Mom, I know it sounds crazy, but it is possible for you to train your baby on a normal schedule—which means you and your hubby get to sleep too! Sleep is so vital for your new family. Without proper deep sleep, health issues arise, and it’s harder to deal with stressful situations (like a fussy baby). A baby needs a constant routine of sleep and nutrition that allows him to grow. Babies who get enough sleep and are on routines allow for a Happy Family Life.
The best time to start this training is when your baby is brand new. Believe it or not, some babies can be sleeping through the night by 8 to 10 weeks old, while others can take up to 3 or 4 months, provided for that the baby is healthy and well nourished.
*No matter how long it takes, consistency is key.*
So, how do you start this process?
- Get Baby up at the same time every morning. Consistency in this morning ritual will go a long way for you, Mom, as well as the family. I remember getting myself up first, getting my coffee, and doing my bible study before I knew when my girls would wake up. Those early morning moments are peaceful bits of me-time that every mom needs.
- Regular naps (the same times every day). Sometimes this can be a challenge when you have errands, doctor appointments, and/or visits from Grandma and Grandpa. Whenever the routine gets off track, just get right back into it. You will be rewarded for your efforts.
- Keep a consistent bedtime. This was a BIG DEAL in the Jordan Family home. I started this with my first born and by the time little girl #3 came in the picture, this was a necessity. Counting on this constant bedtime gave me the fortitude to carry on after a really busy day. I could count on spending time with my husband or even squeezing in a date (YES MOM! Dates can happen, more on that later). Helpful hint: Sometimes the earlier the better. Don’t wait till everyone is exhausted.
- Feeding Baby. Feeding Baby on a schedule that coincides with Baby’s sleeping routine will go a long way with his health. Also, Giving Baby adequate time to properly digest his nutrition gives mother’s milk time to properly develop.
What to expect…
So, basically for the first year, Mom’s life will consist of being aware of the clock at all times, feeding, bathing, holding, playing, diaper changing, rocking, lying Baby down, waking Baby up and starting ALL over again.
As you can see, consistency is key when it comes to giving your child the gift of routine.
Once your child’s body knows what to expect, he will not become over exhausted or exasperated—leading to those never ending crying sessions we have experienced all too often! Your baby can rest easy in a consistent, care environment.
So, once your baby is about 6 weeks old, it is time to put a consistent bedtime routine into place. This can include: a bedtime story, singing lullabies, nighttime feedings, rocking, and filling his little heart with love before he rests his head for the rest of the night (well, hopefully!).
Set Your Goal
The goal is for your baby’s brain and body to be well used to this routine by the time he reaches 4-6 months old. As you go along, nap times will change and adjust to your lifestyle and family needs. A healthy, well nourished, and well rested baby is a Happy Baby. I know; I’ve been there, and highly recommend it to any Mom.