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Would you like to get your baby to sleep through the night? Are you tired of co-sleeping or bed-sharing with your child? (Co-sleeping means in your room. Bed-sharing means in your bed.)
I must admit, I loved the extra loving and snuggling with my little one in bed, but after a few weeks of co-sleeping, I got a good glimpse of my future.
It was going to be the three of us sharing a bed. That didn’t sound so good.
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I liked my sleep. And so did my husband.
From my days as a teacher, I knew one thing for sure-repetition created habits. You start the way you want to end up. That is when I decided to move our little baby boy into his crib.
Over the next couple of years, I listened to many of my friends’ nighttime soap operas that included the “family bed” while I got a good night of sleep most nights. He slept through at six weeks thanks to Babywise.
For those of you who are happy with your co-sleeping situation, by all means, keep doing it! But if you are looking for tips to get your baby to sleep through the night, check out this post.
How Do I Get My Baby to Sleep Through the Night?
I heard Keriann MacElroy, a certified pediatric sleep consultant, speak at our MOPS group. Here are some of her tips to get your baby to sleep through the night…alone.
By the way, she says to avoid co-sleeping or bed-sharing.
1. Create a routine
Start day one on a routine to get your baby to sleep through the night. Yep, a habit. This will help your baby regulate his circadian rhythm. Did you know we all make melatonin? It goes from about 7 pm – 7 am. Work with it!
Eat, play, nap, and have a bedtime routine about the same time every day. Make the days you are off your routine an exception. Not the rule.
Us News says, “Researchers also found that one of the three family routines for preschoolers – a regular bedtime schedule – might be the most important of all.”
2. Early bedtime
Put your baby to bed at the same time every night. Your child naturally starts making melatonin at about 6 pm-8 pm depending on age. If you don’t put your child to bed during this time, she will get a second wind a little later.
Staying up late actually prohibits a body from making melatonin.
I’m sure you have witnessed your child late at night bouncing off the walls when she is overtired. Cortisol kicked in. EEK.
And you triggered it by keeping her up. Yikes!
3. Dark room
We all sleep better in the dark. Make your child’s space as dark as possible during nap time and bedtime so you will get your baby to sleep through the night. Get blackout curtains or heavy shades to help block out the light.
Don’t use a night light. If you have to get one, use only one. And make sure it is yellow or amber light. Blue and green lights inhibit melatonin more than any other shade of light.
Watch out for alarm clocks, phones, and iPads. They are all stimulants and can inhibit sleep.
4. Boring bed
Your child is there to sleep. Nothing else. Don’t put toys, animals, or books in bed if it is sleep time. It is a distraction. This will help your baby to sleep through the night.
5. White noise
Keriann said a noise machine is okay. Her test is that if your child can take it to college, then he can have it now. Great way to decide if it is okay. Start where you want to end up.
6. Cool temperature
Keriann said to have the house between 68 degrees to 72 degrees. It needs to be comfortable. This will help your baby sleep through the night.
7. Set clear boundaries
Your child needs to understand that she is not allowed to get out of bed. Make sure there is a meaningful consequence in place if the child decides to test you. ENFORCE it. You will not get a decent night’s sleep if you don’t do this.
Sickness and loud storms are an exception. This will help your baby sleep through the night and you too!
Does It Really Work?
I did all of the things Keriann suggested when I had babies, and it worked. I used Babywise. It was the BEST thing I ever did.
I am so glad I did it earlier rather than later. It would have been much harder to transition a toddler or elementary-age child than a baby. He was so young, he didn’t know the difference.
What Will You Do?
What will you do? I know many other cultures and even people in America co-sleep/bed share. They say things are fine. And it may be for you.
But if you are looking for a change, then try these steps to get your baby to sleep through the night. It may be hard at first, but once the transition is made, you will have a much better night’s sleep. And you may find it also improves your marriage.
How do you get your baby to sleep through the night?
Do You Have Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!
Are you experiencing family problems or even estranged? Are you feeling shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.
This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family, but it also gives solid tips to help you with your own family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.
Creating Family Memories Book
Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family in a way that allows more time to be intentional with your kids. It includes a schedule too. You can get it at your favorite bookstore.
Join Christian Family Living Facebook Group
Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the group Christian Family Living. This is a place for Christian women to share their experiences and get helpful tools to navigate the Christian life. We love to laugh, cry, and encourage each other to live out our faith one day at a time.