday. It’s going so much faster than it did with Oaks, probably because I’m busier. She’s becoming so alert and making the cutest baby noises. She’s literally the most chill baby on the planet, just like brother.
With your first, you just go through so many changes of all the new. You just became a mom and everything is so overwhelming. I had no idea how to do the sleep schedule thing with Oaks, but luckily he was just a good sleeper to begin with. I co slept with him when he would wake at night just like I do with Liv now. I stopped doing that with Oaks when he was about 5 months, almost 6 months old. I did put him in his crib at 4 months old.
So I started the sleep sense training with him and he was fully sleeping 12 hour nights, 7am-7pm and took two naps, both 2 hours. He’s been the best sleeper ever since and we’ve never ever ran into a problem, even through his growth spurts. Read How I SLEEP TRAINED OAKS HERE.
So the reason I’m telling you this was it gave me a sense of routine with Oaks and how babies THRIVE off routine. Get them off routine and they’re crazy nutty kids who are overly tired and won’t sleep, or take naps. Obviously every child is different, BUT every child needs sleep. They’re constantly growing.
Every sense Liv was born I wanted to start her on a routine. Not right away because they sleep 24/7. It takes a good month to see some sort of routine. At about 2 months old you can start seeing their schedule and doing a bedtime routine to get them familiar with bedtime. I got the sense that she was awake for 2 hours exactly. Then down for a nap from anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. She will do this 3 times a day.
Your goal with wake time is to get perfect timing so that baby goes to sleep quickly, easily and with minimal to no crying. This doesn’t sound very complicated, but it’s pretty tricky to do. Keeping on a good schedule/routine and keeping a sleep journal will make getting the right wake time easier. Some signs of perfect timing are:
- your baby goes to sleep easily for a nap with minimal or no crying and playing,
- your baby takes a long nap and then wakes up happy (is happy after being fed for a young baby)
- your baby seems to be happy and alert during his awake time.
If your baby doesn’t go to sleep perfectly, don’t fret. Your wake time may still be right, some babies just need a little more help learning to sleep than others. And some babies simply like to fight a little before falling asleep and will cry even with perfect timing.
At this age, babies will usually be awake in 2 hour gaps, but it really depends on your child. Wake, feed, play, then back down is what I like to follow. Some times we like to nurse to sleep and some times we don’t. Either way, it’s been successful. I nurse to sleep mostly, but if I can get it just right and lay her down when I KNOW she’s tired then she’ll fall asleep with no fuss and nothing to help her fall asleep.
SIGNS OF TIREDNESS: sits quietly and glazed over eyes aka tired eyes, gets a little fussy, acts hungry even though they just ate.
Those are signs of what Liv does, usually I would have fed her, but she was OUT in 2 seconds on the nipple, so those are the times I just rock her or just lay her down with a pacifier if she’ll take one. IF your little won’t and you want them to, lay them by your boob to rock and then stick it in their mouth. It’s a little trick that I do with her and it works every time.
HERE IS A RUNDOWN OF LIV’S SCHEDULE ( REMEMBER EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT BUT I WANT TO GIVE YOU AN EXAMPLE)
-9am: Wake time
-9am-9:30am: feeding time
-9:30am-10:30am: tummy time, Oaks and I play with her, she listens as I read to Oaks, then cook breakfast.
start to settle down for a nap, I’ll swaddle her bottom half like she likes, put her dock a tot in her crib (where she naps and it makes it easier to transition if you do naps before fully transferring) and I’ll put on her DREAM EGG
(white noise thats amazing!) and rock her with her paci, or I give her a boob. Depends on the day, but I’m trying to time it just right so I won’t need to give her a boob.
-10:45-11am: out for her nap and I’M STILL holding her usually, today she went out in 5 minutes when I laid her down. Still trying to get my timing right, but work with what you can. When I’m holding her, I make sure she’s out, then I’ll lay her down for gently so she doesn’t wake up. She usually doesn’t wake up, but again, every child is different. Play around with what works for you. Some kids don’t transfer easily. It’s totally best if you lay them down and let them self soothe. Again, I’m still transitioning toward that.
-12pm-1pm: wake time, feed, change, play with brother, tummy time.
-1:45pm or 2:45pm:
start to settle down for a nap. She’ll nap anywhere from 30 mins to 2 hours, so it depends on the day, but I’m giving an example of most of my days and the importance of timing. Wrap her up, make sure she’s changed, white noise
or boob in and she’s out in 5-15 minutes. Lay her in her dock a tot
and I use the just a cheap audio baby monitor
from walmart to listen for her. I use the Owlet at night. And , sometimes she naps in her car seat for this one because I’ve got Oaks and want to take him out most days to play. I just try to get her down for at least 2 naps at home.
-3pm-4pm: wake time, play, change, feed, tummy time.
-5pm or 6pm:
start to settle down for a nap, wrap her, white noise on, rock her and paci or boob in mouth, or just lay her in her crib in her dock a tot
with white noise on when I see signs of sleepiness.
-6pm or 8pm: wake time, change, feed, play, tummy time.
-8pm or 9pm: start settling down for bed. I put the dock a tot in her halo bassinet next to my bed, and draw her and Oaks bath. I get her bathed and Oaks is taking a bath next to us. TJ usually get Oaks washed up and bathed, but if he’s not home I’ll get her washed first and dressed and then him.
–8:30 or 9:30: settle down for bed and I’ll rock and nurse her to sleep with the Dream Egg next to me in her room. Then once she’s asleep, I lay her in her halo bassinet with the OWLET SOCK on her foot. If you aren’t familiar with that its a monitor that watches their heart rate and oxygen levels. Best thing thats ever been invented.
9pm or 10pm: asleep until 4am or 6am
4am or 6am: nurse and co sleep until 9am
This is the schedule we follow and it’s going to change as she grows. She’s napping 3 times a day right now, but that will change here in a couple months. They start to need less naps. Once they hit 4-6 months, its 2 naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. When they turn one is just one nap a day. Oaks stopped napping at 2-1/2. Every child is different though! BUT THEY ALL NEED SLEEP.
Be patient with it and try not to get frustrated. Listen for cues. Write down your schedule and stick with it! IT’S ALL ABOUT TIMING HERE!
I’ve noticed if her schedule is off she doesn’t sleep good at night. The more they sleep, the better they go down for naps and bedtime. Like I said before, babies THRIVE OFF ROUTINE.
I’m not a sleep therapist here haha, just giving advice on what has worked for us and from what I have researched. I’ll sleep train her using the sleep sense method at 6 months old, just like I did with Oaks.
HOT TIP: if you hear your baby wake from their nap 15-30 minutes in, wait a little before going in. Obviously if they’re making unusual sounds, go check on them, but don’t let them see you. Liv will usually always go back to sleep. So just don’t jump to go get them, but again, CHECK ON THEM FOR SURE. Always check on them. If it makes you feel better, keep the owlet monitor on them for naps. Or watch through a webcam. I need to set my owlet cam up, but that is the one we’re using.
Let me know if you guys have any questions at all!