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.
-10:30am: 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 on, pacifier 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.
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!
Before I start in on the sleep training talk, lets just take a second and look at that photo. Look at how CUTE he is… What in the hell? How is that boy so dang cute. I just want to eat him up and kiss those sweet cheeks all day.
A LOT have been emailing me about the sleep training I have done. I posted a little about it on my instagram, and have been getting loads of emails, so I want to go into detail with you guys.
I know I am opening up a can of worms because we all have different opinions about this as moms, BUT we all have different ways of mothering and different babies.
Before I started training, I would rock Oaks for naps and nurse him to sleep for at least 4-6 hours a day all together. NOT Saying that I didn’t love it. I wouldn’t take it back for ONE second. Those moments, and closeness with him I will NEVER forget, and I LOVED nursing more than anything.
After doing that and co-sleeping for 6 months, the exhaustion started to wear on me and really get to me mentally. I wasn’t sleeping very good at all, I could tell my marriage was struggling over it. And by struggling I mean not spending the time that he and I needed together.
We were both on edge after those 6 months. Not necessarily towards each other, but just in general. There was just tension there.
It took me at least 2 to 2-1/2 hours to get Oaks to sleep at night. Plus the exhaustion I was just so irritated all the time.
We both loved co-sleeping and I really felt like it bonded us as a family, but when you have a baby attached to your nipple ALL night every night for 6 months, WHO wouldn’t feel so much exhaustion. It caught up. No one can get good sleep like that.
I DID NOT move one inch all night, as I was nervous of squishing the little guy.
I didn’t seem to think anything of it really until about 5 months in. I started to really feel it and really feel it catching up to me. A baby that wasn’t napping and a baby that was sleeping with you all night will do that.
In my heart I felt like it was time for a change. I get a little emotional talking about this because It was an ending of special bonding together as well. Don’t get me wrong, I loved co-sleeping and I loved nursing him to sleep and rocking him. AND there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
I just knew it was time to move on, and time to get some sleep for the both of us!
One day after putting him down for the fourth try that morning, he woke up again…. I felt this overwhelming feeling of an anxiety like something needed to change, or I was going to lose my flipping mind.
I then went downstairs and opened up my laptop, and looked up Sleep Sense training because I have read it is the best. Also, just fyi this is not sponsored, I just really wanted to share what worked for me.
As I was reading, I just started sobbing and sobbing. I was DEVASTATED. Because I felt so sad that I had to do what it was telling me to do. (Mostly letting him cry)
I was unbelievably exhausted. Tired. tired. tired. I felt like I was at my wits end. I felt like an awful mom. I felt like my career was going down the drain. I felt like I didn’t even know who I was anymore.
That day I read the entire ebook. I felt better after reading it and I knew I needed to do it.
You need at least 2 weeks of not going anywhere like vacations, lunch dates, anything that is going to interrupt you trying to implement a schedule.
I had a vacation planned so I had to wait a week, which was terrible because the ENTIRE vacation all I could think about was I couldn’t wait to get home and get it over with.
When I got home I took a nap with him, and nursed him to sleep for the last time. I didn’t know it would be the last time but I knew it was near.
I will never ever forget that moment. It really brings back so many emotions that were flowing over me that day.
It says to give them a routine every night. Bath, reading, singing feeding then “night night” kiss them, and put them down and walk out of the room.
The goal is NOT to get them to cry, it has nothing to do with crying. That is just usually what happens because they want you to pick them up, and they don’t know how to fall asleep on their own yet.
The idea is to get them to self soothe. For some reason I hate the way that sounds just from “meet the fockers” haha I don’t know why but I always felt like that was so mean just from that movie. If you’ve seen it you know what I am talking about.
The kid is there just crying and crying. BUT now that I understand it better it makes sense.
We all need to learn to calm ourselves down and fall asleep. We as adults have a bedtime routine as well. We all have something we need to do, or sleep with that we can’t go to sleep without. (like our pillow)
Example: I cannot go to sleep without brushing my teeth and washing my face.
Babies need to learn how to fall asleep on their own and we must teach them. I give him his blanket that he loves to help sooth him and its known as a sleep prop.
So when you put them in their crib they grab their blanket as comfort and know its bedtime.
They tell you NOT to feed them to sleep, but I wanted to try something of my own in the mix. You don’t have to follow EXACTLY what they tell you. You will get a feel for what works for your baby.
