How to Sleep Train Your Newborn

I’m a big believer that children, including babies thrive on structure. When Avery and Poppy were babies I had them sleeping through the night up to 12 hours by 9 weeks old using the Baby Wise Method. With Goldie, my life was chaotic and I didn’t sleep train her. According to my family she was the worst sleeper, ever.. Fast forward 7 years with Ozzy and I knew I wanted to sleep train her. Having so many on-the-go older siblings, it was important to Jeff and I that Ozzy be in a routine.

We started sleep training several times with no follow through. At one point Goldie asked us to get some duct tape for Ozzy (they share a room, haha). We decided to wait until school was out and just go for it. So at 2.5 months we began training her to sleep through the night. I was ready to start getting some sleep again myself and lose these bags under my eyes. We have been working with Tiffany Jaeger on creating a personalized schedule for Ozzy. It’s essentially the same method as Baby Wise, but was nice to have someone to consult and talk this through with. She really works hard to get your baby on the same schedule as your household, my number one goal. 

Our household wakes up around 6:45 am. Tiffany told me that this is now Ozzy’s new wakeup time, no matter what time her last wake up was. This way, no matter what I have going on, pickups and drop offs with the kids, meetings, or appointments, Ozzy’s schedule is always predictable. We have been waking Ozzy up at 7 am, so she is up with everyone. And feedings have been every three hours and we keep them at the same time every day.

One of the most important parts of sleep training is to create a solid napper. Naps can be tricky for us. There are many days where I feel like I’ve been in the car all day (welcome to California) but we try to make sure she gets in two solid naps at home during the day. Tiffany was able to draft up a pretty detailed schedule that is extremely fitting for our family and our lifestyle. The best reminder from her was to set reminders for myself. In my phone, I’ve set alarms for Ozzy’s feeding times and nap times. This has helped me so much the past few weeks being busy with the school year wrapping up.

These past few weeks have been a consistent cycle of EAT, PLAY, SLEEP:

We feed everything three hours, and Ozzy usually takes about 35 minutes to feed and burp. Including feeding, Tiffany recommended 45-50 minutes of awake and play time until her next sleep. The biggest struggle is keeping Ozzy awake while she’s eating. But if they fall asleep while eating, training is game over. We will play with her hands, rub her ears, take off her clothes so she’s just in a diaper, whatever it takes to keep her awake and eating.

Tiffany says absolutely NO rocking to sleep. Although, I’m guilty of doing this. Since it had been so long since my last newborn, I really wanted to soak in all of the moments I missed so much. And there really isn’t anything sweeter than a fresh baby falling asleep in your arms. Currently trying to break this habit, it may be the hardest part for Jeff and I.

Night time is a bit different than during the day. Since Goldie and Ozzy share a room, we’ve been trying to align their bedtime schedules. Tiffany suggested starting Ozzy’s routine an hour earlier than Gold’s. I start to lay Ozzy down around 7, I will pat her to sleep and usually let her cry it out for a bit. But this way, when Goldie starts bedtime at 8, Ozzy is for sure asleep. CIO (cry it out) is a bit of a controversial topic and I know there are mixed opinions. I personally think it helps babies learn to self soothe and become independent. If you have another option that works, that’s amazing too!

Consistency is key and what works for us. Sleep training is not for the faint of heart, it’s difficult and tests your patience, but so worth it for the long stretches of sleep, a happy baby, and happy parents. Find what works best for your lifestyle and your family! We had already been consistent in the eating every three hours so when it was time to get her sleeping through the night, it literally took 5 days of consistency at night by letting her cry it out and she is now a baby who sleeps through the night! 

Also, I know these photos are of Ozzy in the SNOO and yes, she loves it. It’s really awesome, however I stopped using the motion of the SNOO and just using it as a bassinet so Ozzy could get used to sleeping in her own crib. I still turn it on for the white noise in motion for some naps or when she’s particularly fussy at nap time. Calms her right down. The EAT PLAY SLEEP method works with any crib/bassinet.

Thanks for reading. Have a great week!