Hey friends. Hope you are all keeping warm in this bipolar Nairobi weather. Am i the only one who wants to escape to some warm tropical island? Dreams that get me through such gloomy days(if wishes were horses…). Meanwhile, my hot cup of black coffee will do the trick as i blog about sleep training and tips that can help new mums struggling with the training their babies to sleep through the night. Unfortunately for me, Naya never stuck to any routine i tried and 17 months later she still has a very irregular sleeping routine.
Sleep training is the process of helping a baby learn to get to sleep and stay asleep through the night. Some babies do this easily while others like my Naya have trouble settling down to sleep. At 17 months old we still have sleepless nights (sob sob) and she will not sleep in her room at all sometimes. Experts recommend beginning at around 6 weeks by establishing a regular bedtime routine. By 3 months they start developing a regular pattern but you will need to keep adjusting the schedule as they grow older.
Here are some of the bedtime routines i read about when i was sleep training Naya that might help other mums;
1. Let off the extra energy- allow your baby to spend any pent-up energy in her system before trying to get her to sleep
2. Give her a bath
3. Give a massage – sooth her with a massage and get her into her pajamas
4. Play a quiet game in her room
5. Breastfeed/give her formula
6. Have a chat/ read a bedtime story
7. Sing a lullaby
NB; A simple and short routine is easier to stick to and easier for your baby to stick to. 15-30 minutes is all you need to perform a quiet, soothing bedtime routine/ritual that will help your baby’s mind and body prepare for sleep.
One of the biggest mistakes parents make, i made the same mistake over and over again, is being inconsistent. I would get so frustrated when Naya failed to adapt to every sleep routine i tried and give up all the time. I intend to start a new routine next week now that she has been sleeping quite late and will not wake up on time for school. For any mum starting a sleep training routine, please be patient and consistent. A few bumpy nights are very normal so don’t let them frustrate you. Some babies are naturally fussy and may need more nurturing to help them sleep well.
Before you start any sleep training routine, talk to your pediatrician to rule out any underlying medical conditions such as reflux, sleep apnea and allergies that may interfere with your baby’s sleep routine. Also be sure to keep anything stimulating like television out of the bedtime routine. Choose calm and quiet activities such as reading her a bedtime story or singing a lullaby.
One important lesson i have learn’t is there is no particular sleep training method that works for all babies. All babies are different and every mum should take their time to develop their own sleep training routines. What works for me may not work for you. Also remember that as babies grow older their sleeping patterns change and will therefore regress from the routine. Modify the routine as need arises.
A fellow mum and blogger Renee Wambui of youngstylishmummy.wordpress.com shared her experience sleep training her son with us;
RAHAB; How did you start the sleep training routine?
RENEE; I read about sleep training after my friend Grace Msalame told me how it worked with her twins and I followed an app called What to Expect so when it gave me ideas on how to sleep train your child I decided to read more about it online. So I studied my childs sleeping patterns then used that when sleep training.
RAHAB; How old was your son when you started sleep training?
RENEE; I started sleep training my son at 5 months.
RAHAB; How long did it take for him to adapt to the routine?
RENEE; It took him around 3 weeks before he got a hang of it but I do not regret doing it one bit because now I have my me time when he sleeps.
RAHAB; What difficulties did you face?
RENEE; The only difficulty was when he would refuse to sleep but you have to stay patient until it works.
RAHAB; Has he stuck to the routine?
RENEE; Yes he stuck to the routine for about 6 months but his sleeping pattern changed so I created a new one with the new sleeping hours.
RAHAB; The perks of having a sleep trained baby?
RENEE; The perks of sleep training is you have more free time to yourself, less pressure and peace of mind because kids can be hectic to manage.
RAHAB; Any tips you can give new mums as they start sleep training their babies?
RENEE; For a new mum I suggest you first learn your child and their sleeping patterns then research widely on the best ways to go about it plus remain patient because it doesn’t work out immediately.
Thanks for reading, we appreciate your support and feedback.
Last few words before i log out;Its never too late to start sleep training. Start today and enjoy calm, uninterrupted nights that will not only give you peace of mind but a happy baby. HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS=HAPPY, HEALTHY BABY
With lots of love from Rahab and Naya David
- MOTHERHOOD AND WORK
- DENIM LOVE