I pumped a bottle and propped it up in his crib when I put him down and he fell to sleep in 5 MINUTES… 5 minutes people.
AND the good news was is he stayed asleep for 2 hours. I was in complete shock. So I just kept pumping and bottle feeding him like that for every nap and bedtime.
The tricky part came bedtime. Since he got up a least 3 times a night to eat AND he co-slept.
NOW they say your baby doesn’t need to nurse through the night anymore once they are at least 4-5 months old. AND you can’t implement a schedule until that time.
If your baby is gaining weight and healthy at that time, there is no reason they need to be getting up to nurse through the night.
But always talk to your doctor before anything.
Back to that first night. He woke up at 11pm.. fussed a little then started really crying for at least 30 mins. Then went back to sleep (was in shock) then woke up at 2.. fussed and cried a little for an hour. THEN went back to sleep… (SO IN SHOCK).
After that first night I felt a HUGE relief. Naps went well too. It only kept getting better, and by a week later he was solid with bedtime and naps.
Long story short he sleeps, 7pm-5:30-6am. Naps are a total of 3 hours every day. One in the morning and afternoon.
This schedule was PERFECT because we were both getting sleep we needed, plus we were getting the best of both worlds, by co-sleeping/nursing from 6-8am.
It was NOT bad at all. I was in such shock at how quickly he caught on. But babies still have their days and you can’t expect them to be the EXACT same everyday.
In fact, my doctor said if your baby is sleeping that well at night, (10-12 hr nights) then take what you can get for naps.
Oaks still has days where he will wake up to early, but I won’t go get him until 6am every morning unless he’s pooped (which usually he’s been pooping at 5am lately). Or he will fuss before bedtime, but I know he will put himself to sleep.
Babies NEED at least 16 hrs total of sleep everyday. It is so important for them. They are constantly learning and growing, so they need sleep in order to learn new things. It explains a lot in that sleep sense training ebook.
Now, TJ and I have alone time together at night and mama and baby are getting GOOD sleep and feeling rested. Ready to enjoy the day together.
I have time to work during the day (hence right now). Oaks has been napping for 2-1/2 hrs and its his afternoon nap.
I started this when he was six months old, and he is now 8 months (today actually). Happy 8 months to Oaks 🙂
It was all so worth it! He is such a good sleeper now, and it has paid off!
It is so good to have time for yourself at night! Us mommas really do need it in order to be the best moms we can be.
I stopped doing the pumping thing after about a month. I couldn’t pump enough for him. I started mixing in, and doing half and half formula and its been so good for both of us.
I kept nursing him in the mornings until just recently. As I am writing this I feel a little mom guilt about it. Which is so weird to me because I nursed him for a long while, and I did what was right for both of us.
Its crazy how we feel so guilty over things. It has been the best thing for both of us, so there really is no point in me feeling so guilty when we are both happy and healthy.
Why is it that we feel so guilty about everything? Literally everything. I go on a date and I feel guilty leaving him with a babysitter.
For some reason us moms feel like we need our reasons validated by others.
BUT it won’t ever get validated. You have to realize that you’re feeling this way because you care so much about your little babies.
MOM GUILT IS REAL.
I also feel super emotional lately about not nursing him. (probably hormones balancing out haha) but it was SO bonding and I plan to do it with my next baby.
I didn’t have one problem nursing and I know a lot of women do, and I am truly grateful with the way things went.
There Is NO wrong or right way to mother. If you use formula. Perfect you’re a great mom! If you nurse, perfect you are a great mom!
I wanted to share my story with you mommas because I know this is something we all need to hear. We all have struggles with being a mom. Some days are just hard, and some days we just break down. And some days we just want to rip our hair out. And some days we are on cloud 9 in love, and everything goes SO smoothly.
AND some days we feel so guilty for even feeling some of these feelings. BUT remind you we are all human. This does NOT mean you don’t love your babies with everything you have.
Do what you feel is right between you and your baby. Momma knows BEST. Take advice and listen to others, but no one knows the way mom knows about her baby.
Dont compare yourself with other moms (I sometimes have a hard time with this) we are all doing a great job!!!
I want to know what has helped you mommas! Tell me your thoughts!? Share your stories!
The Owlet monitor their heart rate, and oxygen levels, and the Motorola, you can see and hear them. It really helps me get good sleep at night! PLUS that link for the Owlet will take you to get $20 OFF!